Fact Check

Nagasaki Arch

Photographs show arch in Nagasaki which withstood an atomic bomb and an earthquake/tsunami?

Published June 28, 2011

Image courtesy of @PicturesFoIder/X

Claim:   Photographs show an arch in Nagasaki which withstood an atomic bomb and an earthquake/tsunami.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, June 2011]

I have a question ...

Nagasaki 1945, after the atomic bomb:

Nagasaki 2011, following earthquake and tsunami:

What the f*ck is that arch made of??

Origins:   The answer to the question posed above is that the arch in these pictures (a torii, a Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of a Shinto shrine) is traditionally made of wood or stone. The gist of the question is moot, however, because these photographs are of two different arches.

The first picture shows a torii still standing after the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki in August 1945. Nagasaki is on the western side of Kyushu, the southernmost of the Japanese main islands.

The second photograph is not from Nagasaki, but from the Kozuchi shrine in Otsuchi (Iwate prefecture) on the northeast coast of Honshu, after a tsunami struck that area in March 2011. Geographically, these two arches are on opposite sides and ends of Japan.

A Daily Mail article compares images of the aftermath of Hiroshima and the March 2011 tsunami.

Last updated:   28 June 2011

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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