Just like all of Japan, I didn’t know what to expect. But the Hiroshima of history books doesn’t begin to describe the city and the feelings that being there evoked for me.
First of all, it doesn’t look like the rest of Japan, except maybe Nagasaki. This dome was one of the only buildings left standing near the hypocenter after the bomb and all of the people in it perished. It has been maintained as part of the Peace Monument. ~140,000 people died after the bombing.
All of the typical Japanese architecture and detail was erased. The city today looks like a modern city, void of interesting details, more function than form. After going to the Peace Memorial and the museum and learning the details about what happened to the everyday people of Hiroshima on August 6th at 8:15 am, it was clear why all the trees were shorter than in the rest of Japan, the quaint tile roofs all gone and the castle, the moat was all that remained. Now, 70+ years later, the entire city has been rebuilt, the trees replanted and the castle gate rebuilt. But more importantly the city is committed to halting the use of Atomic Weaponry.
The people of Hiroshima emerged from such a tragic situation and brought and continue to bring hope the world to stop a tragedy like this from happening again. It was incredibly moving and inspirational, especially in a time when many politicians all over the world seem more interested creating contention and solidifying power than working together to find peaceful solutions. Please read more about Sadako Sasaki and how the Peace Crane Project came to life. The origami crane is a symbol of hope and goodness in the world and is an inspiration. https://peacecraneproject.org/