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."
Injured dying one after the next, people looking for familyured d -- Explanation by the Artist: king fMorning, noon and night, the injured died. White medicines applied [to] burns made pores look bright red. Many were carrying huge loads, calling out, searching for parents, siblings, friends. Relief teams called, 'Anyone here from such and such neighborhood?' I think it was about the 8th when three young soldiers saluted and left. After they left, we heard they were suicide troops sent in from Etajima island. -- The artist was 19 at the time of the bombing, 49 at the time he drew this picture.
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.
A view of the burned-out community and a burned streetcar, taken from Moto-machi, 310 meters from the hypocenter. The photo was taken on August 12, 1945.
This photo shows the city in flame on August 6, as seen from Furuichi-cho, Asa-gun, 7,000 meters from the hypocenter.
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, 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.
A line of burned lunchboxes, Art -- Exlpanation by the artist: buriedAfter morning assembly, they were probably doing calisthenics. They seemed to be junior high students. I wonder where the owners of these lunchboxes were, laid out so neatly. Because this drill ground was near the hypocenter, the lost lunchboxes were burned but still retained their shape, which makes my heart ache. Thinking of the kindness and love some mother put into each, for them to become last lunches. . . -- 360 m from the hypocenter, Western Drill Ground, Moto-machi. The artist was 25 at the time of the bombing, 82 when he drew this picture.
Searching -- Explanation by the artist: "Bodies lined up along the road for pick-up." The artist was 25 at the time of the bombing, 82 at the time when he drew this picture.
Flowers and paper cranes left at the memorial.
Passage from the Memoir of Yasuko Imai (female) â€œThe morning sun shone into the reception room, lighting up a corner where a young man lay facing the wall. He turned his eyes â€“ which probably were losing vision â€“ toward me and mustered his strength. â€˜Nurse,â€™ he called, and I stopped. He said, â€˜I got here before all these other people, canâ€™t the doctor see me yet?â€™ I said, â€˜Iâ€™m sorry for the delay. Iâ€™ll get the doctor to see you right away. You must not give up.â€™ He said, â€˜Excuse me, but please give me water.â€™ He died when he drank a sip of water. I picked up the cup with trembling hands. I could no longer control my feelings. Tears flowed onto my monpe work trousers. How he must have wanted to call out, â€˜Mother!â€™â€
The Fujitsuka home was totally destroyed by the blast. The youngest child in the family, Tadashi (then 4 years old), was exposed outside and severely burned by the blast. He died the next day. When his elder brother, Minoru (then 19), returned from miltary service in September, he was stunned by the death of his young brother and by the utter devastation of the entire city of Hiroshima. This lump of fused glass, ink bottles melted together by the heat, was found in a former ink factory that had stood across the street from the family's home. (Donated by Minoru Fujitsuka.) 1,800 meters from the hypocenter, Matoba-cho.
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.
Ichiji Nakata (then 36) was standing by in his home on military orders. He was shaving when exposed to the A-bomb. His wife Fumiko and their two children were exposed just after they emerged from the bomb shelter. Ichiji and his children died instantly. Fumiko sustained serious injuries but survived. A few days later, Fumiko and Ichiji's mother found a lump of these melted cups in the ruins of their home and took it with them as a keepsake . . . Fumiko died on August 30. The entire family was lost. (Donated by Yukio Nakata.) 1,000 meters from the hypocenter, Teppo-cho
This aerial photo of Hiroshima was taken on August 9, 1945. (Use the magnifying glass tool in the left of the tool bar to enlarge the photo.) The legend in the upper right provides the key for the graphic colors -- buildings in the area in red were totally collapsed and burned, those in the pink area were totally collapsed, those in the yellow area were half collapsed and burned / irreparably damaged. The area of irreparable damage extended out as far as 4 kilometers and beyond. Between the blast damage and the ensuing fires, the devastation of Hiroshima was essentially total.