School children leaving paper cranes that they have folded at the memorial.
This model in the Peace Memorial Museum shows the area between and along the Honkawa River and the Motoyasu River. Since the end of the Edo period (1867) it had been the downtown shopping and entertainment district of Hiroshima, as well as an area of historic temples and shrines. -- Because of the threat of air-raids, several streets were being cleared of buildings during the summer of 1945, to create fire lanes. On the morning of August 6, many middle school students lost their lives because they were in this district that morning, working on the demolition of buildings to create the fire lanes. -- At the head of the islnd may be seen the "T" shaped bridge that was the actual target of the atomic bomb dropped by the Enola Gay. On the bank of the river, slightly to the right of that bridge is the copper-roofed building with a dome, the Hiroshima Prefecture Industrial Promotion Hall, that was almost directly beneath the actual point of detonation of the bomb, the hypocenter. The
Because of the summer heat, it was crucial to cremate the bodies of victims quickly, although it was difficult because of the enormous number of bodies. Temporary cremation sites were set up throughout the city to cremate the bodies that were being brought continuously. In this photo we can see the bodies being piled one upon another with firewood to burn the bodies.
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.
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.
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.
Photographs of the immediate after-effects of the A-bomb are very rare. This photo was one of perhaps half a dozen or fewer taken by resident Yoshito Matsushige. It was taken at about 11:00 a.m., on the morning of August 6, at the west end of the Miyuki Bridge, Senda-machi, about 2,270 meters from the hypocenter. It shows survivors of the blast seeking aid for burns and other injuries. The photo has been enlarged to a mural sized image in the Peace Memorial Museum.
The first wave of the horrendous toll taken by the atomic bomb explosion was, of course, the concussion of the explosion and unearthly intensity of the heat of the explosion. These immediate effects were followed months and years later by illnesses resulting from exposure to radioactivity, such as the death of Sadako Sasaki, who succumbed to leukemia ten years later. In this image we see the unimaginable horror of the burns resulting from the blast, which generated heat rays so intense that they charred the patterns of fabrics on to victims' skin.
This pocket watch and belt buckle belonged to Jiro Hataguchi, who was at work, at the Hiroshima Railway Bureau, at the time of the blast. His wife and brother found the watch and buckle and bones four days after the exposion under a safe in his workplace, 1850 meters from the hypocenter.
View looking up at the memorial silhouetted against the sky. The doves are bronze statues.
In this view from the Peace Memorial Museum, in the middle distance we see the Cenotaph, the memorial to the victims of the atomic bomb, and in the distance beyond it, the Atomic-bomb Dome. The buildings of the reborn city of Hiroshima push in around the Peace Park, perhaps encroaching somewhat but perhaps also serving as a celebration of the resurgence of the city in the aftermath of the atomic attack. Very striking and perhaps seemingly incongruous are the â€œHâ€ shaped structures to the right behind the Atomic-bomb Dome in this view â€“ these are the light stanchions of Hiroshima Stadium, the home of the Hiroshima Carp baseball team, a major league team of the Central League. The stadium is just across the street from the northern entrance to the Peace Park and is perhaps two hundred yards from the Atomic-bomb Dome.