A sea of flames

I came across this small memorial today. Strange that I never noticed it because it's a street go down all the time.

There is a plaque on the corner which reads:


Mar.10.1988 焼け残った電柱を保存する会

(my translation)

In the aerial bombing of Tokyo by U.S. B-29 bombers on March 10, 1945, over 100,000 precious lives were lost and Misujicho (present day Taito-ku, Misuji) was transformed into a sea of flames. The woeful state of that day is etched into this partly burnt electric pole which somehow remained. We, the surviving witnesses of this tragic history, pledge with god as our witness to never again repeat war like the one that that brought this tragedy upon us. We declare world peace for all time.

March 10, 1988 The burnt electric pole preservation association

I am living on the site of the deadliest conventional aerial bombing campaign in history. I thought the Tokyo bombing was spread out over time. No, 279 B-29s dropped 1,700 tons of bombs in a matter of a day, whipping up winds of 50 m/s (over 111 mph--same as most tornadoes) and a firestorm that destroyed over 280,000 houses and buildings, killing and wounding over 120,000 civilians. It is haunting to even imagine the hell of that day.

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  1. Pics of Tokyo after the attacks are quite appalling too.
    "Grave of the fireflies" is a good flick showing what life looked liked for regular folks at the time.

  2. I used to live in that area too. It makes a lot more sense to me now that Yanaka is always associated with surviving the air raids.