Read The Plaque http://read-the-plaque.appspot.com Always read the plaque en-us A-Bomb Dome http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/a-bomb-dome http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/a-bomb-dome 2017-06-16 18:20:23.397170 A-Bomb Dome A-Bomb Dome

The building now known as the A-bomb Done was designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel.  Completed in April 1915, the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall soon became a beloved Hiroshima landmark with its distinctive green dome.

 

While its business functions included commercial research and consulting services and the display and sale of prefectural products, the hall was also used for art exhibitions, fairs, and culture events.

 

Through the years, it took on new functions and was renamed the Hiroshima Prefectural Products Exhibition Hall, then the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall.  As the war intensified, however, the hall was taken over by the Chugoku-Shikoku Public Works Office of the Interior Ministry, the Hiroshima District Lumber Control Corporation, and other government agencies.

 

At 8:15 a.m., August 6, 1945, an American B29 bomber carried out the world’s first atomic bombing.  The bomb exploded approximately 600 meters above and 160 meters southeast of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, ripping through and igniting the building, instantly killing everyone in it.

 

Because the blast struck almost directly above, some of the center walls remained standing, leaving enough of the building and iron frame to be recognizable as a dome.

 

After the war, these dramatic remains came to be known as the A-bomb Done.

 

For many years, public opinion about the dome remained divided. Some felt it should be preserved as a memorial to the bombing, while others thought it should be destroyed as a dangerously dilapidated structure evoking painful memories.

 

As the city was rebuilt and other A-bombed buildings vanished, the voices calling for preservation gathered strength.  In 1966, the Hiroshima City Council passed a resolution to preserve the A-bomb Dome, which led to a public fundraising campaign to finance the construction work.  Donations poured in with wishes for peace from around Japan and overseas, making the first preservation project possible in 1967.

 

Several preservation projects have since been carried out to ensure that the dome will always look as it did immediately after the bombing.

 

In December 1996, the A-bomb Dome was registered on the World Heritage List as a historical witness conveying the horror of the first use of a nuclear weapon, and as a world peace monument appealing continually for lasting peace and the abolition of such weapons. 

 

To help protect the dome, the national government designated the area around it as a historic site under the Cultural Properties Protection Act, with a larger area in and around Peace Memorial Park set aside as a buffer zone.

 

Submitted by

Bryan Arnold

 

@nanowhiskers                      

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Shirakami-sha Shrine http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/shirakami-sha-shrine http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/shirakami-sha-shrine 2017-06-16 18:20:16.582600 Shirakami-sha Shrine Shirakami-sha Shrine

Shirakami-sha Shrine

 

In the old days when the sea-level covered this location, a fire-lit white paper was placed on the reef as a safety marker.

 

The words “paper” and “god” are both pronounced “Kami” in Japanese.  Afterward, a small shrine called “Shirakami” was built on the reef.  “Shirakami,” meaning “White God,” was worshipped by the people as the head shrine of the tutelary deity in Hiroshima from the late 16th to the 17th century.

 

Submitted by

Bryan Arnold

 

@nanowhiskers

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Peace Memorial Park http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/peace-memorial-park2 http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/peace-memorial-park2 2017-06-16 18:19:53.199730 Peace Memorial Park Peace Memorial Park

Peace Memorial Park

 

This park was established at this location for reasons given below:

1.     1. This area is close to the hypocenter where a large number of people perished around here.

2.     2. Located between two rivers, this area was deemed suitable for a water front park.

With the A-bomb Dome on the northern top of this triangular-shaped park, the Flame of Peace, the Memorial Monument for Hiroshima, City of Peace (the A-bomb Memorial Cenotaph), the Peace Memorial Museum, and the Fountain of Prayer are symmetrically laid out in a line from north to south.

 

 

Submitted by

Bryan Arnold

 

@nanowhiskers

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Seito Bridge http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/seito-bridge http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/seito-bridge 2017-06-16 18:19:12.569850 Seito Bridge Seito Bridge

Seito Bridge

 

From this site Seito Bridge once spanned the Seito River, a river created when Terumoto Mori built Hiroshima Castle in 1591.

 

The Buddhist sage Ekei lived in a house near the river.  He was the founder of Kokutaiji Temple, and when the bridge was built, he held a high-ranking position, (“Seito,” a Tofukuji one of the “Five Great Zen Temples” in Kyoto.  The name of both the river and the bridge derived from his position.  It was a covered bridge said to have been about 4.5 meters in width.)  it had railings, a tiled roof, and a door at the west entrance.

 

Submitted by

Bryan Arnold

 

@nanowhiskers 

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Norman Cousins http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/norman-cousins http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/norman-cousins 2017-06-16 18:19:07.097770 Norman Cousins Norman Cousins

Norman Cousins

1915 – 1990

U.S.A.

 

WORLD PEACE will not be achieved by drift or default.  The goal must be defined, the approaches must be accepted, the responsibilities must be fixed

-Norman Cousins

 

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Bryan Arnold

 

@nanowhiskers

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Monument of Prayer http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/monument-of-prayer http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/monument-of-prayer 2017-06-16 18:19:01.104700 Monument of Prayer Monument of Prayer

Monument of Prayer

 

The Monument of Prayer was completed on August 15, 1960, on the fifteenth anniversary of the end of the war, by the Committee to Carry out a National Festival of Prayers for Peace to Comfort the Spirits of the Dead, sponsored by the New Japan Association.  This monument is dedicated to peace and to comforting those who died for their country in various crises including the Second World War.  The monument has the figures of a young couple on a pedestal holding their child in their arms.  It was designed by Yoshizumi Yokoe, a sculptor.  Just to the right in front of the monument is a stone engraved with a poem by Hirshima-born poet Atsuko Oki entitled, “Praying for Peace and the Peaceful Repose of the Departed Souls.”

 

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Bryan Arnold

 

@nanowhiskers

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Bell of Peace http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/bell-of-peace http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/bell-of-peace 2017-06-16 18:18:39.264800 Bell of Peace Bell of Peace

Bell of Peace

We dedicate this bell

As a symbol of Hiroshima Aspiration:

Let all nuclear arms and wars be gone,

And the nations live in true peace!

May it ring to all corners of the eart

To meet the ear of every man,

For in it throb and palpitate

The hearts of its peace-loving donors.

So may you, too, friends,

Step forward, and toll this bell for peace!

 

Dedicated September 20th, 1964

By Hiroshima Higan-No-Kai.

 

 

Submitted by

Bryan Arnold

 

@nanowhiskers

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Pond of Peace and Flame of Peace http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/pond-of-peace-and-flame-of-peace http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/pond-of-peace-and-flame-of-peace 2017-06-16 18:18:38.559970 Pond of Peace and Flame of Peace Pond of Peace and Flame of Peace

Pond of Peace

 

The Fifth Japan Junior Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s member conference held in Hiroshima in the fall of 1956 concluded with the words “Commemorating this even, we shall bequeath a memorial to Hiroshima.”  As a result of the gift of Junior Chambers of Commerce throughout Japan, the Pond of Peace was constructed on July 31, 1957.  The unveiling ceremony for the gift to the city of Hiroshima took place on the following August 3.  The pond encircles the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims and was designed to make the Cenotaph seem as if it were floating up out of the pond’s waters.  By the time the Flame of Peace was built on August 1, 1964, the committee responsible for construction of the pedestal of the flame had altered the pond to its current dimensions by increasing its width to 17 meters and its length to 70 meters backward from the cenotaph.

 

Flame of Peace

 

At the northern edge of the “Pond of Peace,” there is the “Flame of Peace” which was built with donations from all over Japan.  It was designed by Tokyo University professor Kenzo Tange and completed on August 1, 1964.  Symbolizing the universal desire for a world free from nuclear weapons the flame will burn until the day when all such weapons shall have disappeared from the earth.  The flame lies in a direct line between the cenotaph and the A-bomb Dome.  The pedestal is an abstract rendering of two hands opening upward.  At its completion, the flame was lit by representatives of the 35 temples, shrines and churches in Japan as well as representatives of Japanese industry who brought torches symbolizing religion and industry.  About 10,000 observers offered silent prayer.

 

Submitted by

Bryan Arnold

 

@nanowhiskers

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Korean Victim Memorial http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/korean-victim-memorial http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/korean-victim-memorial 2017-06-16 18:18:36.879180 Korean Victim Memorial Korean Victim Memorial

Monument to Korean Victims and Survivors

 

At the end of World War II there were about 100,000 Koreans living in Hiroshima as soldiers, civilian employees of the army, mobilized students and ordinary citizens.

When the atomic bomb was dropped on August 6th, 1945, the sacred lives of more than 20,000 Koreans were suddenly taken from our midst.  Of the 200,000 Hiroshima citizens lost to the bomb, approximately 10% were Koreans.  This tragic figure cannot be quietly left unnoticed.

 

The Korean victims were given no funerals or memorial services and their spirits hovered for years unable to pass on to heaven.  Then, on April 10, 1970, this monument was erected in this corner of Hiroshima, the City of Peace, by the Hiroshima Prefectural Branch of the Organization of Korean Residents in Japan.  This monument was erected in the hope that the souls of our compatriots, brought to misery through force, will be able to rest in peace.  It is also an expression of our demand that the A-bomb tragedy will never be repeated.

 

We pray, of course, for the solace of those lost souls longing for their homeland, but killed on foreign soil.  However, we also pray that the plight of the Korean survivors, poorly understood even today, will emerge into public awareness and that reasonable assistance for these survivors will be provided immediately.  A memorial service for the Korean victims of the bomb is held here every year on August 5th.

 

The Junior Federation of Commerce and Industry of Korean Residents in Japan and Concerned Volunteers

 

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Bryan Arnold

 

@nanowhiskers

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Nakajima District http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/nakajima-district http://readtheplaque.com/plaque/nakajima-district 2017-06-16 18:18:23.589590 Nakajima District Nakajima District

Nakajima District (100 to 700 meters from the hypocenter)

From the middle of the nineteenth Century to 1945, the Nakajima District (presently the site of Peace Memorial Park) was among the most lively and prosperous districts in Hiroshima.  On August 6, 1945 this area, almost directly under the bomb, was entirely obliterated.  On that day many students and Volunteer Corps Members had been mobilized from their schools, communities and workplaces to demolish houses for a fire lane near what is now Peace Boulevard.  Burned beyond recognition, clustered near the river where they sought water, all of them perished.

(The Tragic Destruction in Nakajima-honmachi, September 1945, photo by Yuchiro Sasaki)

 

 

Submitted by

Bryan Arnold

 

@nanowhiskers

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