On August 9, 1945, Nagasaki was the target of the United States' second atomic bomb attack (and the second detonation of a plutonium bomb; the first was tested in central New Mexico, USA) at 11:02 a.m., when the north of the city was destroyed in less than a second, and an estimated 70,000 people were killed by the bomb codenamed "Fat Man."
According to statistics found within Nagasaki Peace Park, the death toll from the atomic bombing
totaled 73,884, including 2,000 Korean forced workers and eight POWs, as well as another 74,909 injured, and another several hundred thousand diseased and dying from fallout and other illness caused by radiation. On the day of the bombing, an estimated 263,000 were in Nagasaki, including 240,000 Japanese residents, 10,000 Korean residents, 2,500 conscripted Korean workers, 9,000 Japanese soldiers, 600 conscripted Chinese workers, and 400 prisoners of war. The bomb was somewhat more powerful than the "Little Boy" bomb dropped over Hiroshima, but because of Nagasaki's more uneven terrain, there was less damage.
Chapter 10 - PIRATES 330 N, 1290 E Nagasaki, Japan
ancient seaport of Nagasaki has been open to Western trade since
Portuguese explorers first reached Japan in 1543. Nagasaki
harbour is on the Island of Kyushu facing west into the East China
the third largest of the four main islands Japanese Islands. The main
harbour front caters for large and medium sized commercial vessels from
all over the world, who disgorge their containers to giant mechanical
crane handlers, looking more like automatons in a science fiction scene
than the everyday business of trade; other ships unloading raw materials
such as iron ore and fuels, and loading cars, computers and other consumer
products, which are aggressively exported to make Japan the third largest
economy in the world after the United States of America.
Further into the harbour the Motofunamachi region provided moorings for
recreational boats and two medium size fishing vessels, or MFVs.
Further into the harbour the Motofunamachi region provided moorings for recreational boats and two medium size fishing vessels, or MFVs.
Razor drove his battered Toyota pick up into the lower harbour parking
area with a flurry of dust and suspension bounce, braking rapidly to a
halt, street racer style. Switching off the ignition, he turned to his
business confederate, Stang Lee, and smiled. Both men nodded and stepped
out of the truck. They’d been servicing their illegal fishing operation
for the last eight years from a large wooden shed in the corner of the car
park and had been working together ever since they were mere boys. Shui,
the lighter of the two men was the dominant partner, athletic and toned,
with olive skin and short black hair. He wore a tight T shirt and navy
trousers on hot nights like this. They were both captains of similar class
fishing vessels fitted out for whaling, although hunting whales had long
ago been banned internationally and quotas for scientific research were
already taken by bigger ships, such as the infamous Nisshin Maru. Yet the demand for black market meats and
oils was such that unprincipled men could not resist the temptation for
easy riches such an opportunity presented. Especially so, when port
officials turned a blind eye, provided they kept
their operation clean and contributed to the local economy with hush money
and legitimate spend.
Being unprincipled is however a state of mind and must be weighed against
tradition and needs. The Japanese have been a whaling nation since before
recorded history. Most Japanese people are descendants of migrants from
mainland Asia, also great fish eaters. Legend has it that Jimmu, Japan’s
first emperor ascended the throne in 660 BC, when the native religion was
Shinto. In the 5th century the Yamato clan established the
Japanese state, when Kyoto became the imperial capital. Kyoto was also the
venue for an important environmental summit meeting at the turn of the
century, where fishing and whaling quotas were on the agenda and Japan
argued for increased tonnage as a traditional and valuable food resource
for the nations rapidly expanding population. Iceland too, has argued
similarly. These calls were outvoted.
it was the trade continued despite a diminishing whale population once
more and increasingly unpopular international press. Tonight was a good
night for whalers, who were modern pirates of the high seas, hated by most
other countries for the cruelty to whales inflicted during the harpooning
and butchering process.; even though, whales are such peaceful creatures.
back from the main cargo loading docks and somewhat obscured by the
activity in the fore port, the lower dockside was its usual mixture of
smart modern passenger ferries and private pleasure boats. Back still
further upriver were a motley collection of fishing vessels, nevertheless,
important to the huge demand for food, where the Japanese cannot grow
enough crops or farm sufficient animals to feed themselves where only 15%
of the land is useable in such mountainous terrain. Hence, they rely on
fish and catch more than any other country except China.
up at the stars, Shui took in a deep breath. “Tonight is good night for fishing, no?”
replied his friend. “We have our boats and our wits and the gods have
provided this wonderful scene.” The water gently lapped at the dockside
timbers. There was hardly a cloud in the sky and a warm vaguely tropical
breeze enveloped them.
Lee was shorter and stockier. He’d once been a prize fighter on the
streets. In fact this was how the two men met
over a decade ago. As teenagers they’d been working for rival
promoters. Each boy knew of the other’s reputation and was billed as a
champion for a bet fight. They fought well, a mixture of bare knuckle
boxing and undisciplined martial arts kicking. Both combatants sustained
serious blows and launched equally devastating attacks. Shui had been the
victor, but only just. They were well matched. After the bout the youths
became good friends, in recognition of the skill of the other. Later, they
discovered they shared a love of the sea.
they each commanded their own pirate whaling vessel. ‘Pirate,’ because
once in international waters, they were operating contrary to
international convention, pirates nevertheless. It needs a confident man
to take charge of the waterfront hands that signed on for each sortie and
whip them into a cohesive crew. Yet these two friends managed to do just
that and had done it rather well for many good years. They now had crews
who were reliable and depended on the skills of their captain to secure
their living. Through this combination of ruthless command they brought in
catch after catch of fine whale meats and oils commanding up to $300 a
kilo for black market distribution. Whale oils are used by many specialist
cosmetic and pharmaceutical concerns. Such products are exclusive and
expensive due to the black market layer and irregular supply.
‘Suzy Wong’ had seen better days with rust liberally spread about the
two-tone cream upper and red oxide lower hull. ‘Jonah’, Stang Lee’s
boat, was only slightly newer but shaped by the same builder of steel
plate and newly painted. So, only a few streaks of rust here and there.
you beat me again!” Shui shouted at Stang. They were surveying their
respective boats with some degree of pride.
learned from a master!” shouted back Stang, bowing with hands clasped to
crews were still loading some crates of supplies and weaponry. The
captains boarded their boats. Stang ordered forward and aft mooring lines
Stang yelled across again. “Watch my wake and weep.” He started his
engine. Froth churned from under his stern, the rudder swung to starboard
and ‘Jonah’ lurched from the dockside heading south-west down the
harbour channel and out into the Pacific
Ocean vastness. Stang turned back and waved to his partner.
Shui yelled over the cacophony of diesel exhaust and water wash, “Good hunting old friend,” and returned the wave. Both men preferred a little distance between them, but there was always a little competition to get away from the harbour first. Shui ordered his mooring lines cast off and fired his engine up. He then steered for the Magami Ohashi suspension bridge at quarter throttle, soon passing under that structure heading into the East China Sea via Iojimatodai Park and the open ocean. The hunt was on.
- * -
ACIDIFICATION - ADRIATIC - ARCTIC - ATLANTIC - BALTIC - BAY BENGAL - BERING - CARIBBEAN - CORAL - EAST CHINA
ENGLISH CH - GOC - GULF GUINEA - GULF MEXICO - INDIAN - IOC - IRC - MEDITERRANEAN - NORTH SEA - PACIFIC - PERSIAN GULF - SEA JAPAN
CHINA - PLASTIC
- PLANKTON - PLASTIC
OCEANS - SEA
LEVEL RISE - UNCLOS
AMAZON - BURIGANGA - CITARUM - CONGO - CUYAHOGA - GANGES - IRTYSH - JORDAN - LENA - MANTANZA-RIACHUELO
- MEKONG - MISSISSIPPI - NIGER - NILE - PARANA - PASIG - SARNO - THAMES
- YANGTZE - YAMUNA - YELLOW
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