Peace Memorial is the monument to pass on the horror and misery caused
by the nuclear weapon used in Hiroshima for the first time
in human history.
Popularly, Japanese people call "Genbaku Dome". ("Genbaku" means "atomic bomb".)
It is located in the central part of Hiroshima city, and is about 2.5 km west of JR Hiroshima station.
In 1915, the building named Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition
completed near Motoyasu River in the center of Hiroshima city.
The building was originally designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel.
In 1933, the name of the building was changed to Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall.
The Western-style building had become Genbaku Dome a dozen years later.
The Pacific War (World War II) between Japan and the United States was
started in 1941.
But in the early part of 1945, Japan had been going to lose clearly, because many cities on mainland of Japan had already been attacked by U.S. air raids since mid-1944.
In July 26th, the Allies issued the Potsdam Declaration to call for Japan's unconditional surrender.
But Japan government passed it with silence.
Then the United States decided to use atomic bomb in August 2nd.
There has been various speculation why they had to drop the A-bomb at this time, but we cannot know it.
On August 6th, Enola Gay (the B-29 bomber) by United States Army
Air Forces flew out of Tinian Island at 1:45 am.
And it dropped an atomic bomb at 8:15 am, first in the history of humankind.
The bomb exploded at 580 meters above the point about 150 meters east of this building.
The blast had a temperature over 3,000 degrees and the speed was
over 440 meters per second.
(The wind speed of typhoon is dozens meters per second. Sound speed is about 350 meters per second.)
This building was destroyed within a second, but only the central part remained.
Hiroshima city had fallen into ruin in a moment, and tens thousand people were killed by only this explosion.
Only the remain of this building was on the ruin.
Three days later, the second A-bomb was dropped in Nagasaki city.
The war ended on August 15th, nine days after the dropping of A-bomb.
The citizens of Hiroshima began reconstruction of the city.
And, Hiroshima city determined to become the city to aspire to world peace.
In 1954, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was completed by Genbaku Dome.
However, in the 1960s, some citizens said this building should be
demolished because it brought back bitter memories of the atomic
Additionally, Hiroshima city had been reluctant to preserve the building because it costs a lot of money to preserve.
But a girl who died of atomic bomb disease in 1960 had left the
following words in her diary.
"Only the miserable building will tell the horror of A-bomb to future generation for eternity."
The people who were impressed to read the diary organized the
activity to preserve the building.
At last, the city council decided to preserve Genbaku Dome eternally in 1966.
Then it became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996, despite the opposition of United States and the abstention of China.
Genbaku Dome is still appealing for world peace in silence.
By street car with route No. 2 or 6, about 20 minutes from Hiroshima station to Genbaku-Dome-mae stop.