|Nostalgic Scenes of Hiroshima|
Thanks to the Otagawa River and the old Saigokukaido Highway,
Hiroshima prior to the war developed as a commercial crossroads with lines of stores selling a wide variety of goods.
The appearance of prosperous downtown shopping and entertainment districts attracted people to shop and view movies and plays.
The appearance of streetcars and ferro-concrete buildings transformed it into a modern city.
At the same time, the delighted voices of playing children echoed throughout back roads and along rivers.
Hiroshima put on a different face for each season.
In spring, people flocked to see the cherry blossoms.
In summer, the city's rivers filled with extravagantly decorated boats.
Each of these sights was an unforgettable aspect of life for those who experienced them.
Hiroshima, city of rivers
Around 1938 / Motoyasugawa River
Seven rivers ran through the city of Hiroshima, and the boats that plied these rivers carried a vast array of goods. Boats laden with vegetables and fish crossed Hiroshima Bay from Etajima Island and Ninoshima Island and came up the rivers into the city. Oyster boats were anchored along riverbanks lined with houses. To the left of Motoyasu Bridge (in the middle of the picture) is Nakajima District, now Peace Memorial Park.
Children playing in the river
1920s / Kyobashigawa River
Hiroshima's clean, clear rivers were once playgrounds for its children. Here and there, swimming areas were provided, and even diving platforms were erected in deep spots. As the children's confidence as swimmers grew, they dove not only from those platforms but also from bridges, including streetcar bridges.
Cherry blossom viewing
along the river
Around 1940 / Otagawa River
Huge crowds gathered every spring to view cherry blossoms on the banks of the Otagawa River in Oshiba and Chojuen north of the city. Adults and children alike would eat, drink, relax and play under the cherry trees. Street stalls sold their wares, and ferryboats carried people across the river to see the flowers on the other side.
Dazzling moving picture theatre
The streetcars gave rise to a new amusement district called Shintenchi, lined with movie theaters, live theaters, cafes and restaurants.
Late 1920s / Hatchobori
Hiroshima's first department store, Fukuya, opened in 1929 at the Hatchobori streetcar intersection (the north side of what is still Fukuya Department Store). This ferro-concrete, four-story building came with an exciting new attraction-an elevator. Crowds would gather just to watch it work.
Family shopping at night
Around 1935 / Nishi-hakushima-cho
You could buy more at the night shops lining the back streets near Hakushima Elementary School because their products tended to be cheaper. Banana auctions required a special gift of gab, and the best hawkers could stop passers-by in their tracks and sell them a bunch of bananas.
School playgrounds became
sweet potato fields
1944 / Funairi Elementary School
As the war lengthened, food and most daily necessities fell into short supply. Rice and sugar were rationed. As food shortages worsened, schoolyards and other open spaces were transformed into gardens growing sweet potatoes and squash.
Evacuation to avoid air raids
April 14, 1945 / Aki-imuro Station
As the war situation worsened and air raids intensified, children throughout the city were evacuated taken from their houses. They went with their school groups to live in village temples or inns in the country side.
Testimony -The City Obliterated, the Aftermath
Nostalgic Scenes of Hiroshima
Dropping the Atomic Bomb - Mushroom Cloud Climbing into the Sky
August 6, 1945 - Hiroshima Testimony
Hiroshima as Seen by Relief Workers
Things Left for Families (1)
Things Left for Families (2)
Individuals and Groups Contributors to This Exhibition
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