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Hoax – Nagasaki Arch Survives Both Atomic Bomb and Tsunami

by Brett M. Christensen

This story was first published on 1st July 2011

Circulating message claims that attached photographs depict an “arch” in the Japanese city of Nagasaki that somehow survived both the atomic bomb blast of 1945 and the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

Brief Analysis:
The photographs are genuine but they do not show the same “arch” (more correctly known as a “torii”). Moreover, while the first photograph does show a torii at Nagasaki, the second photograph depicts a torii at the Kozuchi shrine in the Japanese town of Otsuchi.

Subject: Fw: … I have a questionI have a question….

Nagasaki 1945, after the atomic bomb

Nagasaki After Atomic Bomb

Nagasaki 2011, following earthquake and tsunami

Torii after Tsunami Japan

What the f@#k is that arch made of?

Detailed Analysis:
This message, which has circulating via email and social media since 2011, claims that two photographs taken many years apart show the miraculous survival of an “arch” in the Japanese city of Nagasaki. According to the message, the first photographs show the arch still standing after the city was all but destroyed by the atomic bomb blast of 1945 while the second photograph shows the same arch, again still standing, after Nagasaki was devastated by 2011’s earthquake and tsunami.

The photographs themselves are genuine but, in fact, they do not depict the same “arch” or even the same city.

The type of structure referred to as an arch in the message is actually a torii a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or sometimes inside a Shinto shrine.

The first photograph does depict a torii at Nagasaki after an atomic bomb was dropped on the city on August 9, 1945. The same photograph is included on numerous historical websites discussing the bombing. The photograph was taken by army staff photographer Yosuke Yamahata who began to record the devastation of the city on August 10, 1945, a day after the bomb was dropped.

However, the second photograph does not depict the torii at Nagasaki, but rather another torii leading to Kozuchi shrine at the town of Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture, Japan. Otsuchi was indeed devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011.

Nagasaki is located some 1300 kilometres away from Otsuchi. Nagasaki was not directly affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,