Sunday, September 2, 2007

広島平和記念資料館 (Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum)

Try playing this song, Will of the Heart while reading this post to get the real feel.
AUGUST 16, 2007 (Part 1)
Before I proceed with this entry, I would like to make a note here that I will tone down my usual crapping in this entry to pay respect to the victims of the bombings in Hiroshima.
Although we had been in Hiroshima for the third day, we had not gone to the A-Bomb Dome and the surroundings. For the previous two days, we have been to watch the fireworks display and walking around Miyajima.
This will be our first day walking around Hiroshima city. Before we kick-start our day, we had our lunch in this Chinese styled restaurant which we came across on our way to the city centre.
Again, I had ramen.
To add to that ramen, I ordered Chinese style fried rice as well.
The Japanese call them cha-han here. If you are wondering how the food cost in Japan, both of them cost 650yen (RM 22).
Before going to the A-Bomb Dome, which I will be posting on that in the next entry, we went to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The admission fee is just 50yen (RM 1.60). The lowest admission fee throughout my trip so far.
Peace Memorial Museum
At the early part of the museum, there were information about the history of the city Hiroshima, up until the war. They were depicted in a time line walls.
Along the way, there were also stuff related to the information stated. Stuff like matches. Wood was cut into thin slivers and sulfur was daubed on the end to make matches.
I even had my own camwhore session. Guess what that kid told me later on.
I actually had a short chat with that little kid.
THAT very moment…
The Moment
8:15 it was…
8:15 A.M., August 6, 1945
The first atomic bomb used against human beings exploded over Hiroshima.
Atomic Bombing
The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, exploded 600 meters over the city with a blinding flash, creating a fireball that blazed like a small sun.
Before & After
More than a million degrees Celsius at its centre, in one second the fireball reached a maximum diameter of 280 meters, and the surface temperature in the vicinity of the hypocenter rose to 3,000-4,000 degree Celsius.
Before & After
Fierce heat rays and radiation burst out in every direction, expanding the air around the fireball and creating a super-high-pressure blast. These three factors interacted in complex ways to inflict tremendous damage.
Before & After
The damage inflicted by the atomic bomb was characterized by instant and massive destruction, indiscriminate mass slaughter, and radiation. Radiation damage led to decades of human suffering.
Before & After
The bomb instantly destroyed most of the city and stole away countless lives, irrespective of age and gender. The deaths of many could not be confirmed - no identification remains or belongings were left.
Victims were fleeing in search of WATER.
Because lowering their arms caused blood to collect in their fingertips and throb painfully, burn victims staggered along like ghosts, holding their arms up in front, their skin hanging like tattered cloth.

The Peace Memorial Museum collections includes over 19,000 items. Among others are nails and skin left by a Junior High student.
Nails & Skin
(600m from the hypocenter)
Noriaki Teshima, a first-year student at Second Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School, was exposed while engaged in building demolition. Burned so severely that skin hung loose from his whole body, he was rescued and taken home by a friend.
Unable to bear his thirst, he reportedly sucked the pus from the ends of his fingers, from which the nails had peeled off. He died in agony on the next day, August 7. His mother kept his fingernails and some of his skin as a remembrance to show his father, who had been sent off to war.
(500m from the hypocenter)
Miyoko (then 13), a first-year student at First Municipal Girls High School, was exposed to the bomb during building demolition work. Her mother searched for her day after day but could never find her corpse.
Three months later this sandal was found. It was positively identified as Miyoko's because the straps were made from her mother's kimono. The imprint of her left foot remains visible.
(900m from the hypocenter)
Most of a group of 353 first and second year students of Municipal Junior High School who were cleaning up after building demolition died. Belongings worns by three students from the same school were collected and placed on this rattan doll.
The burnt, blood-stained belongings remind us of the children an tell of the deep sadness of mothers who lost their sons.
(260m from the hypocenter)
A person sitting on the steps to the Hiroshima Branch of the Sumitomo bank waiting for it to open was exposed to the flash from the atomic bomb explosion. Receiving the rays directly, the victim must have died on the spot form the massive burns.
The surface of the surrounding stone steps was turned whitish by the intense heat rays. The place where the person was sitting became dark like a shadow.
(1,500m from the hypocenter)
The tremendous blast shattered the windows of ferro-concrete buildings, bent window frames, and inflicted tremendous damage to interior walss and suspended ceilings.
Flying glass shards pierced the walls of the staircase from the first floor to the roof, leaving countless marks.
(2,670m from the hypocenter)
Iron shutter of the Army Clothing Depot bent by the blast.
And here is the some other stuff exhibited in the museum.
After the explosion, fierce firestorms and whirlwinds appeared as the conflagration engulfed the city. Approximately 20-30 minutes later after explosion, heavy rain fell on the northwestern areas of the city. Though it was mid-summer, the temperature fell sharply during this rainfall.
Those fleeing naked or lightly dressed were chilled and shivering.
Worse still, the large drops of black rain during the first 1-2 hours contained mud and dust stirred up during the explosion, as well as soot from the fires. The black rain was therefore highly radioactive, causing fish in ponds and rivers to die and float to the surface.
Most who drank well water in these area suffered from diarrhea for three months.
When the atomic bomb exploded, the intense heat rays ignited houses in the city centre. In collapsed houses throughout the city, kitchen and other fires quickly spread out of control. Peaking between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. but continuing all day, the city burned as if to scorch the heavens.
Within 2 kilometers of the hypocenter, the entire city burned to the ground. All objects were melted and fused into sheets like lava. Countless people were trapped under fallen buildings and burned alive.
Black Rain
(3,700m from the hypocenter)
The black rain was sticky and left black spotted patterns on the clothing of those who were caught in it. Distinct black rain marks were also left on houses with white walls.
There is a movement today to read and re-evaluate the school textbooks of the Asian countries which Japan held as colonies or occupied during the war. Hiroshima was dealt a severe blow by the atomic bomb, but Japan, too, inflicted great damages.
School textbooks in those countries describe the pain in detail, along with the perceptions of Japan. Internationalization must begin with speaking the truth about the role each country played in the war. We must find a way to make our mutual pain a positive gift for the future.
Note the yellow book, bottom row, second from the left. Kursus Sejarah untuk Tingkatan 2.
And I came to see a touching story. Sadako's story.
Though 2-year-old Sadako Sasaki was exposed at Kusunoki-cho, approximately 1.7 kilometers from the hypocenter, she was unharmed. Sadako grew up an energetic young girl, a runner for her class replay team which competed on sports days.
In the fall of during sixth grade, she suddenly fell ill. The following February (1955), Sadako was hospitalized in Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital with leukemia.
Having heard that floding 1,000 paper crane would cure her disease, Sadako moved steadily toward that goal, using the paper that her medicine came in or whatever paper she could find. Her wish was unfulfilled. On October 25 of that year, after an eight-month battle with the disease, Sadako died at the tender age of twelve.
Paper Cranes
Her classmates responded by becoming the nucleus of a group that called for support in building a monument to peace - a place where people could pray for the many children like Sadako who perished due to the bombing. Donations from various sources enabled the Children’s Peace Monument to be completed. The statue was unveiled on May 5, 1958.
Sadako's story has been published in many nations, and is still told to children around the world.
There was a model of the A-Bomb was displayed in the middle part of the museum, symbolizing the Hiroshima Prefectural Products Exhibition Hall, now known as the A-Bomb Dome.
A-Bomb Dome
As a token of remembrance for my visit to this museum, I got myself a printed coin from the souvenir shop inside the museum.
All this only happened because of one thing.
At 8:15 a.m., the bombardier on the Enola Gay got the T-shaped Aioi Bridge in his sight and pressed the switch of the automatic release equipment. The bomb fell away from the plane and detonated 43 seconds later, 600 meters above Shima Hospital, located 300 meters southeast of the Aioi Bridge.
Instantly, mushroom clouds were visible from distant.
Mushroom Cloud
The uranium bomb was relatively long and thin, so it was originally dubbed "Thin Man". As the project proceeded, however, it grew shorter and came to be known as "Little Boy.
"Little Boy
A "Little Boy" who ruined the lives of thousands in the morning of August 6, 1945.
That Autumn
This should never happen again.
~ End of Part 1 ~


cl3m` said...

the visit was an eye openener wasnt it?having spent most of our lives knowing the dangers of nuclear weapons we could still never imagine its effects until the visit. say no to nuclear :)

Innocent^^Guy said...

after seeing all the pics and listening to that song...i just wanna say...YOU GOT WATCH BLEACH WAN MEH?

Calvin said...

@ clem:
indeed it was. peace ^.^

Calvin said...

@ calvinsenpai:
after reading your comment, i just wanna say, YOU DON'T KNOW I DON'T WATCH BLEACH WAN MEH?

Anonymous said...


Just saying hello while I read through the posts

hopefully this is just what im looking for looks like i have a lot to read.

Anonymous said...

Greets dudes!

I just wanted to say hi :)