Peace Memorial Museum displays new 176 donated A-bomb victims’ personal belongings and photos to convey terrible reality of war

by Kyosuke Mizukawa, Staff Writer

The New Arrivals Exhibit that displays atomic bomb artifacts donated to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, located in the city’s Naka Ward in fiscal year 2019, is now being held on the first basement floor of the museum’s East Building. On display are 176 items, including personal belongings of mobilized students and photographs that depict the streetscape of the city before the atomic bombing. The exhibition will run until March 2022. Admission is free.

Hideo Yamane, then 12, was a first-year student at Hiroshima Prefectural Hiroshima Technical School (now Hiroshima Prefectural Hiroshima Technical High School). His five belongings, such as his school uniform and lunchbox with charred food inside, are on display. On August 6, 1945, he was mobilized to help tear down buildings in the city center and killed by the atomic bomb. “Please call me to your place soon.” Part of a heartbreaking diary written by his late mother, Hatsue, is also on display.

Rokuro Suzuki was running a barbershop in the city center. His entire family of six, including himself, his wife, and children, were killed in the atomic bombing. Seventeen photographs that had been taken before the atomic bombing and contained in his family album are displayed. These photos depict his children smiling in front of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall (now the Atomic Bomb Dome in present-day Naka Ward), and the bustle of the Hondori shopping street.

According to the museum, a total of 4,758 items were donated by 47 donors in fiscal 2019. As the Suzuki’s family photos amount to 3,621, the number of the donated items has largely surpassed that of the previous year (613). The museum staff said, “We received a lot of valuable artifacts. We would like to preserve and utilize these various items to convey the reality of the disaster wrought by the atomic bombing,” and called for continued cooperation in collecting artifacts. For further information, call the Museum’s Curatorial Division at 082-241-4004.

(Originally published on May 5, 2021)