In 1945, Japan was busy losing their part of WWII to the United States forces. After decades – centuries even – of aggressive and hostile relations with outside influence, culminating in a near-total decimation of Japan’s infrastructure and its isolationist culture in World War II.
Most people remember the two atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but no less influential in Japan’s surrender were the widespread and devastating air raids on the countries major cities. Tokyo was no exception, where more than 50% of the city’s structures were razed and countless people died. Japan probably came as close as any nation on Earth has ever come to experiencing an apocalypse.
However, instead of shrinking away from the world, a new Japan rose from the ashes and Tokyo was rebuilt with the intention of making it the world’s greatest city. And in terms of population, they certainly succeeded, as its 34.8 million inhabitants top the list of the world’s largest cities today.