Two citizens’ center on Miyajima Island to hold exhibitions on peace, encourage visitors to learn reality of atomic bombings

By Masatoshi Kuwabara, Staff Writer

Two citizens’ centers located on the island of Miyajima, which are run by the City of Hatsukaichi, will hold their first photo exhibitions on the theme of peace this summer. Organizers hope to encourage visitors to this popular tourist destination to learn about the devastation caused by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many students on school trips as well as visitors from overseas come to Miyajima every year.

The Suginoura Citizens’ Center will hold its exhibition between July 2 and 18, and the Miyajima Citizens’ Center will follow from July 22 to August 29. On display will be 19 posters created for special exhibitions by the National Council of Japan Nuclear Free Local Authorities, of which Hatsukaichi is a member.

Posters will show photos related to the atomic bombings, along with explanations. Images from Hiroshima will include those of a charred lunchbox and the third floor of the former Bank of Japan’s Hiroshima Branch building, which was located 380 meters from the hypocenter and was exposed to the blast and fire from the bomb. Photos of the Nagasaki bombing will include Urakami Cathedral, which stood 500 meters from the hypocenter.

Last year, 4.08 million people visited the island, and 70,000 students from 650 elementary, junior high, and senior high schools stayed on the island overnight during their school trips. On the evening of June 12, 15 sixth graders from Kuzu Elementary School, which is located in the city of Gose, Nara Prefecture, held a peace study meeting during their stay on the island. A piano that was exposed to the atomic bomb was displayed especially for this occasion. Students touched the piano and looked at a photo exhibition.

Organizers of the photo exhibitions at the citizens’ centers are calling on people to come and see the exhibitions as part of their study of peace issues. They are accepting donations of origami paper cranes, which will be displayed at the Hatsukaichi Peace Festival, scheduled to take place on July 26.

(Originally published on June 19, 2014)