Originally, the Peace Museum in Hiroshima, Japan was going to be combined with my Peace Park article. After some more thought, I felt this place needed it’s own article. It was easily the most disturbing, devastating, and emotional collection of artifacts and stories I’ve ever seen. This really goes without saying, but although I refrained from photoing the most disturbing stuff, I will speak about it in here. The sensitive, please stand clear. This is a museum about the first use of an atomic bomb on a populated city in the world after all.
Before, I actually went inside the museum, I went to a memorial hall dedicated to the atomic bomb victims.
Outside of the hall is a clock pointing to 8:15, the time the atomic bomb was dropped. Surrounding the clock are bricks and debris from buildings which had been destroyed in the explosion.
Below the 8:15 clock is a large room called the Hall of Remembrance, where another 8:15 clock is. This time, you are presented with an 360 degree view of what you would have saw if you were standing at the Shima hospital after the bomb went off. The display of the city is made of 140,000 tiles, which is the estimated number of people who lost their lives due to the atomic bomb.
I just took a few minutes in here but it really is overwhelming. It really gives you an idea of what would have looked like.
On the way out, you could see a jacket that a female student wore during evacuation efforts when the bomb went off.
I should say that this is the first museum I have ever been to where they encourage photography. There is only one rule: turn your flash off. The reason they let you take photos, is because they don’t want this to happen again.
Here is a what happened to sand at the hypocenter. It was turned into greenish glass due to the extreme heat.
A pair of binoculars thought to have been used by the Enola Gay (the plane that dropped the bomb) crew members to observe the after effects of the bomb.
This was a fascinating display. This is how the city of Hiroshima looked before the atomic bomb. Note, the A-bomb Dome Building. That’s how it looked originally.
And here’s the after shot. The red marker shows where the bomb detonated. It really gives you an idea of the sheer horror that is the atomic bomb.
I mean, I knew the atomic bomb was bad, I just didn’t know how bad until I went to this museum. Maybe some of the folks I work with should pay this place a visit. They sometimes joke about it. ^^;
This is where the museum started to focus on the human side of the destruction. These wax statues represent a mother and child after the bombing.
The summer uniform of a first year student (13 years old) who was 800 meters from the hypocenter. This was a donation to the museum.
The uniform of a 15 year old junior high student who was also 800 meters from the hypocenter. After the bombing, he some how made it to the his work. His parents were with him when he died.
A bento that was found 600 meters from the hypocenter underneath the body of a first year student on August 9th. The contents were charred black.
I don’t care who you are. You will feel something in this museum. After a while I was just overwhelmed by the tragedy of it all and became disgusted with myself for taking pictures of this. Especially towards the end when they started showing preserved body parts riddled with leukemia.
The tricycle and helmet of a 3 year old boy who was burned to death approximately 1,500 meters from the hypocenter. His father buried him with his tricycle which he loved to ride. Later, he was transferred to the family grave and his tricycle and helmet were donated to this museum.
When I first saw this, I thought they had a real human skeleton in there for a second. The way this museum was heading, it would not have surprised me. Not for sensitive people but sometimes reality is not pretty.
A school girl with burns. Picture taken between August 8-12 1945.
After the human cost of the atomic bomb, they moved on to just how that much heat could warp objects. Here you can see teacups and a glass bottle literally fused to the melted brick. At this area, they also allowed you to touch these warped objects. ^^;
Alas, I am no expert on nuclear energy so I kept my hands to myself. Heck, my mom was actually worried about me traveling to Hiroshima at all because of possible remaining radiation about.
A charred Buddha statue after the blast.
And lastly, some of the paper cranes that were distributed at Sadako’s funeral. Sadako was the little girl who developed leukemia and believed that by folding 1,000 paper cranes she would have her wish granted. A wish to live. These cranes were given at Sadako’s funeral to emphasis how much this little girl loved life.
After the Hiroshima Peace Museum, I felt sick to my stomach, upset, and physically exhausted. I can think of no other way to describe the experience of visiting the site of a nuclear bomb attack. Hopefully, we will never see this evil be used again on humanity as long as we walk on the Earth.
The last part of my trip to Hiroshima will be Miyajima. I needed a break at this point from atomic bomb history and Miyajima was recommended to me by IT1. I was starting to run out of time, so I hurried back to Hiroshima station…..
The plaques at the museum
The brochures handed out at the museum
Hiroshima Travel Guide
This is the guide I used. There’s a handy map as well
And, Utsuho again for the Figure.fm pic. This beautiful image can be found here.