Let's Look at the Special Exhibit

Schools Stained the Color of War
When the Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937, the color of war suddenly stained the whole of Japan. The people were ordered to cooperate with the war, which also cast its dark shadow over school education. Major school events like field trips disappeared in favor of militaristic training, such as martial arts and marching. Starting in 1943, to compensate for shortfalls in combat strength and labor, the school year was shortened and graduation moved up for all students in secondary school and upwards. Except for those on the science and engineering track, the academic exemption for college students ended. College students were enlisted and sent to the front. With the war raging furiously in 1944, "national school" students between the third and sixth grades were separated from their families and evacuated to the city outskirts or the countryside to spare them from air raids. Simultaneously, all class work was suspended for students in the upper level of national school and older. They were mobilized to labor at munitions plants and the like year round.

1/The Education System in 1944
In 1941, elementary schools were renamed "national schools." National schools were divided into lower-level and upper-level grades. The lower level comprised grades 1 to 6, while the higher level comprised grades 7 and 8 (12- to 14-year old students). Secondary schools (a category that included junior high schools, girls' high schools, and vocational schools) were shortened from five-year programs to four-year programs in 1943. Students attended from the age of 12 to 16.

2/All for war - Poster requesting cooperation with the Metal Confiscation Program
Donated by Shigeki Hirashita
The Metal Collection Order was enacted in 1941 to compensate for shortages of metal required for weapons. Bells from temples, pots and pans from homes, and other usable objects made of metal were collected by order of the government. Even metal doors and trophies vanished from schools.  

3/This photo shows art created by the calligraphy class. Most of these calligraphic works refer to the war.
1942 Kami-yanagi-cho (Nobori-cho)

5/Students at Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial School undergoing military training
Courtesy of Hiroshima Prefectural Technical High School Alumni Association

4/Secondary school textbooks
Donated by Chieko Okamoto
These nationally designated textbooks were used by students at Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial School. In 1943, it was decided that the existing textbook approval system would be dropped, and a single set of nationally designated books would be used at all secondary schools. The content was heavily influenced by the war climate.

  Mobilized Students
-The Lost Tomorrows of the Students-

 Schools Stained the Color of War
 The Start of Student Mobilization
 Building Demolition Amplified the Tragedy
 The Suffering of Mobilized Students
 Looking for Children
 Reopening in the Burnt Ruins
 Monuments to the Students

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