Want to experience what life in Hiroshima was like before, during and after the atomic bombing of 1945? A group of Japanese students from Fukuyama Technical High School have walked back in time to recreate the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 in virtual reality.
The five-minute VR experience has recreated the events of 73 years ago in remarkable VR detail that takes viewers in time to the moment when the atomic bomb was dropped into the city and how it was transformed into a wasteland.
On wearing a virtual reality headset, viewers can roam along the Motoyasu River and see in immersive virtual reality the city of Hiroshima before the nuclear devastation including the buildings and businesses that stood in the city. You can even walk to the Shima Hospital courtyard and the post office in the city and see how they once looked like. Explore around the river banks and hear the birds chirping. Today, all that is left are the skeletal remains of these buildings which is now known as the Atomic Bomb Dome.
As you explore the pre-atomic bomb Hiroshima in virtual reality, you will see a sudden a flash, hear a loud bang and then smoke and darkness. The surrounding buildings begin to disintegrate due to the massive force of the atomic blast.
To recreate Hiroshima in virtual reality, the young students used a series of historic photos as well as postcards that delivered a fairly accurate depiction of the city and the subsequent nuclear tragedy. They also interviewed some of the Hiroshima survivors to get a first-hand experience of what they went through during the devastation and for their feedback on the Hiroshima virtual reality footage. By using computer graphics software, they added extra details to the footage like the natural deterioration on the building surfaces and lighting.
So impressive was their virtual reality simulation that those who lived in the city before the atomic bombs said they recognized the city in VR and appreciated the quality of the immersive experience. By transporting viewers back in time and bringing out the scale of the devastation in Hiroshima, the students hope that the world will learn its lessons and not have to repeat the nuclear Holocaust.
For many of the young students in this project who are barely in their teens and some of whom had never dug too deeply into the history of Hiroshima, discovering the horrors of atomic bombs was quite sobering and many felt the need to share these lessons with the rest of the world.
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