What did Peace Memorial Park used to be?
What was the town like that stood where Peace Memorial Park is now? And why is the park called Peace Memorial Park?
The area in and around Peace Memorial Park, often called Peace Park, was known as Nakajima. This area was one of the most lively and exciting parts of Hiroshima from the 1800s through the early 1940s. Today, it is a park. Before the atomic bombing, it was a bustling commercial and residential district with a long history.

The idea of preserving as a memorial the area most heavily damaged by the atomic bomb appeared almost immediately after the bombing. At first, it was called Peace Park, but about the time the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law was enacted, the idea of building a peace memorial city grew stronger and, when the time came, the name given was Peace Memorial Park.

The gradual emergence of Peace Memorial Park is presented on a page entitled "the City Returns to Life" in the Sadako and the Atomic Bombing.


  Nakajima in the Early 1920s
Surrounded by rivers, Nakajima is filled with tightly packed homes on both sides of every street.
(This photo was taken in the early 1920s.)
  Nkajima after the atomic bombing
  Nakajima Immediately after the Bombing (August 1945)
  Nkajima after the atomic bombing
  Nakajima Today (September 1997)