Sanno Shrine after Atomic Attack on Nagasaki

Statues of Amida Buddha and Jizo in Sanno Shrine after atomic attack on Nagasaki. One-legged Torii (short for bird place or expression "pass through and enter") of Sanno Shrine at extreme right. This Shinto Shrine nestles among towering camphor trees at the edge of the former Urakami kaido, the narrow road used by Edo-Period travelers entering Nagasaki from the north through the Urakami Valley. The shrine was founded in 1652 and named after Sanno (Hie) Shinto Shrine near Kyoto because of the similarity in the terrain and the fact that both shrines were located in a place called "Sakamoto." The two enormous camphor trees flanking the entrance to Sanno Shinto Shrine were probably planted at the time of the shrine's foundation. Located about 800 meters from the hypocenter, Sanno Shinto Shrine was completely flattened, except for one of its Torii Gates on the far side of the hypocenter and the half-flattened Torii in the extreme right of the photo. While the neighborhood and the shrine were rebuilt after the war, the one-legged Torii was left as a reminder of the power of the explosion as a memorial to the 74,000 Nagasaki residents who were killed immediately or by the lingering effects of radiation between August 9 - December 31, 1945. The camphor trees were originally thought to be killed in the blast, but they survived to bloom again and were designated a national landmark on February 15, 1969.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
National Archives
Date Photographed: 
Monday, September 24, 1945
Nagasaki Prefecture