Hiroshima Peace Memorial
The tragedy that Hiroshima underwent in the past serves as an important historical reminder of the dangerous, often deadly after-effects of war. While the city has rebuilt itself, a peace memorial stands as a constant reminder to honor peace and prosperity above all.
A Look into the Past
Japan has many interesting places with a colorful history. One such place is Hiroshima. Many people think of the tragedy of the atomic bombing incident when they hear the word “Hiroshima.” Many people died and suffered tragically during that incident, and it will be remembered as one of the world’s most tragic incidents in the history of Japan and the world. But, Hiroshima and its people are nothing but resilient. They have built the Hiroshima Peace Memorial not only as a symbol of the city’s tragic past but also as a reminder to themselves that they can get up from whatever setbacks the past may have thrown at them.
Once a small fishing village, and eventually became an urban center in Japan. It is considered a major industrial hub for the country. The city also played an important role in terms of military activity. Because Hiroshima was an integral part of Japan’s economy, the United States decided to bomb the city as part of their efforts to stop Japan from invading during WWII.
One of the reasons why Hiroshima was bombed was because the city was already rather prosperous because of trade with nearby cities. It was also the center of military activity. The Hiroshima Castle was created back in the early 1590s by the powerful feudal lord Mori Terumoto, a significant political power in Japan during those times. At this point, the city also prospered and transitioned from a small fishing village to something more industrial. During this period, industrial plants and other factories were built, which made the city even more prosperous.
Because of Hiroshima’s stature and economic contributions to Japan, it became the prime target during World War II in the late 1860s. The United States dropped an atomic bomb that was the first of its kind during that period. The impact of the bomb was horrifying. Around 70,000 people were killed, millions of homes and infrastructures were on fire, and around 140,000 were killed from the after-effects of the bombing. This nuclear bomb travesty is one of the world’s biggest tragedies.
- The Atomic Bomb (or A-Bomb) Dome, also called the Genbaku Dome, is located at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. This was the only structure left after the nuclear bombing travesty. The Genbaku Dome symbolizes not only the horrific past of Hiroshima, but it is also a symbol of hope for world peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons.
- The Children’s Peace Monument was created as a dedication firstly to Sadako Sasaki, who was a victim of the bombing. She was exposed when she was two years old but survived the bombing. She, later on, developed leukemia and died when she was 12 years old. Her classmates decided to put up the Children’s Peace Monument for all the children who suffered because of the war. The monument is filled with paper cranes from children across the globe who sympathize with Japan.
- The Hiroshima Rest House was formerly a kimono shop prior to the bombing. It was eradicated during the bombing but Japanese locals decided to rebuild it. Currently, it offers guidance for tourists, a gift shop, and a rest area.
It was Kenzo Tange who built the Memorial Cenotaph. He built it as a reminder for those lives lost during the bombing at Hiroshima. The architecture of the cenotaph is also significant. The curved dome represents protection. Here, you can also see the list of people who died because of the travesty.
Peace Flame and Peace Bells
The Peace Flame is another symbol of the horrific bombing at Hiroshima. This flame will not be turned off until every single nuclear bomb is gone from the surface of the Earth.
The Peace Bell was donated by the Greeks to symbolize their apathy with the Japanese during the trying times of the Hiroshima bombing. It is said to be a symbol of the anti-war movement.