Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
December 4, 2008
From journal Japanese-style Inns, Oysters and a Sobering Afternoon
August 22, 2005
In the center of the park are the Cenotaph, Pond of Peace, and the Flame of Peace. All are representations of Hiroshima's commitment to peace and the restoration of their city, as well as a reminder to the loss that war can cause.
Behind the Cenotaph is the Peace Memorial Museum. In the museum, you will find a timeline of the events that occurred on August 6, 1945. It includes stories of individuals who survived and those that did not from before the bomb blast until minutes, days, and weeks after. There are many artifacts from the explosion including watches that were stopped at the moment of detonation to children's bicycles that were twisted from the heat.
WARNING: This museum is build around the Japanese side of the atomic bomb story. As a result, they focus on the deaths of many of the school children and civilians that occurred here and fail to talk, at all, about the fact that there was a hug military presence in the city. Remember when they talk about the school that was destroyed that it was the Japanese Empire that built the military base right next door. There are also graphic displays of death including actual fingers and burned skin from A-bomb victims.
Outside the museum on the park grounds make sure you stop by the A-bomb dome. It was the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall built in 1915. It was one of the only builds to still be partly standing after the blast. Its melted and bent steel frame is a testament to the destructive power of the bomb.
From journal Modern Japan
June 7, 2003
Until today, the second generation of the bomb victims are active in lobbying against nuclear armnament in the park. Visitors are asked to sign petitions against building and use nuclear weapons. In the Peace Memorial museum, visitors can approach volunteers (identifiable by their jackets) who were survivors of the A bomb explosion in 1945 for personal testimonies. However, you have to be fluent in Japanese to converse with them. Otherwise, visitors can proceed to the West building where there are pre-recorded video of the testimonies of survivors, many were school children or young adults then. The video clip has English subtitles.
One particular exhibit that traces a victim's struggle to return home from school after the nuclear fallout reminded me of Hayao Miyazaki's Grave of the Fireflies. One of Japan's wartime efforts to protect women and young children were to send them away from cities into rural areas. As such, many children were separated from their families became orphans during the war.
Sadako's story is also retold through photographs. Her paper cranes are carefully displayed.
Comparisons between the Peace museum and park here and in Nagasaki were inevitable. Both seek to drive home one message: to eliminate all nuclear weapons for the sake of world peace.
How to get there:
Take the streetcar bound for Hiroshima Port (Ujina) and alight at Chuden-mae, in front of Chugoku Electric company.
The museum opens from 9am - 6pm and closes from Dec 29th to Jan 2nd. Admission is 50 yen (or 40 yen if you produce the Seto Inland Sea welcome card). Ask for an English pamplet. There are also English pre-recorded audio guides to the museum for 300 yen per recorder.
From journal City reborn