Rare photos of Nagasaki destruction auctioned
A collection of images, including 24 photographs taken the day after the bombing of Nagasaki, were up for auction June 5th at Bonhams New York. According to the auction house, these are the only thorough record of the August 9, 1945 destruction.
Japanese military photographer, Yosuke Yamahata was on assignment in a nearby city when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. After a 12 hour train ride, Yamata - who traveled with a correspondent and artist - arrived in Nagasaki the following day to document the city's destruction. Instructed to capture images of the aftermath to be used as military propaganda, Yamahata shot with two cameras and recorded 119 images.
Although Yamahata managed to hide the negatives, copies of his photographs were seized by the Americans after Japan surrendered. The photographs that were auctioned today were discovered in a photographic album that was created by an American MP between 1945-1946. The album also features a photo of the MP, along with other historical images from the same time period.
We don't have a final auction price but the album, with a total of 250 photographs, was estimated to sell for between $25,000-$35,000/£15,000-£21,000.