On August 6, 1952, seven years after the bombing of Hiroshima, five war orphans unveiled the cenotaph for the victims of the A-bomb blast. It is known as the Memorial Monument for Hiroshima, City of Peace. Approximately 1,000 persons attended the unveiling ceremony. Each year, on August 6, the memorial service is held in front of this monument located in the Peace Memorial Park. In this photo from 1952, one can still see private houses that had been rebuilt after the war in the area that is now the Peace Park.
Hiroshima: A-bomb Dome. Plaque at entrance to site of the A-bomb Dome in the Peace Memorial Park.
The First Elementary School, 2,600 meters from the hypocenter, and other building that survived the blast throughout the city were used as relief stations to provide the very minimal aid that was available to the victims of the blast.
In this photo of the ruins of Hiroshima, taken in the autumn, 1945, we can see a plant that had come back to life and blossomed. Superimposed on it is a poem of great hope and affirmation. It is displayed near the exit of the Peace Memorial Museum.
Flowers and paper cranes left at the memorial.
In a chapter of Japanese history that has only recently begun to be discussed openly, Japan colonized Korea in the decades leading up to the Second World War. Before and during the war, many Koreans were brought to Japan, many of them as conscripted laborers. At the time of the A-bomb explosion in Hiroshima, there were many Koreans in Hiroshima and it is estimated that as many as 20,000 Koreans may have died in the explosion. Given the enmity between the Japanese and the Koreans, and what some would label a prejudice against Korean nationals, the Japanese perhaps did not initially acknowledge fully the loss of Korean lives at Hiroshima. The plaque in this photo, at the monument erected on the edge of the Peace Memorial Park in 1970, describes the plight of the Korean victims.
Photograph taken near the Yokogawa Station in October, 1945, showing the makeshift huts in which survivors were living.
At the top of the monument, which is nine-meters high, is this bronze statue of a young girl, perhaps a reference to Sadako Sasaki. In her hands, she lifts a golden crane above her head. The crane carries dreams for a peaceful future. -- On the sides of monument are bronze figures of a young boy and another young girl.
Over-view of the monument erected on the edge of the Peace Park in 1970, by a group of Koreans. It is dedicated to the many Koreans who died or were injured in Hiroshima by the A-bomb explosion.
This model from the Peace Memorial Museum presents what remained in the central target area after the explosion of the atomic bomb. It represents the site on the afternoon of August 6, or perhaps on August 7, when the consuming fires had died out. The remains now known as the A-Bomb Dome are in the upper left. Because the force of the blast was almost directly down on that brick building, rather than outward, some of the walls remained standing, although the interior was entirely crushed and collapsed by the blast. Several other buildings in the vicinity also remained standing or partially standing; they were buildings constructed of high quality steel-reinforced concrete. Everything else is gone, either destroyed by the initial force of the blast or consumed by the raging fires that immediately swept the city, leaving essentially nothing by the end of the day.
This is another of the very rare photographs of the immediate aftermath of the bombing. The photo, taken by Yoshito Matsushige, shows victims huddled at the west end of the Miyuki Bridge, 2,270 meters from the hypocenter, about 11:00 a.m., August 6, 1945. In the book, The Viewfinder Clouded with Tears, Mr. Matsushige writes, "I fought with myself for 30 minutes before I could take the first picture. After taking the first, I grew strangely calm and wanted to get closer. I took about ten steps forward and tried to snap another, but the scenes I saw were so gruesome my viewfinder clouded with tears."
Photograph of the mushroom cloud rising over Hiroshima taken about two minutes after the explosion. Photograph taken from the Kanda bridge, Furuichi-cho, about 7 kilometers from the hypocenter, the point of detonation.
Detail of the memorial to the children who perished in the atomic blast on August 6, 1945, showing the statue at the memorial and strings of paper cranes left by school children visiting the memorial.
Approximately 240,000 names of victims who were exposed to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima are written in the Hiroshima Register of Deceased Atomic Bomb Victims. It is stored in the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims (Memorial Monument for Hiroshima, City of Peace). -- A room in the National Peace Memorial Hall houses a searchable registry of the names and, when available, photographs of the victims. The photographs of the victims are displayed serially on this wall panel monitor. The photos include persons of all ages and stations in life; the bomb destroyed lives indiscriminately.
Strings of paper cranes left at the Memorial Mound in the Peace Memorial Park.
The A-bomb devastated nearly all administrative agencies and destoyed official documents. Thus, the exact number of deaths due to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima remains unknown. Many victims were never identified. -- According to a document submitted by the city of Hiroshima to the United Nations in 1976 entitled 'For the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and the Reduction of All Armed Forces and All Armaments,' an extimated 140,000 (plus or minus 10,000) people died as a result of the A-bomb between August 6, 1945, and the end of December that year.
Many children who were exposed to the radiation of the A-bomb blast while still in their mother's wombs were born with what has become known as "A-bomb microcephaly." Such children suffered from mental retardation or physical disabilities. They have been cared for by relatives, with independence for them being difficult or impossible. As their care-giving relatives age, assistance for them has become a major issue.
Within the protection of the monument rising above them are several objects, including a bell, a golden crane, and an inscription carved on block of stone. The golden crane is on the end of the pull for the bell and visitors may grasp it to ring the bell as a prayer for peace. The bell is inscribed with two phrases, â€œA Thousand Paper Cranesâ€ and â€œPeace on the Earth and in the Heavens,â€ written in the handwriting of Dr. Hideki Yukawa, Nobel Laureate in Physics. Beneath the bell is the block of stone bearing a carved inscription that reads, â€œThis is our cry. This is our prayer. For building peace in this world.â€
This detail of the base of the monument shows part of the Korean inscription on the column, the tortoise supporting the column, as well as strings of paper cranes and maps of Korea left by visitors to the monument.
On August 6, 1945, at 8:15 am, the first atomic bomb in history exploded approximately 600 meters above and 160 meters to the southeast of the Hiroshima Prefecture Industrial Promotion Hall. Because the blast was almost directly above the building, some of the walls remained standing, as did the iron structure of the dome at the top of the building. After many years of controversy, in 1966, the Hiroshima City Council passed a resolution calling for the preservation of the ruins in perpetuity, as a reminder of the tragedy of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. In December, 1996, the A-bomb Dome, as it now is called, was registered on the World Heritage List \"...as a historic witness to the tragedy of human history\'s first use of a nuclear weapon and as a universal peace monument appealing for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of lasting world peace.\"
These origami paper cranes were among those distributed at her funeral. In a story now known worldwide by millions of school children, Sadako Sasaki was exposed to the atomic bomb as an infant of two years age. She appeared to have escaped harm from the exposure, until ten years later, when, in her sixth year in elementary school, she suddenly became ill with leukemia. She was hospitalized and fought for her life for eight months, before succumbing to the leukemia. During her illness, she continually folded paper cranes, believing that they would help her to recover, and the paper cranes have come to be a symbol of both tragedy and hope. Sadako's death gave birth to a movement to erect a monument in the Peace Park to all of the children who perished in the A-bomb explosion.
The Cenotaph is a shrine to the victims of the A-bomb blast. Their names are listed in a registry in a stone crypt in the Cenotaph, which lies in the Peace Memorial Park on the axis between the A-Bomb Dome and the Peace Memorial Museum. The tables in the middle foreground in this image hold sand in which one may place an upright burning stick of incense in memory of those departed; flowers are placed at the front of the Cenotaph daily by visitors. Through the Cenotaph, one may see the Atomic Bomb Dome in the background. Viewed from the side, the Cenotaph is seen to turn upward at its ends, creating a form perfectly reminiscent of the form a haniwa house or the form of an old rural farm house still seen in some areas of Japan.
Immediate effects from the heat and from the force of the blast and of the ensuing fires in Hiroshima. The glass bottles in this image were melted and deformed by the heat of the atomic bomb blast and the heat of the resulting fires, which consumed Hiroshima as an immediate after-effect of the initial explosion. The stacks of coins on the left in the image were fused together by the heat. The temperature required to cause these effects may have been in the vicinity of approximately 1500 degrees Fahrenheit and, obviously, the effect of this heat on human victims was unspeakable. These items are on display in the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima.