Hiroshima’s Pain & Strength
I went to Hiroshima last week. I only knew about Hiroshima from the nuclear bombing back in 1945. So I was very curious to see how the city looks like now. We checked the city out on the internet and there’s a few site that is of the nuclear bombing…the A-Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park and its museum, The World Peace Cathedral and even the Hypocentre of the bomb when it blew about 600m above the ground.
When we got to Hiroshima, the city looked pretty modern actually. Somewhat newer buildings that Osaka’s. We got to the A-Bomb Dome at night. It was by the river and the park was dark with only little green light illuminating the dome. It was an eerie sight looking at it in the night and the first thing that we blurted out was ‘do you think there’s still radiation coming out from the building?’ yea I know quite a stupid comment…but with the radiation leakage from the Fukushima reactor that happened just on the March earthquake, radiation hasn’t really been far from our thought these days :s but indeed, it was a very very sad view from what’s left from the nuclear bombing…The building itself was left intact to remind people of what happened on August 6th, 1945
When we got back to the hotel, I quickly wiki-ed about the Hiroshima bombing :p
The Hypocentre which was the centre of the nuclear bombing is now a clinic not far from the A-Bomb dome. The bomb happened to fall on a hospital at that time, and killed everybody inside instantly. It was supposed to fall above the T-Aioi bridge, which was much centered on the heart of the city
The Peace Memorial Park is a beautiful modern & peaceful park that yet still reminiscing of what happened on that day. The Cenotaph of the A-Bomb victims are located quite right at the centre of it. There’s a distinctive arch that frames the A-Bomb Dome from a far and I learned later that inside the arch is placed stone chests with inscription of the A-Bomb victim names. Btw, the nuclear bomb goes by A-Bomb in here. There are still flowers put in front of the stones for the victims. I’m sure many people still holds that day closed to their hearts as they lost their relatives in the incident 😦
The Peace Memorial Museum is where you can learn a lot about the bombing and how Hiroshima recovered from it. Heck, what I learned from Wikipedia is nothing to what’s in this museum. We spent hours inside it! There are miniature displays of the city before & after, photographs of what happened, stories about the victims & what’s left of their belongings, which really touched my heart. It came to a point beyond my understanding of how human beings could do this such thing to another human beings! A lot of the victims were also happen to be students who were mobilized to deconstruct buildings around the area at that time. I looked at their belongings that were burned badly from the radiation light and fire. Glasses were burnt, steels were melted and bent, clothes were torn, gosh can you imagine what could happen to human bodies!
Before the A-Bomb
After the A-Bomb…and all is to the ground with one, just one explosion
A destroyed Buddha statue
Can you imagine how it would feel like to get exposed by the radiation right away when it could melt steel, glass and even charred stones…
A real photograph taken minutes from the incident
There are photographs of the burned victims but I just didn’t have the heart to take pictures of it….
Have you heard that folding a thousand of origami crane can grant your wish? Well, this Children’s Peace Monument is to commemorate a life story about a girl, Sadako Sasaki, who became a victim of A-Bomb after she succumbed to leukimia from the high exposure of radiation. She kept folding little origami crane until her death in 1955 at the age of 12. Origami were found everywhere around the statue with only 1 message ‘PEACE’. It’s here where I could feel the power of origami crane, how it is maybe the wish of children around the world to wish for peace and a world without nuclear. The statue itself is beautiful and yet strong to deliver the message. I love the little girl statue on top of it holding up the crane and the bell itself that is made into a gold crane. There was a little girl who hit on the bell at that time…it was a sweet and genuine portrayal of what the monument stands for
We passed the A-Bomb Dome again. Well it’s totally a different feeling than if you pass it at night :p We also walked on the T-Aioi bridge, the bridge was supposed to be the Hypocentre on the bomb. It overlooks the A-Bomb Dome on the left and the Peace Park on the right
Even now that I’m writing this post and looking at the pictures again, I’m still mournful over what happened on that day. It’s not just the effect of the bomb itself that destroy a whole city to the ground, but it’s the lingering radiation effects on the people, the children, the babies and even the ones still in pregnancy! But I have to give it up for Japan for its determination on restoring the city and building the city back when many experts claimed that the land wouldn’t be habitable even after 75 years and look at the city now 🙂 Do you know that in the Fall of that year, red flowers grew on that land?
This is an excerpt from the Peace Memorial Museum
Check out my sketch from this tragic event