Water! Water, please! -- Explanation by the Artist: -- "'Water! Water! Water!' Voices reverberated through the brick building. I was told, 'get their names and addresses,' so I went around asking them. Some moved their mouths but I couldn't hear what they said. Some were already dead. One answered clearly. 'I'm Hitoshi Miyake. first year, Class 1, First Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School.' A little later I went back to see him and Hitoshi was dead, too. Thinking about how he must have felt, I felt compelled to report his death to his family. On my way home, I found his house and told them. His parents just cried and cried." -- The scene depicted was 2,670 meters from the hypocenter, Hiroshima Army clothing Depot, Deshio-cho (now, Deshio-cho 2-chome). The artist was 17 at the time of the bombing, 74 when she drew this picture.
Family touching each other to confirm their presence. -- Explanation by Artist: "A couple 40 to 45 years old lying in broken glass, their clothes burned, their bodies charred black, were in their death agonies. Yet they kept saying, "please feed our child." They called the name of the child repeatedly as they slipped toward death. Neither they nor their child could see, so they touched each other to confirm that each was still alive. When I went back with riceballs and water on the 8th, all three were dead." The scene depicted was 3,000 meters from the hypocenter, Yoshijima Air Field (now Yoshijima-nishi, Yoshijima-higashi, Konan 1-3-chomo) Artist was 36 at the time of the bombing, 66 when she drew this picture
Staring dazed at scenes from hell -- Explanation by the Artist: The atomic flame turned humans into insects, smashing people like ants. Running blindly, severely burned, covered with blood, pathetic people turned insects formed a picture of hell. Precious irreplaceable lives were snuffed out in the flames. Even the rivers were unrecognizable in the burning city of Hiroshima. Truly, a picture of hell. Worried about my relatives, I stared at it all in a daze." -- The scene depicted was 2,000 meters from the hypocenter, Hijiyama Hill (now Hijiyama Park). The artist was 22 at the time of the bombing, 51 when she drew this picture.
The dominant landscape in Japan is still rural. More than half of the arable land is given over to rice cultivation, and 90% of the laborers are farmers. But 84% of the land area is mountainous- which means that each acre of tillable land must support 3,400 persons. The comparable figure for China is 1,400 while for the U.S. it is only 270 persons. --This was the description to accompany this image as written by Arthur O. Rinden, the photographer. His description, which he referred to as a "script" was to accompany a slide show of the images for his family and others.
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.
In the early period after the war, bicycle were perhaps the most common form of transportation used in Japan, even for the transporting of goods, as seen in this image. [note: description written by IDEAS editor. The photographer, Arthur O. Rinden, did not provide a description for this image.]
The images in this set, "Japan, 1951," are selections from a group of slides taken by Arthur O. Rinden during time that he spent in Japan. Most of the images were taken in 1950 or 1951, while one or two were taken at a later time, as noted. -- After WWII, Arthur and his wife, Gertrude, and one of their children, Edith (called Edaik, the Chinese version of her name, within the family), returned to China. In the spring of 1949, due to the civil war in China, Gertrude and Edith were forced to leave, traveling to Kobe, Japan, where Gertrude had been offered a teaching position at Kobe College. Arthur remained in China until 1950, when he, likewise, was forced to leave China and traveled to Japan, where he spent a year based in Tokyo, working with the Congregational Mission Board, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. -- Unless otherwise noted, the descriptions that accompany these images are quotations of the descriptions written by Arthur Rinden as what he called "scripts," written to accompany slide shows that he prepared for family and others. Note that a few of the images did not have scripts written to accompany them.
The female student I passed was my sister -- Explanation by the artist: "It was like a road but there was no road. Not a single person could get through. I was worried about getting there before dark, so I walked right by two female students. One had bandages on her head and arms. One arm was in a sling of calico cloth. The other was wearing a uniform drenched with blood, her head wrapped, face covered with blood, hair singed red. She looked like a demon. For some reason, I spoke to her and discovered to my astonishment that she was my sisiter. I pinched my cheek thinking I must be dreaming." -- August 6, 1945, 3:30 - 4:00 p.m. -- 800m from the hypocenter, near Dobashi. The artist was 18 at the time of the bombing, 48 when she drew this picture.
The Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Aomic Bomb Victims was erected by the national government in rememberance and mourning of the victims of the atomic bomb explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The hall is built below ground level, with this element above ground. A pool of water, symbolizing the terrible thirst experienced by the victims of the blast, surrounds a circular glass shaft that is a sky light for the interior of the Hall. On the top of the light shaft is a sylized face of a clock, showing forever the time of the explosion in Hiroshima, 8:15 a.m. Around the pool are bits of tile and brick fused by the heat of the explosion, pieces found in the immediate vicinity of the Hall during its construction.
Children polishing shoes in front of Hiroshima station after the war -- "During the final stages of the war over 20,000 of Hiroshima's children were evacuated in groups to the countryside to protect them from air raids. Theri lives were saved, but many lost their entire families to the A-bomb. There 'A-bomb orphans' were variously estimated to number betweeen 2,000 and 6,500. Residential facilities were set up and attempts were made to care for them, but the sorrow of losing both parents could not be healed."
Downtown Hiroshima, engulfed in fire, glowing red, floating in the dark Night of the 6th. -- As seen from Koi, 2,500 meters from the hypocenter. Drawn by Gizo Shimomura.
Early morning, sixty years after the fateful early morning in 1945 -- a view across part of the harbor at Hiroshima, looking toward the city center in the distance, with its skyscrapers and bustling business center. Today Hiroshima is a vibrant city and there is little evidence of the utter destruction that was visited upon this site slightly over half a century ago.
A vegetable and fruit display, with prices listed. Oranges, persimmons, apples, grapes and peaches. --This was the description to accompany this image as written by Arthur O. Rinden, the photographer. His description, which he referred to as a "script", was to accompany a slide show of the images for family and others.
Seaweed gathered and dried before packaging, is a valuable article of food. It furnishes flavor, iodine and salt. --This was the description to accompany this image, as written by Arthur O. Rinden, the photographer. His description, which he referred to as a "script" was to accompany a slide show of images for his family and others.
The photographer, Arthur O. Rinden, did not provide a description for this image
The cenotaph at the heart of the Peace Memorial Park contains this stone chest. The stone chest contains a registry of the names of the known victims of the A-bomb blast. At each annual memorial service, the names of those who have passed away in the preceding year from the effects of the blast or from radiation-caused disease are added to the registry. On August 6, 2001, the list included the names of 221,893 victims who had been identified by relatives. Including other victims who were never identified, it is estimated that the death toll from the A-bomb at Hiroshima now stands at about 240,000 persons. - The cenotaph was designed by architect Kenzo Tange, then a professor at the University of Tokyo. The form of the cenotaph suggests the form of the roof of an ancient form of a house (see image ecasia000870), providing symbolic shelter for the souls of the victims. The inscription on the monument reads, "Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil."
Passage from the Memoir of Tamiko Tsunematsu (female) -- â€œThe flames licked closer and closer, but my mother and I were not able to save either of them. [My sister called out,] â€˜Mother, Tami-chan, hurry and get away. I will die here.â€™ Right after she said those words, my sister seemed to lose consciousness. â€˜Rei-chan, Iâ€™m sorry. Forgive me, forgive me!,â€™ I sobbed. As I walked away I looked back, calling out â€˜Forgive me, forgive me!â€™ I felt as if I would go mad. Mother and I held hands tightly. Then we looked back at our home neighborhood and put our hands together in prayer. The whole of our neighborhood was up in flames all around.â€
Passage from the Memoir of Sumiko Yoshii (female) â€œThe doctors were overwhelmed. Finally, it was my sisterâ€™s turn. The doctor looked at her and said, â€˜This one is beyond hope.â€™ He applied something that looked like vegetable oil to her burns and went on to the next. Suddenly, my sister said, â€˜Sumi-chan, the doctor just said I was going to die, didnâ€™t he?â€™ My sisterâ€™s voice gradually weakened and finally stopped. Then she said quietly, â€˜Thereâ€™s a soft breeze. It feels good.â€™ Then, suddenly, as if slipping into sleep, she murmured, â€˜ Ah! I hear the sacred voices of heaven.â€™ So began her eternal slumber.â€
The Hall of Rememberance is a quiet space with subdued lighting, conducive to the prayer and contemplation to which it is dedicated. It is a round space, suggestive of a chapel, perhaps. On the walls are a photographic panorama taken from a spot close to the center of the blast. The panorama is made of tiles, 140,000 of them - one for each of the persons who died from the blast and its effects by the end of December, 1945. In the center of the space is glowing truncated cone with water constantly flowing down its sides, a symbolic statement reminding us of the suffering of the victims."
We hereby mourn those who perished in the atomic bombing. At the same time, we recall with great sorrow the many lives sacrificed to mistaken national policy. To ensure that no such tragedies are ever repeated, we pledge to convey the truth of these events throughout Japan and around the world, to pass it on to future generations, and to build, as soon as possible, a peaceful world free from nuclear weapons.
This wooden sandal (geta) belonged to a 13-year old girl, Miyoko, who was a first year student at First Municipal Girls High School. Like Teruko Aotani, she was exposed to the atomic bomb blast at a demolition work site. Her body was never found, but her mother found this sandal two months after the explosion and recognized immediately as one having belonged to Miyoko, because she had made the straps herself, using material from her kimono. Miyoko was 500 m from the hypocenter, Zaimoku-cho (now Nakajima-cho). (Donated by Tomiko Inoue.)
Kazuhiko Sasaki, 12-years old, was a first year student at First Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School and was exposed to the atomic blast at his school, 1200 meters from the hypocenter, at Zakoba-cho (now Kokutaiji-machi). After the explosion, his mother walked the city searching for him. On the morning of August 8, she found his body near the school pool and cremated him there. The family later found this shoe, which had belonged to him, in rubble near the school and treasured it as a keepsake. (Donated by Ayako Sasaki.)
Near the point of the Peace Memorial Park, close to the blast hypocenter, is the Memorial Mound. The many bodies that lay strewn in the area near the hypocenter and the bodies pulled out of the river were brought to this site and cremated. Shortly after the end of the war, a vault and a memorial mound were built at the site. In 1955, a permanent vault and mound were built and unclaimed ashes from other sites throughout the city were brought here. It is estimated that the ashes of nearly 70,000 victims lie in the vault, victims whose ashes were unclaimed because the identity of the victims was unknown or because the entire family had perished and there was nobody to claim the ashes.
View of middle section of the upper pond garden at Samboin, a garden built for Hideyoshi in the late 16th c.
Stoneware with white and copper-green glazes, underglaze iron brushwork. - This image shows the opposite side of the vessel shown in image ecasia000366. It is an Oribe-ware ewer, showing the characteristic contrasting elements of Oribe-wares - white glazed areas with underglaze iron brushwork, often geometric patterns based on motifs from nature, contrasted with the freely poured patterns of copper green glaze. -- The image presented in ecasia000366 [enter that i.d. as a keyword search to view the image easily] was photographed in an Art Institute exhibit, "East Asian Ceramics, Then and Now," summer, 2005. It was placed in such a manner that it could be viewed from one side only [no reference to the MOMA Duchamp...]. The view presented here, ecasia000943, was photographed in a different Art Institute exhibit, "The Practice of Tea from the Edo Period to Today," on view during the spring and early summer, 2007. The vessel was placed in a case that allowed the viewing of both sides of the vessel in the second exhibit, permitting this second view, which provides an interesting look at the different nature of the design patterns on the two sides of the spout. On one side, the pattern is entirely the geometricized pattern of the hexagonal motif, perhaps derived from the abstraction of a flower form. On the other side of the spout is a combination of simplified, naturalistic flower motives and geometric abstractions of that form (the five lobed set of dots set around a central dot) and a pattern of straight linear strokes that may be an abstraction of the pattern formed by a fence. All of that activity is combined, of course, with the richness of contrast of created pattern / poured glaze, discussed in reference to image ecasia000366. -- One other point of interest to note in comparing the two views is the different position of the lid in the two views and the very different sense of patterning created by the different positions. -- Coll. Art Institute of Chicago (Gift of Robert Allerton, 1959.5) -- [Note also the difference in the color rendering between the two views, showing dramatically and unfortunately the difficulty of achieving accurate color representation in situations such as these, where the lighting in artificial and over which the photographer has no control. Both images have been edited somewhat to adjust the color balance in the image, but they remain different from one another and it is probably true that neither image is a truly accurate representation of the color of the actual object. This will be compounded by the fact that very few computer monitors are calibrated the same way, meaning that, even if the online images were completely true in color representation, it is likely that they would appear different on every monitor used to view them. Hence, in discussing images viewed online, one must be very careful and somewhat skeptical in discussing color; it is rarely accurate.]