After the US dropped the first atomic bomb in ww2, why didn’t Japan surrender?
Japan did not surrender to the United States after the first atomic bomb for a number of cultural and political reasons. The first of these reasons is that in Japan surrender is an almost impossibility within their culture, with most individuals choosing to commit suicide rather than to give up to the enemy. The US had found this out the hard way in the war when they constantly encountered Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender even when they were entirely surrounded and completely outnumbered. This meant that the Japanese leaders struggled with the idea of surrendering to the United States due to the extreme shame that would come from it. The second reason behind the refusal to surrender was that the United States refused to capitulate in the war and wanted absolute surrender, which would mean handing over total control of the country to the United States. It would also mean the dissolution of the Emperor’s position, which was unthinkable to many devout imperialists within the Japanese government.
Finally, the Japanese had attempted to surrender in a subtle way by asking the Soviet Union, who they had had an uneasy peace with during the war, to be their mediators in the peace talks, but the Soviet Union refused to answer the pleas of Japan and instead declared war on them and supported the US in their invasion.
In all, the cultural abhorrence of surrender along with the American refusal to accept anything other than total capitulation meant that Japan was determined to not surrender to the American forces until the second atomic bombing showed that their position was impossible.