From top left:Hiroshima Castle, Baseball game of Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium, Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome), Night view of Ebisu-cho, Shukkei-en (Asano Park)
Location of Hiroshima in Hiroshima Prefecture
|• Mayor||Kazumi Matsui|
|• Total||905.01 km2 (349.43 sq mi)|
|Population (January 2010)|
|• Density||1,297.2/km2 (3,360/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Camphor Laurel|
Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi 730-8586
Hiroshima (広島市 Hiroshima-shi?) ( listen (help·info)) is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It is best known as the first city in history to be targeted by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, near the end of World War II. The city's name, 広島, means "Wide Island" in Japanese.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Transportation
- 5 Culture
- 6 International relations
- 7 Further reading
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Sengoku period (1589–1871)
Hiroshima was established on the river delta coastline of the Seto Inland Sea in 1589 by the powerful warlord Mōri Terumoto, who made it his capital after leaving Kōriyama Castle in Aki Province. Hiroshima Castle was quickly built, and in 1593 Terumoto moved in. Terumoto was on the losing side at the Battle of Sekigahara. The winner of the battle, Tokugawa Ieyasu, deprived Mori Terumoto of most of his fiefs including Hiroshima and gave Aki Province to Masanori Fukushima, a daimyo who had supported Tokugawa.
Imperial period (1871–1939)
After the han was abolished in 1871, the city became the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture. Hiroshima became a major urban center during the imperial period, as the Japanese economy shifted from primarily rural to urban industries. During the 1870s, one of the seven government-sponsored English language schools was established in Hiroshima. Ujina Harbor was constructed through the efforts of Hiroshima Governor Sadaaki Senda in the 1880s, allowing Hiroshima to become an important port city.
The Sanyo Railway was extended to Hiroshima in 1894, and a rail line from the main station to the harbor was constructed for military transportation during the First Sino-Japanese War. During that war, the Japanese government moved temporarily to Hiroshima, and Emperor Meiji maintained his headquarters at Hiroshima Castle from September 15, 1894 to April 27, 1895. The significance of Hiroshima for the Japanese government can be discerned from the fact that the first round of talks between Chinese and Japanese representatives to end the Sino-Japanese War was held in Hiroshima, from February 1 to February 4, 1895. New industrial plants, including cotton mills, were established in Hiroshima in the late 19th century. Further industrialization in Hiroshima was stimulated during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, which required development and production of military supplies. The Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall was constructed in 1915 as a center for trade and exhibition of new products. Later, its name was changed to Hiroshima Prefectural Product Exhibition Hall, and again to Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall.
During World War I, Hiroshima became a focal point of military activity, as the Japanese government entered the war on the Allied side. About 500 German prisoners of war were held in Ninoshima Island in Hiroshima Bay. The growth of Hiroshima as a city continued after the First World War, as the city now attracted the attention of the Catholic Church, and on May 4, 1923, an Apostolic Vicar was appointed for that city.
World War II and the atomic bombing (1939–1945)
During World War II, the 2nd General Army and Chugoku Regional Army were headquartered in Hiroshima, and the Army Marine Headquarters was located at Ujina port. The city also had large depots of military supplies, and was a key center for shipping.
The bombing of Tokyo and other cities in Japan during World War II caused widespread destruction and hundreds of thousands of deaths. For example, Toyama, an urban area of 128,000 people, was nearly destroyed, and incendiary attacks on Tokyo claimed the lives of 100,000 people. There were no such air raids on Hiroshima. However, a real threat existed and was recognized. In order to protect against potential firebombings in Hiroshima, school children aged 11–14 years were mobilized to demolish houses and create firebreaks.
On Monday, August 6, 1945, at 8:15 a.m., the nuclear bomb "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima by an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, flown by Colonel Paul Tibbets, directly killing an estimated 80,000 people. By the end of the year, injury and radiation brought the total number of deaths to 90,000–166,000. The population before the bombing was around 340,000 to 350,000. Approximately 70% of the city's buildings were destroyed, and another 7% severely damaged.
The public release of film footage of the city following the attack, and some of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission research, about the human effects of the attack, was restricted during the occupation of Japan, and much of this information was censored until the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, restoring control to the Japanese.
As Ian Buruma observes, “News of the terrible consequences of the atom bomb attacks on Japan was deliberately withheld from the Japanese public by US military censors during the Allied occupation—even as they sought to teach the natives the virtues of a free press. Casualty statistics were suppressed. Film shot by Japanese cameramen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the bombings was confiscated. Hiroshima, the famous account written by John Hersey for The New Yorker, had a huge impact in the US, but was banned in Japan. As [John] Dower says: ‘In the localities themselves, suffering was compounded not merely by the unprecedented nature of the catastrophe…but also by the fact that public struggle with this traumatic experience was not permitted.’” The US occupation authorities maintained a monopoly on scientific and medical information about the effects of the atomic bomb through the work of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, which treated the data gathered in studies of hibakusha as privileged information rather than making the results available for the treatment of victims or providing financial or medical support to aid victims. The US also stood by official denial of the ravages associated with radiation. Finally, not only was the press tightly censored on atomic issues, but literature and the arts were also subject to rigorous control prior.
The book Hiroshima written by Pulitzer Prize winner John Hersey, was originally featured in article form and published in the popular magazine The New Yorker, on 31 August 1946. It is reported to have reached Tokyo, in English, at least by January 1947 and the translated version was released in Japan in 1949. Despite the fact that the article was planned to be published over four issues, "Hiroshima" made up the entire contents of one issue of the magazine. Hiroshima narrates the stories of six bomb survivors immediately prior to and for months after the dropping of the Little Boy bomb.
Postwar period (1945–present)
On September 17, 1945, Hiroshima was struck by the Makurazaki Typhoon (Typhoon Ida). Hiroshima prefecture suffered more than 3,000 deaths and injuries, about half the national total. More than half the bridges in the city were destroyed, along with heavy damage to roads and railroads, further devastating the city.
Hiroshima was rebuilt after the war, with help from the national government through the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law passed in 1949. It provided financial assistance for reconstruction, along with land donated that was previously owned by the national government and used for military purposes.
In 1949, a design was selected for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, the closest surviving building to the location of the bomb's detonation, was designated the Genbaku Dome (原爆ドーム) or "Atomic Dome", a part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was opened in 1955 in the Peace Park.
Hiroshima was proclaimed a City of Peace by the Japanese parliament in 1949, at the initiative of its mayor, Shinzo Hamai (1905–1968). As a result, the city of Hiroshima received more international attention as a desirable location for holding international conferences on peace as well as social issues. As part of that effort, the Hiroshima Interpreters' and Guide's Association (HIGA) was established in 1992 in order to facilitate interpretation for conferences, and the Hiroshima Peace Institute was established in 1998 within the Hiroshima University. The city government continues to advocate the abolition of all nuclear weapons and the Mayor of Hiroshima is the president of Mayors for Peace, an international mayoral organization mobilizing cities and citizens worldwide to abolish and eliminate nuclear weapons by the year 2020.
Hiroshima has a humid subtropical climate characterized by mild winters and hot humid summers. Like much of the rest of Japan, Hiroshima experiences a seasonal temperature lag in summer, with August rather than July being the warmest month of the year. Precipitation occurs year-round, although winter is the driest season. Rainfall peaks in June and July, with August experiencing sunnier and drier conditions.
|Climate data for Hiroshima, Hiroshima (1981-2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||18.8
|Average high °C (°F)||9.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.2
|Average low °C (°F)||1.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−8.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||44.6
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||5
|Avg. snowy days||8.7||7.1||2.6||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.2||4.5||23.1|
|Average relative humidity (%)||68||67||64||63||66||72||74||71||70||68||69||69||68|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||137.2||139.7||169.0||190.1||206.2||161.4||179.5||211.2||165.3||181.8||151.6||149.4||2,042.3|
Hiroshima has eight wards (ku):
|Population as of October 31, 2006|
As of 2006, the city has an estimated population of 1,154,391, while the total population for the metropolitan area was estimated as 2,043,788 in 2000. The total area of the city is 905.08 square kilometres (349.45 sq mi), with a population density of 1275.4 persons per km².
The population around 1910 was 143,000. Before World War II, Hiroshima's population had grown to 360,000, and peaked at 419,182 in 1942. Following the atomic bombing in 1945, the population dropped to 137,197. By 1955, the city's population had returned to pre-war levels.
Hiroshima has a train station in Minami-ku, where the Sanyo Shinkansen, the Sanyo Main Line, the Kabe Line, the Kure Line, and the Geibi Line, all of the West Japan Railway Company, have a stop. (In fact, the station is a terminal station for many of those lines.)
Hiroshima is notable, in Japan, for its light rail system, nicknamed "Hiroden" and "The Moving Streetcar Museum". Streetcar service started in 1912, was interrupted by the atomic bomb, and was restored as soon as was practical. (Service between Koi/Nishi Hiroshima and Tenma-cho was started up three days after the bombing.)
Streetcars and light rail vehicles are still rolling down Hiroshima's streets, including nuked streetcars 651 and 652, which are among the older streetcars in the system. When Kyoto and Fukuoka discontinued their trolley systems, Hiroshima bought them up at discounted prices, and, by 2011, the city had 298 streetcars, more than any other city in Japan.
Hiroshima is served by Japan National Route 54, Hiroshima Prefectural Route 37 (Hiroshima-Miyoshi Route), Hiroshima Prefectural Route 70 (Hiroshima-Nakashima Route), Hiroshima Prefectural Route 84 (Higashi Kaita Hiroshima Route), Hiroshima Prefectural Route 164 (Hiroshima-Kaita Route), and Hiroshima Prefectural Route 264 (Nakayama-Onaga Route).
Hiroshima has a professional symphony orchestra, which has performed at Wel City Hiroshima since 1963. There are also many museums in Hiroshima, including the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, along with several art museums. The Hiroshima Museum of Art, which has a large collection of French renaissance art, opened in 1978. The Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum opened in 1968, and is located near Shukkei-en gardens. The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, which opened in 1989, is located near Hijiyama Park. Festivals include Hiroshima Flower Festival and Hiroshima International Animation Festival.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which includes the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, draws many visitors from around the world, especially for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, an annual commemoration held on the date of the atomic bombing. The park also contains a large collection of monuments, including the Children's Peace Monument, the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and many others.
Hiroshima's rebuilt castle (nicknamed Rijō, meaning Koi Castle) houses a museum of life in the Edo period. Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine is within the walls of the castle. Other attractions in Hiroshima include Shukkei-en, Fudōin, Mitaki-dera, and Hijiyama Park.
Hiroshima is known for okonomiyaki, cooked on a hot-plate (usually in front of the customer). It is cooked with various ingredients, which are layered rather than mixed together as done with the Osaka version of okonomiyaki. The layers are typically egg, cabbage, bean sprouts (moyashi), sliced pork/bacon with optional items (mayonnaise, fried squid, octopus, cheese, mochi, kimchi, etc.), and noodles (soba, udon) topped with another layer of egg and a generous dollop of okonomiyaki sauce (Carp and Otafuku are two popular brands). The amount of cabbage used is usually 3 to 4 times the amount used in the Osaka style, therefore arguably a healthier version. It starts out piled very high and is generally pushed down as the cabbage cooks. The order of the layers may vary slightly depending on the chef's style and preference, and ingredients will vary depending on the preference of the customer.
The Chugoku Shimbun is the local newspaper serving Hiroshima. It publishes both morning paper and evening editions. Television stations include Hiroshima Home Television, Hiroshima TV, TV Shinhiroshima, and the RCC Broadcasting Company. Radio stations include Hiroshima FM, Chugoku Communication Network, FM Fukuyama, FM Nanami, and Onomichi FM. Hiroshima is also served by NHK, Japan's public broadcaster, with television and radio broadcasting.
Hiroshima University was established in 1949, as part of a national restructuring of the education system. One national university was set up in each prefecture, including Hiroshima University, which combined eight existing institutions (Hiroshima University of Literature and Science, Hiroshima School of Secondary Education, Hiroshima School of Education, Hiroshima Women's School of Secondary Education, Hiroshima School of Education for Youth, Hiroshima Higher School, Hiroshima Higher Technical School, and Hiroshima Municipal Higher Technical School), with the Hiroshima Prefectural Medical College added in 1953.
Twin towns and sister cities
- Honolulu, United States (1959)
- Volgograd, Russia (1972)
- Hanover, Germany (1983)
- Chongqing, People's Republic of China (1986)
- Daegu, South Korea (1997)
- Montreal, Canada (1998)
Within Japan, Hiroshima has a similar relationship with Nagasaki.
- Pacific War Research Society, Japan's Longest Day (Kodansha, 2002, ISBN 4-7700-2887-3), the internal Japanese account of the surrender and how it was almost thwarted by fanatic soldiers who attempted a coup against the Emperor.
- Richard B. Frank, Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire (Penguin, 2001 ISBN 0-14-100146-1)
- Robert Jungk, Children of the Ashes, 1st Eng. ed. 1961
- Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, ISBN 0-679-76285-X
- John Hersey, Hiroshima, ISBN 0-679-72103-7
- Michihiko Hachiya, Hiroshima Diary: The Journal of a Japanese Physician, August 6 - September 30, 1945 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1955), since reprinted.
- Masuji Ibuse, Black Rain, ISBN 0-87011-364-X
- Tamiki Hara, Summer Flowers ISBN 0-691-00837-X
- Robert Jay Lifton Death in life: The survivors of Hiroshima, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1st edition (1968) ISBN 0-297-76466-7
- Barefoot Gen
- Cultural treatments of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- Masaharu Morimoto
- Perfume, a pop group from Hiroshima
- Sadako Kurihara
- Sadako Sasaki (1943–1955)
- Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms
- Yōko Ōta, author of several works of Atomic bomb literature
- Yoshito Matsushige
- Hakim, Joy (1995). A History of Us: War, Peace and all that Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509514-6.
- "The Origin of Hiroshima". Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. Archived from the original on 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
- Scott O'Bryan (2009). "Hiroshima: History, City, Event". About Japan: A Teacher's Resource. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
- Kosaikai, Yoshiteru (2007). "History of Hiroshima". Hiroshima Peace Reader. Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation.
- Bingham (US Legation in Tokyo) to Fish (US Department of State), September 20, 1876, in Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, transmitted to congress, with the annual message of the president, December 4, 1876, p. 384
- Kosakai, Hiroshima Peace Reader
- Dun (US Legation in Tokyo) to Gresham, February 4, 1895, in Foreign relations of United States, 1894, Appendix I, p. 97
- Jacobs, Norman (1958). The Origin of Modern Capitalism and Eastern Asia. Hong Kong University. p. 51.
- Sanko (1998). Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome). The City of Hiroshima and the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation.
- "Diocese of Hiroshima". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- United States Strategic Bombing Survey (June 1946). "U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey: The Effects of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki". nuclearfiles.org. Archived from the original on 2004-10-11. Retrieved 2009-07-26.
- Pape, Robert (1996). Bombing to Win: Airpower and Coercion in War. Cornell University Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-8014-8311-0.
- "Japan in the Modern Age and Hiroshima as a Military City". The Chugoku Shimbun. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
- The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of History and Heritage Resources.
- "Frequently Asked Questions - Radiation Effects Research Foundation". Rerf.or.jp. Retrieved 2011-07-29.
- Ishikawa and Swain (1981), p. 5
- Selden, Mark. "Bombs Bursting in Air: The US Firebombing and Atomic Bombing of Japan". Asia Pacific Journal. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- Roger Angell, From the Archives, "HERSEY AND HISTORY", The New Yorker, July 31, 1995, p. 66.
- http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2009/08/16/books/the-pure-horror-of-hiroshima/#.UdhVsfnVDTc The pure horror of Hiroshima, published in Japantimes BY DONALD RICHIE.
- Sharp, "From Yellow Peril to Japanese Wasteland: John Hersey's 'Hiroshima'", Twentieth Century Literature 46 (2000): 434-452, accessed March 15, 2012.
- Jon Michaub, "EIGHTY-FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVE: JOHN HERSEY" The New Yorker, June 8, 2010, np.
- John Hersey, Hiroshima (New York: Random House, 1989).
- "広島市 市の木・市の花". Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- Makurazaki Typhoon
- Ishikawa and also Swain (1981), p. 6
- "Peace Memorial City, Hiroshima". Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. Archived from the original on 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
- "Fifty Years for the Peace Memorial Museum". Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
- "Surviving the Atomic Attack on Hiroshima, 1944". Eyewitnesstohistory.com. 1945-08-06. Retrieved 2009-07-17.
- "Library: Media Gallery: Video Files: Rare film documents devastation at Hiroshima". Nuclear Files. Retrieved 2009-07-17.
- "気象庁 / 平年値（年・月ごとの値）". Japan Meteorological Agency.
- "Population of Japan, Table 92". Statistics Bureau. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
- "2006 Statistical Profile". The City of Hiroshima. Archived from the original on 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
- Terry, Thomas Philip (1914). Terry's Japanese Empire. Houghton Mifflin Co. p. 640.
- de Rham-Azimi, Nassrine, Matt Fuller, and Hiroko Nakayama (2003). Post-conflict Reconstruction in Japan, Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, East Timor. United Nations Publications. p. 69.
- "Wel City Hiroshima". Wel-hknk.com. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- "History of Hiroshima University". Hiroshima University. Retrieved 2007-06-25.
- "Introduction to our Sister and Friendship Cities". City.hiroshima.jp. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "Friendly relationship at Official website of Volgograd". Volgadmin.ru. 1994-12-01. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
- "Twinnings of the City of Hannover". Hanover.de - Offizielles Portal der Landeshauptstadt und der Region Hannover (in German). Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit der Landeshauptstadt Hannover. Retrieved 2014-10-13.
- Gyanpedia.in[dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hiroshima.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Hiroshima.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hiroshima in ruins.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article Hiroshima.|
- Hiroshima City official website (Japanese)
- Hiroshima City official website (English)
- Hiroshima before and after atomic bombing - interactive aerial maps
- Hiroshima atomic bomb damage - interactive aerial map
- Peter Rance's 1951 Hiroshima Photographs at the Wayback Machine (archived November 12, 2007)
- City Mayors article
- CBC Digital Archives - Shadows of Hiroshima
- Hiroshima Map - interactive with points of interest
- BBC World Service BBC Witness programme interviews a schoolgirl who survived the bomb