Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima: a City Yielded to Peace

Passersby pass by in the garden of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
the dome
A-Dome Cathedral seen in the distance through the Memorial Cenotaph.
A Dome Resistant
The Dome at the bottom of the Peace Memorial Garden.
Ruin The Dome
Detail of the A-Dome (Genbaku Dome), a building whose structure withstood the Little Boy explosion, with its epicenter a few hundred meters away.
Residents pass in front of the Genbaku Dome, ruins of the only building that was not leveled by the Little Boy explosion.
Letters of Peace
Friends play cards on a bench at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Children's Peace Monument
Children's Peace Monument, erected in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
The destruction
Visitor at the Peace Memorial Museum confronts the image of the devastation of Hiroshima after the explosion of the Little Boy atomic bomb.
the hour
Visitors to the Peace Memorial Museum observe the image of a clock that stopped at the time of the atomic explosion over Hiroshima.
the annihilation
Visitors to the Peace Memorial Museum contemplate the devastation of Hiroshima after the explosion of the Little Boy atomic bomb.
destruction mockup
Mockup of Hiroshima after the explosion of the atomic bomb
A Dome Metamorphosis
Panel explains the history of the A-Dome dome, the ruin of the old Prefectural Hall of Industrial Promotion in Hiroshima.
Military leaves the cenotaph that houses the names of all direct and indirect victims of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima.
Facade of the Peace Memorial Museum
The Bomb
Japanese reads the explanatory panel of the A-Dome dome.
Ota River
Scenery of Hiroshima traversed by the Ota, one of several rivers that cross it.
evocative bell
Detail of the date of the tragedy on a Bell of Peace, one of the many monuments in Hiroshima Memorial Park.
sheltered playground
Children play at the Peace Bells, another monument in Hiroshima Peace Park
Field trip
Students sit together outside the Peace Memorial Museum.
visit to the past
Survivor daughter of Hiroshima visits the cenotaph of the city's Memorial.
On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima succumbed to the explosion of the first atomic bomb used in war. 70 years later, the city fights for the memory of the tragedy and for nuclear weapons to be eradicated by 2020.

If not for its remarkable past, the discovery of this populous city in the west of Honshu, the largest island in Japan, would never have been a priority.

Like any outsider, we arrived intrigued by the historical scars we would come to find. We were aware that more than six decades had elapsed since its massive destruction.

The arrival of the bullet train (shinkansen) a local upscale station that housed several similar trains told us more of the futuristic side of Japan. The surrounding urban scene was of little help.

Tram trip aboard the Hiroshima Past

We ask for directions to get to the bus stop. An old green and yellow tram is approaching with the number we should catch. When we climbed up, we finally traveled aboard the city's past.

Hiroden, the company that operates them and the city's buses, was established in 1910. By the beginning of 1945, it already operated dozens of trams. Only four survived World War II but building a metro proved too expensive (Hiroshima is located in a delta).

Hiroshima, city surrendered to peace, Japan

Scenery of Hiroshima traversed by the Ota, one of several rivers that cross it.

Accordingly, the authorities opted to reinforce surface transport. They bought old trams from nearby towns. Today, they combine their service with that of more modern ones.

It's weekend. We pass a pine cone baseball stadium. In the distance, we see the replica of the city's medieval castle. Sooner than we expected, a female voice with a youthful tone, in good Japanese fashion, announces the stop for our departure.

We crossed the same avenue where the tram continued. On the opposite side, we come across the Peace Memorial Park. And, in absolute architectural and temporal solitude, with the ruins of the Genbaku Dome, on the banks of the Aioi River.

Hiroshima, city surrendered to peace, Japan

Residents pass in front of the Genbaku Dome, ruins of the only building that was not leveled by the Little Boy explosion.

The Overwhelming Bombardment that Ended World War II

At the time of the bomb explosion Fat Boy, this building functioned as the Hiroshima Industrial Promotion Hall. Its resistance to explosion continues to amaze scientists.

Due to the intensity of the wind, the crew of the B-29 Enola Gay missed their defined target, a bridge near the Aioi River. The detonation of little boy it took place 580 meters above the ground, as predetermined, but about 240 meters beside the chosen point.

Hours of detonation, Hiroshima, city surrendered to peace, Japan

Visitors to the Peace Memorial Museum observe the image of a clock that stopped at the time of the atomic explosion over Hiroshima.

Even so, from about 100 meters away, it is estimated that the pressure on the building was 35 tons per m².

Within a radius of 2 km, almost no structure was left standing. Widespread destruction took place up to 12 km².

In this space and outside it, between 70 and 80 thousand inhabitants (about 30% of the population at that time) died immediately. Many other inhabitants were injured. And it is known that the uranium (U235) used was inefficient and that only 1.68% of the material in the bomb cracked.

Children's Peace Monument, Hiroshima, city surrendered to peace, Japan

Children's Peace Monument, erected in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.

other japanese cities, including Kyoto were considered possible targets. Hiroshima was condemned for hosting an important army arsenal and a port within a vast urban industrial area.

Furthermore, it was surrounded by hills, which would help to increase the effects of the explosion and convince Japan to surrender unconditionally, in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration.

Hiroshima Peace Park. A Verdant Memorial of a Ruined Japan

We cross the river and the green park.

We walk among groups of Japanese children that schools are keen to take to the memorial to elucidate the darkest period in Japanese history.

Hiroshima, city surrendered to peace, Japan

View of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park with the A-Bomb Dome in the background.

As expected, the innocence of their ages prevents them from assimilating the meaning of that place. Many indulge in demonic games around the monuments and disturb the thoughts and prayers of visitors who continue to suffer from the loss of family members or just Japanese honour.

We entered the museum. For three long hours, we were left in the eerie silence of its rooms, the maps, the videos, the vestiges distorted and transformed in other ways by the explosion and its effects. And to the scenarios reconstructed from the terror experienced by the city.

Hiroshima, city surrendered to peace, Japan

Mockup of Hiroshima after the explosion of the atomic bomb

In that time, the abundance of simplified information also allows us to know and understand several surprising aspects of the tragedy: the fact that Japanese radars detected the planes an hour before the bombing and chose not to send fighters to try to intercept them because they were just three and the Japanese air force needs to save fuel.

We also learn about the incredible fate of Eizo Nomura who survived just 170 meters from the hypocenter (now marked on the ground as a monument) because he is in the basement of an anti-seismic reinforced concrete building.

Hiroshima, city surrendered to peace, Japan

Detail of the A-Dome (Genbaku Dome), a building whose structure withstood the Little Boy explosion, with its epicenter a few hundred meters away.

And the moving drama of Sadako Sakai, the girl who was two years old when the explosion occurred and who, nine years later, was diagnosed with leukemia.

It is known that Chizuko Hamamoto, her best friend, visited her at the hospital. And that, in keeping with the popular Japanese belief that a swan will grant a wish to anyone who folds 1000 origami swans, he offered Sadako the first.

Hiroshima, city surrendered to peace, Japan

Children play at the Peace Bells, another monument in Hiroshima Peace Park

At the time, Sadako was only one year old. It is said that he doubled 644 origami swans before he died and that his friends completed the rest and buried them with the girl.

The Punished Survival of hibakuskas, the Victims of Hiroshima

We return abroad. We found two elderly Japanese women meditating next to the statue of the children of the atomic bomb. We wonder if they won't be hibakusha – survivors of the nuclear attack. His age and his passionate and moved posture lead us to believe it.

In 2010, the Japanese government recognized 227.565 hibakusha, largely still living in Japan and many in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima, city surrendered to peace, Japan

Military leaves the cenotaph that houses the names of all direct and indirect victims of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima.

Of these, 1% suffered from illnesses caused by radiation. All survivors receive financial support, but the medical and financial support provided to the last is special. How special, in a negative way, is their hidden social status.

For decades, ignorance about the effects of radiation has led to hibakusha discriminated for fear of contagion and heredity of diseases. This question faded as the victims, all elderly, died.

Hours of detonation, Hiroshima, city surrendered to peace, Japan

Detail of the date of the tragedy on a Bell of Peace, one of the many monuments in Hiroshima Memorial Park.

The Chimera of Nuclear Peace Propagated by Hiroshima in Peace

It is another of the problematic legacies that Hiroshima is trying to overcome. In 1949, on the initiative of his Most, the Japanese parliament declared Hiroshima City of Peace.

Since then, it has become a desirable venue for international conferences on peace and other social issues. Accordingly, in 1998 the local University founded a Hiroshima Peace Institute.

Hiroshima, city surrendered to peace, Japan

Friends play cards on a bench at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial

As of the date of this text, the current mayor of Hiroshima was the President of Mayors for Peace, an organization whose aim is to mobilize cities and their citizens for the abolition and elimination of all nuclear weapons by 2020.

And at the date of the last revision of the article, May 2020, that goal remained unfulfilled.


Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
Coron, Busuanga, Philippines

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Okinawa, Japan

The Little Empire of the Sun

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Tawang, India

The Mystic Valley of Deep Discord

On the northern edge of the Indian province of Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang is home to dramatic mountain scenery, ethnic Mompa villages and majestic Buddhist monasteries. Even if Chinese rivals have not passed him since 1962, Beijing look at this domain as part of your Tibet. Accordingly, religiosity and spiritualism there have long shared with a strong militarism.
DMZ, Dora - South Korea

The Line of No Return

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Saint John of Acre, Israel

The Fortress That Withstood Everything

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Hue, Vietnam

The Red Heritage of Imperial Vietnam

It suffered the worst hardships of the Vietnam War and was despised by the Vietcong due to the feudal past. The national-communist flags fly over its walls but Hué regains its splendor.

Formosa but Unsafe

Portuguese navigators could not imagine the imbroglio reserved for the Formosa they baptized. Nearly 500 years later, even though it is uncertain of its future, Taiwan still prospers. Somewhere between independence and integration in greater China.
pearl harbor, Hawaii

The Day Japan Went Too Far

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor military base. Today, parts of Hawaii look like Japanese colonies but the US will never forget the outrage.
Tokyo, Japan

The Emperor Without Empire

After the capitulation in World War II, Japan underwent a constitution that ended one of the longest empires in history. The Japanese emperor is, today, the only monarch to reign without empire.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Braga or Braka or Brakra in Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 6th – Braga, Nepal

The Ancient Nepal of Braga

Four days of walking later, we slept at 3.519 meters from Braga (Braka). Upon arrival, only the name is familiar to us. Faced with the mystical charm of the town, arranged around one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist monasteries on the Annapurna circuit, we continued our journey there. acclimatization with ascent to Ice Lake (4620m).
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Architecture & Design
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Ceremonies and Festivities
Cape Coast, Ghana

The Divine Purification Festival

The story goes that, once, a plague devastated the population of Cape Coast of today Ghana. Only the prayers of the survivors and the cleansing of evil carried out by the gods will have put an end to the scourge. Since then, the natives have returned the blessing of the 77 deities of the traditional Oguaa region with the frenzied Fetu Afahye festival.
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A Market Economy

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4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

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Plane landing, Maho beach, Sint Maarten
Maho Beach, Sint Maarten

The Jet-powered Caribbean Beach

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Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center, New Caledonia, Greater Calhau, South Pacific
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South Pacific Great Boulder

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Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

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Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

The Desired City

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Palm trees of San Cristobal de La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands
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East of White Mountain Island

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Correspondence verification
Winter White
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José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

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kings canyon, red centre, heart, australia
Red Center, Australia

Australia's Broken Heart

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Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

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Windward Side, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands
Natural Parks
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The Mysterious Dutch Queen of Saba

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UNESCO World Heritage
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The Holy City of Georgia

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View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
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Stevenson's Treasure Island

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Mangrove between Ibo and Quirimba Island-Mozambique
Ibo Island a Quirimba IslandMozambique

Ibo to Quirimba with the Tide

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Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

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End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
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Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

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Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

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Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.