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Watch that melted during atomic blast over Hiroshima sells for more than $31,000

50 Comments
By STEVE LeBLANC

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Doesn't seem right to make money from something like that. It should have found a home in the Hiroshima memorial.

23 ( +26 / -3 )

The winning bidder opted to remain anonymous.

The winner is natch, capitalism.

Surely there bones from the Cambodian Killing Fields and concentration camp gold teeth up for auction too?

I sense a lost business opportunity here.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

This watch price is less than some of the used watches in Ginza and Shinjuku

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Other items featured in the auction included a signed copy of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong's “The Little Red Book," which sold for $250,000;

Here you go too with the idea that capitalism subsumes opposition voices, even in Maoist China.

https://www.ft.com/content/fd087484-2f23-11e9-8744-e7016697f225

China is even jailing Marxist student agitators.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This watch took a licking and it ain't ticking!

This is why nuclear wars are unwinnable and we must never wage one again. Reagan said that himself 40 years ago.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

China is even jailing Marxist student agitators.

China has a new Mao now, with his own set of rules.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

It should be returned to Japan where it came from. This is a case of reselling stolen goods from people fleeing war. I am sure it is, or should be, a war crime.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Hrm...

“It is our fervent hope that this museum-quality piece will stand as a poignant educational symbol...

And later on...

The winning bidder opted to remain anonymous.

Something tells me it went to a private collector and won't be seen again for a while.

That's a bit sad.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Even after surviving an atomic blast, this watch will show the correct time twice a day !

7 ( +12 / -5 )

It is a reminder that nuclear weapons should be given up. Japan was one of the most advanced gun-making societies in the world but as a matter of cultural preference decided to curtail and eventually cease making firearms in the 17th century.  The world can do the same with the bomb.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

It should be in a museum.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

This watch belongs in a Museum, either in Hiroshima or somewhere else. It holds far too much significance to the entire human race to be sitting in some private collector's safe.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Elvis is hereToday  08:57 am JST

It is a reminder that nuclear weapons should be given up. Japan was one of the most advanced gun-making societies in the world but as a matter of cultural preference decided to curtail and eventually cease making firearms in the 17th century.  

Where did you get this info? 鉄砲術existed in the 1500s/1600s. The city of Sakai continued to produce firearms in great quantities until the Tokugawa period. After that, there were no more civil wars, and by the time there was in the 1800s, firearnms had advanced in the West with rifled barrels. Plus there was a glut of guns created by the end of the US Civil War that flooded the world markets.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

and who dropped this nuclear bomb on Japan, which I never read in the article? who knows who did this? that there is no information at all. They only wrote about watches and dollars, but there is no information about what happened

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

Most people think once the genie is out of the bottle it can't be returned. Nuclear weapons could be disposed of as history tells us with Japan and firearms

鉄砲術existed in the 1500s/1600s. The city of Sakai continued to produce firearms in great quantities until the Tokugawa period.

Indeed. Not sure about 'great quantities' bit. Japan adopted the firearm and then gave it up. Samurai went back two swords after the country was unified

Below is a good book:

https://books.google.co.jp/books/about/Giving_Up_the_Gun.html?id=Ph1CKg7F4N0C&source=kp_book_description&redir_esc=y

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Definitely a strong reminder that- even in 2024 - Japan has several totalitarian, freedom-despising close neighbors that threaten to use nuclear weapons and inflict this terror on humanity.

I am sure this haunting piece, wherever it is displayed, will continue to warn humanity of the consequences of nuclear war. There are many such artefacts in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Peace Museums that I implore people to visit and reflect upon.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Elvis is here Today  08:57 am JST

It is a reminder that nuclear weapons should be given up

Actually, when we remove our emotions from this, we cannot fail to realize that nuclear weapons have provided a deterrent effect that have actually made the world safer.

The two bloodiest wars in human history happened during the 20th century before the existence of nuclear weapons. Over 75 million people, combined, were killed in those two wars.

Since the development of these weapons, we have had wars -- but nothing like on that deadly scale.

The presence of nuclear weapons played a major role in ensuring that the Korean War and the Vietnam War, for instance, did not spread and metastasize into massively deadlier conflicts than they already were.

And can you imagine how much the Russia/Ukraine conflict would have expanded and worsened by now, if there were no nuclear weapons to keep things in check?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Actually, when we remove our emotions from this, we cannot fail to realize that nuclear weapons have provided a deterrent effect that have actually made the world safer.

I disagree. Example as a point; the NATO exercise Able Archer 83, which began on November 7, 1983 and is believed to have nearly started a nuclear war with the Soviet Union as the Soviets perceived the exercise as a ruse of war.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Elvis is hereToday  10:17 am JST

Most people think once the genie is out of the bottle it can't be returned. Nuclear weapons could be disposed of as history tells us with Japan and firearms

鉄砲術existed in the 1500s/1600s. The city of Sakai continued to produce firearms in great quantities until the Tokugawa period.

Indeed. Not sure about 'great quantities' bit. Japan adopted the firearm and then gave it up. Samurai went back two swords after the country was unified

That at one time Japan was manufacturig (by hand) more firearms than any other country is true. But we are talking about smooth bore matchlocks based upon what the Portugese brought to Tanegashima. Firearms development continued to advance in the West, but not in Japan.

The Samurai class did not "go back to swords". The wearing of swords was a privelidge of the Bushi Class. The Sengoku Jidai wars were fought with Teppo Tai (Gun troops) along with swords, bows and spears. Starting with Oda Nobunaga. hese Teppo Tai were made up of Ashhigaru of the peasant class, although they were lead by Samurai. Firearms were not part of the Bushi class culture. So when the civil wars ended after Tokugawa Ieyasu attained victory in 1600 starting a 250 year period of no civl wars, there was no need for a Teppo Tai. The Bushi class continued to wear their swords as a symbol of social status, and they contined to practice as an art, but there were no more wars.

If Noel Perrin is suggesting that Samurai carried firearms up to a certain point in time, then gave them up to just carry swords, I;m afraid he doesn't know what he's talking about.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

NCIS RerunsToday  07:41 am JST

China is even jailing Marxist student agitators.

China has a new Mao now, with his own set of rules.

A Communist dictator is still just that. Mao murdered millions of his own with his 'more Commie than thou' Cultural Revolution. Xi is the latest, he did a CCP purge last year. Gotta keep the Party 'pure' as they say. Xi isn't a Mao to say, but it's the same rotten CCP for today. Same crap ideology, different dirtbag.

Laila KholoussiToday  07:52 am JST

It should be returned to Japan where it came from. This is a case of reselling stolen goods from people fleeing war. I am sure it is, or should be, a war crime.

When Saddam Hussein was deposed in the Iraq war, jerks of all kinds were looting the museums of Bagdad and stealing relics from it. It was absolutely sickening to watch on TV. So many cultural and historical relics were destroyed, damaged and later found their way into unscrupulous hands. Relics not just from Iraqi history, not just from Arabian, not just from Mesopotamian, but from the history of all mankind. The very first civilization.

The art supply store Hobby Lobby which used to promote itself as operating under 'Christian' principals like Walmart has also touted was found to be hypocritical in so many ways, too many to list here (just like Walmart). Hobby Lobby got fined over $2B for selling war plunder. They were selling online these ancient cuneiform tablets from the Tigris/Euphrates/Fertile Crescent region. These are the first written records man has ever made, timekeeping and agriculture. That is wrong and obscene. And a war crime.

Since the development of these weapons, we have had wars -- but nothing like on that deadly scale.

The presence of nuclear weapons played a major role in ensuring that the Korean War and the Vietnam War, for instance, did not spread and metastasize into massively deadlier conflicts than they already were.

And can you imagine how much the Russia/Ukraine conflict would have expanded and worsened by now, if there were no nuclear weapons to keep things in check?

Even when the Cold War ended peacefully I knew that the US would have wars, and so would other nations. But US foreign policy has been grossly warped and misguided. We had Panama in 1989-1990 and it had nothing to do with Communism. But since then it's been mostly 'new enemies' that did nothing to offend the US or its NATO allies. What did Iraq do? That's when war became entertainment on TV, a gladiator show. The Yugoslavia wars were messy. And good ol' Moammar of Libya was going to be a problem once again, sooner or later.

Iran has always been trying to create an 'Islamic' bomb. But now with cyberwar a nation can create a mell-of-a-hess without an outright suicide of the human race. Cyberwar has worked in the Kosovo war, the 2011 Libya war, an attack on Iran itself, and it has disrupted elections like the 2016 POTUS elections as well as steal info. Russia does it, the US does it, China does it, cyberpunk hackers do it. Less 'mess' but still dangerous.

Nonetheless this watch should be displayed in a museum somewhere. The US (at least) still has some uneducated boobs who 'think' that we can win a nuclear war then go on as things were. They need to see this and learn something. DUMB!!!!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Runner3...

Doesn't seem right to make money from something like that. It should have found a home in the Hiroshima memorial.

I'm pretty sure I saw one in one of the museums but can't remember if it was Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If Noel Perrin is suggesting that Samurai carried firearms up to a certain point in time, then gave them up to just carry swords, I;m afraid he doesn't know what he's talking about.

You'll need to read the book to find out. It's a short book and very well written. I recommend it. If you are interested in the subject (you know what 足軽 are so I assume you are) it's a very valuable source reference so worth owning.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I hope, or would like to think that the new owner of the watch would permanently loan this watch to the Hiroshima peace museum, so we can all appreciate what it stands for, and remind up of that infamous day, and reflect, and learn, rather than sitting in a safe somewhere, or displayed as trophy item.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Elvis is hereToday  01:35 pm JST

If Noel Perrin is suggesting that Samurai carried firearms up to a certain point in time, then gave them up to just carry swords, I;m afraid he doesn't know what he's talking about.

You'll need to read the book to find out.

Based on your erroneous statement and reference to Perrin's book to support it I already know. Thanks but not worth my money. I suggest you read other books on the topic.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Will do. Sorry to have upset you.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The buyer could also be a Hibakusha or a family of one. The horrors of atomic bombings.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

31,000 USD is not that expensive considering

The buyer could be a Chinese businessman looking for a bit of something out of the ordinary.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

¥4-5 million.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Other items featured in the auction included a signed copy of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong's “The Little Red Book," which sold for $250,000

I got one of those dated 1967 not signed unfortunately

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Elvis is hereToday  04:02 pm JST

Will do. Sorry to have upset you.

Not upset at all. Just don't want folks spreading incorrect information, that's all.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Indeed I hope you are right and the author of the book I have referenced is wrong

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The winner is natch, capitalism.

dagon, I'd like to hear of a better economic system.

Any ideas of something more successful?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This should be returned to Japan. Placed in Hiroshima memorial museum or Nagasaki. Imagine the convo over wine. Hey, want to check out my watch that was recovered after the blast in Hiroshima? How morbid that would be.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Guns of all sizes (smoothbore matchlocks mostly) continued to be produced and used for practice and displays throughout the Edo Period. Most villages had guns for hunting, and there were hundreds of bushi gunnery schools.

The only difference is that they were heavily regulated, each and every gun accounted for under increasingly strict laws by the Tokugawa shogunate, for fear of insurrection.

Sadly, many people have read Noel Perrin's book and formed a mistaken understanding, so it is good to balance it out with others on the subject.

Perhaps the present new owner of the watch will feel inclined to give it to the City of Hiroshima.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sadly, many people have read Noel Perrin's book and formed a mistaken understanding, so it is good to balance it out with others on the subject.

For instance:

Overcoming Myths about Japanese Sword-Hunting and Firearms Control

www.isc.meiji.ac.jp/.../paper/pdf/06/04_Enomoto.pdf

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"The winning bidder opted to remain anonymous."

Of course he did. Why on Earth would you want such a thing, and what would you use it for? Have a party and say, "Hey, check out this Hiroshima watch I've got! Hands frozen to the exact time the bomb went off! Cool, huh?" Notice even in the story they say, "museum-quality piece"... because THAT is where it belongs, to remind us of the horrors of war and be on display for all to see along with other pieces from that atrocity, not as a collection item someone thinks is cool to own. Now, if the buyer heretofore donates it to a museum, I take it all back.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It isn't the Hiroshima Bomb.

It is officially called The Freedom Bomb of Liberty.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Fighto...

Definitely a strong reminder that- even in 2024 - Japan has several totalitarian, freedom-despising close neighbors that threaten to use nuclear weapons....

And one so-called friend that actually dropped not one but two nuclear bombs. On Japan!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

And one so-called friend that actually dropped not one but two nuclear bombs. On Japan!

Old history now. They've well moved past that, even if you haven't.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

“This wristwatch, for instance, marks the exact moment in time when history changed forever."

For the better.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

It should be returned to Japan where it came from. This is a case of reselling stolen goods from people fleeing war. I am sure it is, or should be, a war crime.

What would anybody in Japan want with a half melted price of metal.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Mr KiplingFeb. 24 11:16 pm JST

Definitely a strong reminder that- even in 2024 - Japan has several totalitarian, freedom-despising close neighbors that threaten to use nuclear weapons....

And one so-called friend that actually dropped not one but two nuclear bombs. On Japan!

And yet the US did not run off with Japan's territory. Inb4 US-Japan Security Treaty and TTPI.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wouldn't want to have an object that carries so much karma in my house.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PseudonymouseToday  11:01 am JST

And yet the US did not run off with Japan's territory. Inb4 US-Japan Security Treaty and TTPI.

Probably best not to mention stolen territory by the USA

Why? Has the US stolen territory in 120 years? And everybody was stealing before that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

wallaceFeb. 24  04:09 pm JST

The buyer could also be a Hibakusha or a family of one. The horrors of atomic bombings.

This is solid evidence proving once and for all that a nuclear war is unwinnable. We must never ever do it again. Here's our proof.

Ronald Reagan himself stated that at the 1984 State of the Union address on TV (I saw him saying that). Say what you might about him and his policies as POTUS but he wasn't stupid. Neither was Mikhail Gorbachev.

Yet there's still some ignoramuses in America who think 'we oughta nuke that place to smithereens! Bluuuuuuuuuu-uuuuuhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!'. Show these morons this watch, maybe they'll get it!

PseudonymouseToday  11:01 am JST

And yet the US did not run off with Japan's territory. Inb4 US-Japan Security Treaty and TTPI.

Probably best not to mention stolen territory by the USA or WAR atrocities of mass destruction and crimes against humanity

And yes there's some Americans who say that the US should've never given Iwo Jima back to Japan, or even restored sovereignty to Japan after WW2. They're warmongers and chickenhawks and armchair generals too dense and dumb to realize that Japan is a totally different place now. They don't even realize that their 'hero' Richard Nixon returned Iwo Jima back to Japan during the 70s.

The ignorant in America chose to be that way and that's how things got so screwy here.

Show this watch publicly somewhere so everyone can see the reality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the UK we have a TV programme called antiques roadshow it's where members of the public take items for appraisal to be filmed by expert, the expert listens to there story behind the item, one of the item cropped up some years ago, it was a broken bit of pottery, it was melted, the expert ask what I the story behind it, the owner said that his dad was one of the medics in the army that went into Hiroshima just after the end of the war, the expert valued this broken cup/saucer as worthless but priceless at the same time. The bit of pottery had melted with the heat, the expert said that you have to go over 1500 degrees Celsius before pottery melts, a very sobering thought.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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