Today, anime retailer Animate sent out an unusual tweet: Its shop in Osaka’s Nipponbashi neighbourhood will be closed for several hours tomorrow. The reason? A one-ton bomb.
Picture: 13 Dougakki
This past March, construction workers discovered the one-ton bomb in Nipponbashi, Osaka’s geek district also known as “Den-Den Town”. According to NHK, the bomb was American-made and dates from World War II. Bombs that didn’t go off are still found all over Japan.
During the War, the Americans bombed much of central Osaka flat. Below, you can see Namba, which is near Nipponbashi, after the 1945 air raids.
Now, this area is densely packed with buildings and people.
The bomb, which measured around six-feet in length and approximately two feet in diameter, was found near the street known as “Ota Road” (“Ota” as in “otaku”). Animate is also located nearby.
In the top photo, via blog 13 Dougakki, you can see the construction site with the blast area for the bomb. As NHK reports, a radius of nearly 300m is being sealed off and people will not be allowed to enter. Included in that is the geek street Ota Road.
The area’s 2200 or so residents are being asked to take safety outside the perimeter, and approximately 500 businesses wil be temporarily closed from 7.30am. The Japanese Self-Defence Force will begin removing the bomb at 8am, and if all goes as planned, work should be done by noon.
This past March, there was concern that the bomb’s discovery could cause the Nipponbashi Street Festa to be cancelled. The bomb site was closed off, and the cosplay-heavy event went on as scheduled.