☢ Genbaku ☣

広島

Hiroshima  is an industrial city of wide boulevards and criss-crossing rivers, located along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea. Although many only know it for the horrific split second on August 6, 1945, when it became the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack, it is now a modern, cosmopolitan city with excellent cuisine and a bustling nightlife.
At 8:15 on August 6, 1945, Little Boy — the first atomic bomb to be used in war — detonated almost directly above 原爆ドーム. The building’s vertical columns were able to resist the nearly vertical downward force of the blast, and so at least some of the building managed to stay intact.
The center of the blast was displaced 490 feet (150 m) horizontally and 1,968 feet (600 m) vertically from the dome, having slightly missed the original target, which was the distinctive “T”-shaped Aioi Bridge. Everyone inside the building was killed instantly. 

平和公園 

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The ruin serves as a memorial to the people who were killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
Over 70,000 people were killed instantly, and another 70,000 suffered fatal injuries from the radiation.
Most of the memorials related to the atomic bomb are in and around the Peace Memorial Park. Once part of the busy Nakajima merchant district, this area was destroyed almost in its entirety by the bomb. Today, there are more than fifty memorials, statues, and other structures in the Park. Some will be obscure in their meaning; others are immediate and devastating.
 
The skeletal remains of the A-Bomb Dome are the most recognizable symbol of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima.
In another lifetime, the building was one of the city’s best-known sights for an entirely different reason; designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel in 1915, the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall (and its fanciful green dome) had a bold European style in a grimy, crowded city with few modern flourishes. 
Because the explosion took place almost directly above the building, the walls remained largely intact, even as the dome shattered and the people inside were killed by the heat of the blast. Initially, as the city rebuilt, it was left alone simply because it was more difficult to demolish than other remains in the area; gradually, the A-Bomb Dome became the symbol it is today.
Today, the benches around the Dome are a favorite spot for Hiroshima natives to read, eat lunch, or simply relax.
One block east of the A-Bomb Dome is a plaque which marks the hypocenter, the exact point above which the bomb exploded. 
 

Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students

原爆の子の像

The Children’s Peace Monument is perennially draped in thousands of origami paper cranes folded by schoolchildren across Japan in the memory of the young bomb victim. Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who died from radiation from the bomb. She believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes she would be cured. To this day, people from around the world fold cranes and send them to Hiroshima where they are placed near the statue.
The Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students commemorates the 6,300 students who were conscripted to work in munitions factories and killed in the atomic bomb. There are statues of doves scattered throughout its five levels; at the base is a beautiful Kannon statue, always draped with origami cranes.
Tens of thousands of forced laborers from Korea were working in Hiroshima at the time of the attack. The Monument in Memory of the Korean Victims of the A-Bomb was erected outside the Peace Park in 1970, and only moved within its boundaries in 1999. Today, the turtle at the base of the monument — symbolically carrying the dead to the afterlife — tends to be draped in his fair share of colorful origami cranes and flowers.
The Peace Bell nearby, is engraved with a world map, drawn without borders to symbolize unity. The public are welcomed to ring the bell — not coincidentally, the log is aimed to strike an atomic symbol.

Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims

Inside the Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims is a stone chest with a registry that is intended to contain the names of every known person who died from the bombing, regardless of nationality. Names are added as hibakusha pass away from diseases thought related to the radiation of the bomb. 
The Japanese inscription reads, “Let all the souls here rest in peace, for the evil shall not be repeated.” 
At the other end of the pond from the Cenotaph is the Flame of Peace. It is said that the fire will burn until the last nuclear weapon is gone from the earth.
Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, The Peace Memorial Hall is dedicated to collecting names and photographs of people who died in the blast. The entrance of the museum leads downward to a quiet hall for contemplation, and then back up again to a set of kiosks with compelling stories and recollections from survivors. Like the Cenotaph and the Peace Memorial Museum, it was designed by architect Kenzo Tange. 
The Gates of Peace were installed in 2005 on Heiwa-o-dori, just south of the Peace Park, by a pair of French artists. On the sidewalk and the surface of the gates, the word “peace” is written in 49 languages. The ten gates are meant to represent the nine circles of hell from Dante’s Inferno, plus a new one: the hell created by the atomic bombing.
More than a half century has passed since the atomic bombings, and the passing on of war and survivor experiences has become a major issue.
To raise peace consciousness and ensure that the A-bomb experience is conveyed accurately to coming generations, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum provides opportunities for the visitors to listen to eyewitness testimony by A-bomb survivors and to see A-bomb documentary films.

Peace Memorial Museum 

平和記念資料館 
 This heart-wrenching museum documents the atomic bomb and its aftermath, from scale models of the city “before” and “after” to melted tricycles and other displays and artifacts related to the blast.
 
Some are extremely graphic, evocative, and quite disturbing. . Allow plenty of time afterward to decompress.
The atomic bombs killed several hundred thousand people, many instantly in the nuclear fire, many later with burns, injuries and radiation sickness, and still many others, over the years, with cancers and birth defects. 
These deaths continue to this day. Like most of the cities bombed in World War II, the majority of the inhabitants were women, children and the elderly.
Before the war began, bombing cities was considered an act of total barbarism; there were no “conventional bombs” and it certainly was not considered “conventional” to target civilian populations for mass destruction.
But this ideal was shattered early in the war, and eventually all sides engaged in mass bombing raids against cities and civilians.
By the time the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, 50 million people had already died in World War II. The bombing/murder of civilian populations had occurred so many times that it was no longer even regarded as unusual.
I believe this is perhaps the greatest tragedy of the war, and it set the stage for the Cold War and the nuclear arms race that followed.
The rest of the museum describes the post-war struggles of the hibakusha and an appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons in the world today. Be warned: a visit here, while absolutely worthwhile, will ruin your day.
 
The Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound nearby, holds the ashes of 70,000 bomb victims who were unidentified or had no living relatives to claim them. Services are held in their memory on the 6th of every month.
 
 
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ 
One week later, we’re back in Tokyo. Not forgetting what we’ve seen; and felt, we’ve learnt to see life in a different light. It was a valuable lesson learnt. Life is precious, you only have one. Live it to the fullest.~
 
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hidekiuriel

About Joshua Hideki

Hi! I'm Hideki. You can call me Josh! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ Welcome!!~ This is a Travel Blog covering Japan, and many other bits & pieces of my personal life. Photography, Blogging, Fashion & Traveling in Style. A travel guide for everyone with these passions. Absorb the mesmerizing atmosphere, take in amazing sights & let the enchanting ambiance take you away as you embrace different cultures & see the world through my eyes - my Eternal Memories. Visit my Blog at: JoshuaHideki.com ! Come discover Japan from the inside with me and also we'll provide you with the best destinations to visit; and that includes the rest of the World too! Please enjoy! Discover Japan & Travel the World with me!! Life is precious, you only have one so live it to the fullest!

2 thoughts on “☢ Genbaku ☣

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