It’s been 70 years since the terrible explosion at Hiroshima and Nagasaki occurred, but the scars remain indelible in the history of Japan. The Hiroshima peace memorial in Japan stands a silent testimony to the turbulent upheavals of the city.
Although it sounds eerie, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial also known as the Genbaku Dome/ A-bomb dome is the only structure standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded on 6 August 1945. It is a stark symbol of the destructive force created by mankind which also denotes hope and peace for the world around to eliminate nuclear weapons.
It has been preserved as a ruin from the remains of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotional Hall, which served as a hub to promote commercial and industrial production in the prefecture. Ironically, it was the place targeted by the pilots to drop the bombs and now it is one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites.
As you enter the place you will stumble upon a large park about 120,000 square meters and the lush green, tranquil space is surrounded by the Motoyasu River which runs past the Genbaku Dome. It was converted to a park and was not redeveloped only to devote this place to peace and harmony. It has two buildings, the museum and the dome. The museum has curated the history of Hiroshima and the advent of the nuclear bomb.
The East wing of the museum exhibits photographs, panels and videos showing the actual history of Hiroshima before and after the bomb attack. The main building exhibits victims’ belongings and references which show the misery of the bomb attack.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial was built and designed by a group headed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, after the II world war, who also designed the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Every year people release paper lanterns on the Motoyasu River facing the Genbaku Dome in remembrance of bomb victims of Hiroshima. A peace memorial ceremony is held on August 6th every year where a moment of silence is observed to comfort the spirits of the people who died in the bombing and also to pray for world peace.
The memorial distinctly expresses the strength of humanity rising up from the ruins so perfectly and also conveys a strong message to people, that peace cannot be taken for granted and to never repeat the tragedy to anyone across the world.
Note: The exhibition rooms of the Museum’s East Building is closed for renovations until spring 2016. Currently, the Main Building is open to visitors.
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