Tokyobling's Blog

Daigo Fukuryu Maru – The A-Bombed Ship

Posted in Places by tokyobling on July 5, 2013

If you are ever on the man made Yume-no-shima island in Tokyo’s Koto Ward you can take a few minutes to visit the Daigo Fukuryu Maru exhibition hall. The ship exhibited is an ordinary wooden fishing vessel built in 1947. On a fishing trip in the Pacific Ocean in 1954 the ship had the bad fortune to be hit by nuclear fallout from a US hydrogen testing at the Bikini Atoll, known as Operation Castle Bravo. All 23 members of the crew suffered from acute radiation poisoning and 7 months after the event, the ship radio operator, Mr. Kuboyama died from the radiation poisoning, quite possibly the first human to have been killed by a hydrogen bomb. Later on another 10 members of the crew would die from radiation poisoning. The bomb itself was over 1000 times as powerful as either the Hiroshima or Nagasaki bombs and while the crew of the Japanese ship suffered greatly the fate of the poor native islanders were far worse, many of whom suffered genetic damage and had to be evacuated. The islands will probably never again be inhabitable by humans.

At the exhibition hall you can read in great detail about the atomic bomb testing, as well as see some gruesome photos of actual radiation poisoning in humans.

You can read more about the sad story here.

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4 Responses

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  1. pk1154 said, on July 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    What a sadly ironic name for the ship.

    But it was an H bomb, Edward Teller’s “super” bomb, that was tested that day.

    Like

  2. yoshizen said, on July 6, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I was 9 years old boy when I heard the terrible news of this.
    This ship was actually covered by the fall-out ash. And we kids were
    instructed not get wet by the rain.
    I wonder if all those contamination was really washed off ?

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on July 20, 2013 at 2:54 am

      Yes, fall out ash mixed with caustic lime, the worst possible combination. The ship wasn’t giving up any radiation at all when I visited, so they must have gotten most of it off, the brave crew certainly cleaned it up as well as they could before returning to port.

      It sounds like my experiences of Chernobyl and Fukushima!

      Like


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