One thing that I really wanted to do on my recent trip to Japan was visit Hiroshima. I didn’t get a chance to go when I was in Japan in 2005 so it was one of the first places I put on my itinerary when planning this trip. Obviously, the three main places to visit while in Hiroshima are the Peace Memorial Park, the Peace Memorial Museum, and the A-bomb Dome (Genbaku Dome). On other pages on this site I’ve added pictures and details of the Peace Memorial Park and the A-bomb Dome. However, this post is dedicated to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
As you’re no doubt aware, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is largely dedicated to the horrific US atomic bomb attack that took place at 8:15am on 6th August 1945. For that reason, some of the subject matter on this page could be disturbing. However, the Peace Memorial Museum is also dedicated to Hiroshima’s constantly battle for peace since then and the attempts of the city and its subsequent mayors to send a message of peace and nuclear disarmament around the World. On this page are photos of some of the exhibits in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Some of the photos speak for themselves but where I think an explanation is necessary, or where I have a particular comment to make, I’ve included one.
Seeing photos on this page can never make up for the experience of being there yourself, but I hope that they go some way to spreading the message of peace from Hiroshima.
This is what the city of Hiroshima looked like just before the atomic bomb was dropped on it. The building to the left of the river with the green roof is the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, the building that commonly became known as the A-bomb Dome.
Since 1968, every time there’s been a nuclear weapons test somewhere in the world, the mayor of Hiroshima has sent a telegram of protest. These telegrams are sent to the country conducting the test and each telegram expresses the hope that it will be the last such one that will ever need to be sent. There were as many as this again on the other side of the wall.
This is probably one of the saddest facts about the atomic bomb, and nuclear weapons in general. Even after the war is over and “peace” has apparently returned to the World, peoples’ lives are still being ruined by the bomb. Many of them people who weren’t even born until after peace was declared.
You can see the Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound in the Peace Memorial Park.
The drawing above was done by an a-bomb survivor. It’s clear the images that he had in his mind of that day. People threw themselves into the rivers to escape the searing heat and attempt to cool their melted skin, which was hanging off. Thousands of corpses were seen floating in the river by the A-bomb Dome.
The pocket watch above was being carried by 59-year-old Kengo Nikawa over a mile away from the hypocentre of the blast. It was given to him by his son and he always carried it with him. As you can see, the blast stopped the watch at 8:15. Kengo suffered major burns to his shoulder, back, and head. He died just over 2 weeks later from his injuries.
The shirt above belonged to 13-year-old schoolgirl Nobuko Oshita. She was about half a mile away from the hypocentre of the blast. Relief corps workers found her alive and returned her to her parents but she died later that night.
A replica of the “Little Boy” atomic bomb that did all the damage to Hiroshima.
The tricycle above was being ridden by Shinichi Tetsutani who was aged 3 years and 11 months at the time of the blast. Although Shinichi was 1.5km from the hypocentre of the blast, he was exposed and died the same day. As his father didn’t want to bury his son alone in a distant grave, he buried his body in the back garden along with the tricycle. Forty years later, in the summer of 1985, Shinichi’s bones were dug up and placed in a formal grave. The tricycle was donated to the Peace Memorial Museum.
The dark mark on the old bank steps above is the shadow created by a man who was sitting there when the atomic bomb detonated. See the next picture for more information…
These girders were distorted and ripped apart by the blast.
This stack of small glass bottles was melted and fused together by the heat from the atomic bomb blast.
What I’ve captured here are some of the more shocking images and stories from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the ones that I feel more people throughout the World should be aware of, especially when they’re considering if there’s really a place for nuclear weapons in our society. The museum also covers a lot more though, particularly the efforts of Hiroshima and its people to promote nuclear disarmament and peace throughout the World. If you ever get the opportunity to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum then I strongly suggest that you take it.
You can also visit the official Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum website