Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

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.
Hiroshima After Bomb Picture

Before, I actually went inside the museum, I went to a memorial hall dedicated to the atomic bomb victims.
815 monument
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.
The Hall of Remembrance
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.
Jacket of Female Student
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.
Melted Sand
Here is a what happened to sand at the hypocenter. It was turned into greenish glass due to the extreme heat.
Enola Gay Bombers
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.
Hiroshima Before
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.
Hiroshima After
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. ^^;
Mother and Child
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.
Summer Uniform
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.
Junior High Uniform
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.
Bento
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.
Tricycle and Helmet
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.
Clothes
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.
School Girl with Burns
A school girl with burns. Picture taken between August 8-12 1945.
Sheer Heat
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.
Charred Buddha Statue
A charred Buddha statue after the blast.
Sadako's Cranes
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…..

Sources:
The plaques at the museum
The brochures handed out at the museum
For Figure.fm
Directions:
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.

About these ads

9 comments on “Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

  1. jr51970 says:

    There are no words to describe it all. I knew it was bad but this really brings it to life.

  2. additer says:

    Not so long ago I saw a documentary about Hiroshima. Seeing these pictures makes me wonder – why must someone go through all that…

  3. jr51970 says:

    Hi Andy,

    This is mom…how very sad and devastating…I felt like crying after seeing the descriptions and pictures…you are right, I hope man kind never uses another weapon of mass destruction again…one way this will happen is to never forget the past…Thank you Andy for helping us to remember…

  4. rain says:

    One of the worst events in history. Thank you for sharing this though. Sadly places like Korea and the United States are still meddling with nuclear experimentations. I heard the Peace clock was turned back in September 2010 as a result of “Baccus.”

  5. kifayat ullah mas'ud says:

    29.Nov,2010.

    The massacre of Hiroshima, 9/11 in USA, 7/7 subway tragedy in London,terrorist attacks in hotel Taj in India are considered as the tragedy of whole mankind. I am a peace methodist and taught in my belief that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or to spread mischief in the lands-it would be as if he killed whole mankind and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of whole humanity.

    Thanking you.

    Kifayat ullah Mas’ud
    peace methodist

    and

    Chairperson
    Religions Research Foundation (RrF), Bangladesh
    Discoverer & Corrector : The mistakes of Bengali version noble Qur’an made by the translators 120 year ago.

    • punynari says:

      Greetings.
      I agree that the events you mentioned are indeed tragedies of all of mankind.
      Any acts (military, religious, or based on personal ideals) which cause death and injury to innocent civilians should be considered a tragedy for everyone, regardless of what area of the world one resides.

  6. kerenzie says:

    The radiation from the atomic bomb is actually a lot better than the radiation going down in Fukushima. When an atomic bomb detonates the radiation is dispersed along with the energy from the blast. The left over amounts will be blown away in the wind. Contrary to most peoples’ beliefs on the matter, atomic bombs are actually very clean. They are hydrogen bombs and the radiation to come from them is easy blown away in the wind along with the sheer energy from the blast.

    You would have been fine touching those things. Any radiation that may possibly be found in the soil or sanding objects left over from the blast will not harbor enough radiation of any kind to hurt you or impact your health in any which way or form–even if you were to sit next to or on the object for the rest of your life.

    We are taught at a young age that nuclear and radiation is both bad and scary, but the reality of the matter is that there is both good and bad radiation. There is radiation that can be stopped and cannot even go through something as thin as paper–and thus cannot even pass through your skin to harm you; and then there is radiation that can go through you and hurt you–that if you ingest that kind of radiation that it will continue to emit radiation. But there is also harmless radiation that would not harm you even if you were to ingest it.

    The trick is to know the difference. :)

    • punynari says:

      So I would have been safe touching things at Hiroshima huh? That’s good to know.
      I know absolutely nothing about radiation and nuclear energy, so I sometimes get worried for nothing. ^^;

      Thanks for your comment. (:

  7. Amruta says:

    very sad when peolpe died when the atomic bomb happened

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s