Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hiroshima - The City for Peace


 
Hiroshima -The City of  Peace

Hiroshima, the landmark of atomic history, is situated in the Kyushu island of Japan. Even after the monestrous disaster that hit this city in the 1945, this place is at present an excellent autobiography of the salient characters of the Japanese , the patience, will power and hardwork. Today this place stand out where each architecture witnessed by the visitors echoes out the need for peace and harmony.

Peace Memorial Park

Peace Memorial Park
The Peaces Memorial Park is situated at the center of Hiroshima city, the earlier known Nakajima district. This place was the political, administrative, and commercial heart of Hiroshima, home to City Hall, the Prefectural Office and Hiroshima's central distribution facilities. On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb in history exploded directly over this area. In addition to the usual inhabitants, thousands of volunteer army corps members and mobilized students were in the area demolishing buildings for a fire lane. Nearly all of these lives were snuffed out as the entire district vanished instantly. On August 6, 1949, with enactment of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law, it was decided that the entire Nakajima District would be devoted to "peace memorial facilities," and that was the beginning of what is now Peace Memorial Park. The park covers approximately 122,100 square meters. It was designed by Kenzo Tange, a professor at Tokyo University, and three others. Along with the hypocenter of the atomic bomb explosion the park contains a number of cenotaphs and monuments in the memory of the to the victims of the day. The places of interest for visitors at the Park includes the Hiroshima National Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, Peace Memorial Museum and the International Conference Center. The famous A-Bomb Dome is at the north end of the park

A- Bomb Dome

Hiroshima Aioi River and A - Bomb Dome

Hiroshima Atomic - Bomb Dome
The A-Bomb Dome is the skeletal ruins of the former Industrial Promotion Hall. It is the building closest to the hypocenter of the nuclear bomb. It has been left as it was found after the bombing in memory of the casualties. The A-Bomb Dome, to which a sense of sacredness and transcendence has been attributed, is situated in a distant ceremonial view that is visible from the Peace Memorial Park’s central cenotaph. It is an officially designated site of memory for the nation’s and humanity’s collectively shared heritage of catastrophe and its view is so agonizing that anybody would wish for a world without bombing and war.The A-Bomb Dome is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Peace Bell

Peace Bell at Hiroshima Peace Park


The Peace Bell is hung inside a a dome-shape roof representing the universe , which is supported by four pillars The Bell is symbolic of creating a world of peace and harmony, free of nuclear weapons. A lotus pond is built around it and every year around the peace memorial day the lotus flowers are seen to bloom. The Bell is symbolic of creating a world of peace and harmony, free of nuclear weapons.







Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall
for the Atomic Bomb Victims

National Peace Memorial Hall
The Hall is constructed to mourn the the atomic bomb victims and to pray for eternal peace, by understanding the horrors of atomic bombs and its aftermath.The Hall includes a monument to 8.15 the time at which the bomb was dropped over Hiroshima and the Hall of Remembrance a place to quietly mourn A-bomb victims and reflect on peace.


Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound



Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound

This memorial mound is in the shape of an imperial tomb from the Momoyama Period (1583-1600) with a pagoda finial and stones at the top . After the bombing this area was covered with innumerable corpses. The corpses from the river were also brought here and cremated. There ashes of about 70,000 victims lie in a vault that lies under the mound.


Children's Peace Monument

Children's Peace Monument
Orgmi Cranes ad message of Peace
Children's Peace Monument
Sadako Sasaki , an elementary school kid was exposed to the bombing at the age of two, and contracted leukemia ten years later and died. Shocked by her death, her classmates put out a national call to "build a monument to mourn all the children who died from the atomic bombing." With the support of students in more than 3,100 schools around Japan and in nine other countries, this bronze statue that stands nine meters high was build. On the top of the three-legged pedestal stands the bronze figure of a girl holding up a gold-colored "folded" crane. On opposite sides of the pedestal are suspended boy and girl figures symbolizing a bright future and hope. On the stone underneath the pedestal is inscribed, "This is our cry. This is our prayer. For building peace in this world." Garlands holding together hundreds of cranes made out of origami paper are placed here by the visitors.

Flame of Peace


Flame of Peace
The pedestal was designed to suggest two hands pressed together at the wrist and bent back so that the palms point up to the sky. It expresses condolence for victims unable to satisfy their thirst for water, as well as the desire for nuclear abolition and enduring world peace.

The flame has burned continuously since it was lit on August 1, 1964. It symbolizes the anti-nuclear resolve to burn the flame "until the day when all such weapons shall have disappeared from the earth."

Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims

Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims

This monument stands in the centre of the Peace Park. It resembles an ancient arch-shaped house, in part because of the desire to shelter the souls of the victims from the elements. Through the monument you can view the Peace Flame and the A-Bomb Dome. The monument is inscribed with the words, "Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil." The stone chest in the center holds the names of persons who died from the bombing, regardless of nationality. Names are added when persons related to a death make application. As of August 6, 2001, the registry comprises 77 volumes that list a total of 221,893 names.

Rest House


Hiroshma A Bomb Zone Rest House
The Taishoya Kimono Shop, was moved from its old location in Saiku-machi on the opposite bank of river, into a newly constructed building in 1929. This structure was a concrete building unlike the usual buildings made from wood . The building was situated only 170 meters from the hypocenter and on August 6, when the bomb exploded over this building, the roof was crushed, the interior destroyed, and everything consumable burned except in the basement. Despite its proximity, it retained its basic shape because it was solidly built with few openings toward the hypocenter side. Thirty-seven people were working there at that  time. All died except for one man who had gone down to the basement to get documents. He died in June 1982.

The basement room is preserved as it was just after the bomb exploded.

The building has served as the Rest House in Peace Memorial Park since 1982.

Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students

Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students at Hiroshima

During the World War, to make up for the labor shortage, the government enacted the Student Labor Service Act in August 1944. This act required students in middle school and higher grades to perform labor service in munitions factories and similar ones through out the country. Many students were required to participate in tearing down homes and other buildings to create fire-breaks to limit the expansion of fire in the event of air attacks. In Hiroshima City, of the roughly 8,400 students in the national upper level schools, about 6,300 died on the day of the bombing.Most students working at various industries around the city were also killed. This tower was erected in memory of the young children who had laid down their lives for the country, who had forgotten to enjoy their play and childhood.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum


Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was established in August 1955. It is dedicated to educating visitors about the aftermath of the world`s first Atomic bomb, that exploded in Hiroshima. The Museum has exhibits and information relating to the world war and, details on the role of Hiroshima in the war up to the bombing, and extensive information on the bombing and its effects, along with substantial memorabilia and pictures from the bombing. By doing so the museum also aims at contributing towards making the world and its people realize the importance of abolition of nuclear weapons throughout the world, and thereby promoting world peace.
The building also offers some marvelous views of the Memorial Cenotaph, Peace Flame, and A-Bomb Dome. It is the most popular of Hiroshima's destinations for school field-trips from all over Japan and for international visitors, too It is  reported that  53 million people had visited the museum till 2005.

Admission  : 8:30 to 18:00 (Last entry at 17:30)
                     8:30 to 17:00 (December 1 to February 28)
                     8:30 to 19:00 (August 1 to 31)

Cost :    Adult 50 yen
             Ages 6-18 30 yen
             Student groups 20 or more are free.

Access 

By Train : From Hiroshima Station, take a street car bound for Miyajima or Eba and get off at Genbaku Dome-Mae.


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