National Geographic Goes to Japan, 1946 (2)

Having weighed some potatoes, a sales girl calculates the price on her soroban.

The original caption overline reads: "School Lets Out in Nagasaki. A Ridge of Hills Mercifully Sheltered These Children from the Atomic Bomb", which makes the nuclear explosion above the city sound like a natural disaster. After all, the Americans themselves could have exercised mercy — by not dropping the bomb in the first place. One wonders what they would have done if, in August 1945, they had had three atomic bombs. Presumably, they would have dropped the third one as well, and would then have claimed the third bombing was also necessary to "hasten the end of the war".

Keeping clean in "poverty-stricken Tokyo".

The original caption reads: "Lottery Tickets, Phenomenon of Defeat, Sell on Streets: By draining off surplus earnings into its lottery, the Government hopes to curb inflation. American troops, who can't read the tickets, are loath to invest."

Japanese colonists, uprooted from homes in Korea, return to Japan by boat.

Displaced people crowd a platform at a Tokyo station.

The original caption reads: "Tokyo Housewives Draw Their Half Rations at a Food Distribution Center: Once the average Japanese got five cups of rice a day; now he is lucky to have two. Last March Tokyo's rice dwindled to a three-and-a-half-day supply."

A tricycle cart is repaired.

Well, what could be funnier, or more absurd, than a Japanese car?

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