Bowl from Hiroshima, Japan, 1945.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This porcelain bowl was found among the ruins of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb explosion on 6 August 1945, at the end of World War II. It is a typical piece of Japanese tableware used for pickles and chutneys. The heat of the nuclear explosion caused the glaze of the bowl to melt, and it has fragments of brick and other pottery embedded in it. The family which used the bowl would have been obliterated by the blast; some 80,000 people were killed immediately and a further 60,000 were to die from radiation sicknes and other after effects.