Belongings of families that “vanished” convey horror of A-bombing in special exhibition

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

A special exhibition which relates the tragedy of families that “vanished” in the atomic bombing opened at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on April 10. Personal belongings of the victims, provided by relatives and friends, convey the anguish of loss. The exhibition will run through August 31.

On the third floor of the museum are 29 items that belonged to members of six families. These include a doorplate that endured a fire caused by the blast and a watch with a melted glass cover. Panels alongside the artifacts offer explanation of what happened to family members around the time of the bombing.

Rokuro Suzuki ran a barbershop in the Harimaya-cho district in the city center. On display are photos of his family of six, taken by Mr. Suzuki around 1940. One shows his son having fun as he plays in the water, and another is of his daughter expressing affection for her mother. Also on display is a melted and deformed glass bottle found in a house rented to an unidentified family.

Curators at the museum are urging people to visit the exhibition and learn about the families that abruptly perished in the bombing.

This special exhibition is found in a part of the museum where artifacts from the museum’s collection are displayed. Exhibitions here normally change every six months, but this exhibition will run for a shorter duration because the museum’s east wing will close temporarily for renovations starting September 1.

(Originally published on April 11, 2014)