Monday, April 04, 2016

The Great Tokyo Air Raid Map

Seventy one years ago, in March 1945, over 300 U.S. B-29 bombers dropped around 1,700 tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo. The raid killed more than 100,000 Japanese men, women and children and left over a million people homeless. The NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation have marked the 71st anniversary of the Great Tokyo Air Raid with a new interactive map.

The Great Tokyo Air Raid Map includes a number of videos from survivors of the air raid. These first hand witness accounts are plotted on the map in the districts in which the participants were living at the time of the raid.

The map is in Japanese only so unless you speak Japanese you probably won't learn much from the witness videos. However the map also includes shaded areas which indicate the areas burned by the incendiary bombs and the evacuation zone. The red shaded area provides a shockingly clear indication of the devastation caused by the air raid on Tokyo. You can also view the damage caused by the bombing in two archive news reels (accessed via the little arrow on the right-hand side of the map).

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