Let's look at the Special Exhibit
When the movement to ban atomic and hydrogen bombs spread nation-wide in the mid-50s, local media organizations brought hidden issues to light, investigating and gathering information to create their own A-bomb-related reports. The earnest people of Hiroshima supported this endeavor. They consented to interviews and, when requested by the media, sketched-with trembling hands-A-bomb drawings on the backs of advertising fliers and sent them in.
With individual residents helping the media successfully transcend the ordinary news framework, over time, a more comprehensive portrait of "Hiroshima" has been drawn in the daily news.
In time, the hibakusha, having long remained mute about their terrible experiences, gradually felt moved to speak. Many now take the initiative to pass their stories on to future generations. They use testimonials, photos, journals and drawings. The methods may differ, but not the motivation: to prevent repetition of the tragedy.
That message, now being entrusted by the hibakusha to generations with no experience of war, is spreading.
Recording and Depicting the Atomic Bombing

71*Photographing Hiroshima
Around 11:00 a.m., August 6, 1945
Miyuki Bridge 2,270m from the hypocenter
Photo by Yoshito Matsushige Collection of Chugoku Shimbun

A few photos were taken during the turmoil immediately after the bombing, and some photographers continued to document the suffering of the survivors after the war ended. Photographic records of the facts helped to convey the damage done to Hiroshima. The photo above was taken by Yoshito Matsushige, who worked for the Reporting Unit, Hiroshima Division Command, News Team, Photography Department of the Chugoku Shimbun Newspaper. It is one of only six photos of survivors taken on the day of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima.

73*Depicting the atomic bombing
July 29, 1970
Courtesy of Chugoku Shimbun

Some artists have made their life's work depicting the atomic bombing based on their own A-bomb experiences. Living in the burned out city immediately after the bombing, they managed to take up their brushes. The extremely powerful Hiroshima Panels grew out of the intense anger Iri Maruki and Toshiko Akamatsu felt toward the bombing. The photo shows Yoshiro Fukui working on one of his large pieces. Fukui was exposed to the bomb while working for the Army Relief Unit and has depicted the bombing for many years.

  72*Filming "Hiroshima"
April 17, 1958 Nobori-cho Elementary School
Courtesy of Chugoku Shimbun
After 1952, a number of films set in Hiroshima depicting the atomic bombing were produced in Japan and overseas. These films made the A-bomb tragedies accessible to mass audiences. In some cases, the films led to the creation of grassroots peace activist groups. The photo shows Director Sotoji Kimura making the film Thousand Paper Cranes. This scene, filmed in a classroom at Nobori-cho Elementary School, featured local school children.  
A-bomb literature
Eyewitness A-bomb accounts were not the only attempts to convey the atomic bombing in writing. Novels and poetry born out of the catastrophic experience created the genre of "A-bomb literature." Even during the post-war period of censorship by the Occupation Army, writers tried to convey to the world what had happened. Today, all these excellent works are available to us.
74*Autographed manuscript of Sange
Written by Shinoe Shoda (1910-1965) Donated by Sadako Kurihara
75*Flower of Summer
Written by Tamiki Hara (1905-1951)
Published by Nogaku Shorin 1949 First edition
Writing the A-bomb experience

Writing a memoir is a readily available way for A-bomb survivors to convey their experiences. Beginning in 1951, a large number of accounts by survivors and bereaved family members were published and touched many hearts. Efforts to document the A-bomb experience in writing continue to this day.
76*Children of the Atomic Bomb - Testament of Boys and Girls of Hiroshima
Edited by Arata Osada
Published by Iwanami Shoten,
Publishers 1951 First edition
77*Stars Are Watching-the Devastated City of Hiroshima-Accounts by the Parents of the First-year Students of First Hiroshima Junior High
Edited by Masayuki Akita Published by Masu Shobo 1954 First edition

Reporting the Atomic Bombing

78*A-bomb reporting by local mass media
Courtesy of Hiroshima Telecasting Co., Ltd.

Hiroshima mass media have produced several radio and TV programs and published special feature articles regarding the atomic bombing. Many have gone beyond the normal news framework to conduct exhaustive studies and major campaigns to help gather A-bomb materials. In some cases, campaigns initiated by media organizations have been taken up and expanded by the public at large. The photo shows the team that produced the docudrama "Monument" at work.

79*Record of 1st Year Students of (Former) Second Hiroshima Junior High school
Donated by Hiroshima Telecasting Co., Ltd.
The docudrama Monument created by Hiroshima Telecasting Company in 1969 was largely based on these accounts written by bereaved families. To create the program, Hiroshima Telecasting Company investigated the story for roughly half a year. This section contains the stories written by the bereaved families of 209 first-year students of Second Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School. Monument won a number of awards.
80*NHK Hiroshima Broadcasting Station solicits "A-bomb drawings by survivors"
This poster requesting drawings was jointly produced in 2002 by NHK Hiroshima Broadcasting Station, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and Chugoku Shimbun.
A single drawing by a survivor in 1974 inspired NHK Chugoku Headquarters to put out a general call to survivors asking them to "leave for posterity your drawings of the atomic bombing." In response, 758 people submitted 2,225 drawings. Now among the Museum's most powerful materials, these drawings visually depict the conditions after the A-bombing. Another solicitation campaign took place in 2002, and today, the Museum has 3,563 drawings in its collection.

Passing on the A-bomb Experience
81*The start of A-bomb testimonials
May 15, 1954 Children's Culture Center
Courtesy of Chugoku Shimbun

As the campaign to ban A- and H-bombs rapidly built momentum nationwide in the late 1950s, the survivors reluctantly began talking about their tragic experiences. With school excursions to Hiroshima increasing in the 1970s, survivors began regularly telling their A-bomb experiences to school children and other groups. This photo shows a survivor at the podium giving his eyewitness testimony the 1954 Hiroshima Citizens' Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs.
82*A-bomb Testimonials
Responding to requests for A-bomb accounts told by the survivors themselves, a number of survivor groups formed to present testimonials to schools and other groups. The graph shows the numbers of A-bomb testimonials given by 18 organizations participating in the Gathering for A-bomb Witnesses. The figures have grown each year, doubling in the 17 years between 1987 and 2003.

83*Spreading the spirit of Hiroshima
June 4, 2005 Peace Memorial Park
Photo by and courtesy of Kunifusa Seki

"You can't possibly understand." "I don't want to remember." For years, these sentiments kept most survivors from speaking about their experiences. But even then, some survivors overcame their personal feelings to speak repeatedly, hoping to help prevent a repetition of their tragedy. A few Hiroshima survivors still speak about their tragic experiences. In the photo, Michiko Yamaoka (75) tells her experience to a group of junior high school students.

Rising from the Ruins -the Peace Memorial Museum and Hiroshima
1945-1954 Collecting Rubble on the Burnt Plain
1955-1974 Buildings Rising from the Ruins
1975-1990 A Place to Tell the A-bomb Story
1991 - Conveying the Spirit of Hiroshima to the World
Eyes of the World Visitors to Hiroshima
Museum Statistics
Sixty Years for Hiroshima
Preservation・Restoration・For Posterity

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