3 December 2013
Shadow of the Dead
Carbon Shadow left after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima
In the image appears to have been taken in black and white at first glance, but once you look closer you can see some color in the bricks. We see what appears to be the shadow of a person along what seems like a staircase that may be leading up to some kind of commercial building. The strange part about the image is that there is not a person who is casting the shadow. At the bottom of the steps there is a grate that runs along the bottom of the stairs and the edge of the sidewalk. The sidewalk is made of bricks that are laid on the grid, but the bricks seem old and weathered. The steps are a lighter gray in this sidewalk is darker in color closer to black. The shadow is a shade of grey that seems close to in between the shade of the steps in the shade of the sidewalk. The shadow is of an older person because it appears that they had a cane in their hand. The picture is not taken completely horizontally, the edges of the steps in the cracks in the brakes are running at a diagonal going down from left to right. The shadow is in the center of the picture, with the feet on the grate, and the head going towards the top of the stairs.
This picture was taken most likely in August 1945. World War II in Europe had recently ended in the United States and its allies were still fighting Japan in the Pacific. The United States did not want to invade the main island of Japan because we would have lost thousands of troops in the government did not want any more American casualties. Instead of sending troops in, President Truman decided to drop an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima after “the Japanese government announced its plans to ignore the terms of the Potsdam Conference,” which called on Japan to surrender immediately (U.S. Army Center of Military History). Because the Japanese ignored the threats and continued fighting,...