Let's look at the Special Exhibit
Results of the Nationwide Solicitation of A-bomb Artifacts, Photographs of the Deceased, and Eyewitness Accounts
Items Collected by Four Institutions Items collected from around Japan by four institutions over the two-year period
Results of Touring Exhibition
To publicize the project and educate the public, we created an exhibition regarding the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that toured through Japan. More than 44,000 people visited the 15 venues. We were able to obtain information on artifacts/materials, the materials conveyed the facts about the bombings to a large number of persons, and the exhibitions provided opportunities to think about nuclear weapons and peace. The exhibitions were held in prefectures where a relatively large number of A-bomb survivors reside. The results are presented below.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Collection Materials  
  • About half of the donors resided in Hiroshima City.
  • Many donors in Hiroshima Prefecture resided in nearby cities and towns: nine in Hatsukaichi City, six in Fuchu-cho, and five each in the cities of Kure, Fukuyama, and Higashihiroshima.
  • Outside Hiroshima Prefecture, the areas with the most donors are, in descending order: Tokyo-15, Yamaguchi Prefecture-8, Kanagawa Prefecture-5, Hyogo Prefecture-4, and Osaka Prefecture-3.
  • Some donations came from overseas: three from the USA, two from the UK, and one from Canada.
  • Donor 60 years or older comprised 83% (181 persons) of the total.
    It is surmised that as the survivors and their family members age, intergenerational concern rises over whether the experiences will be passed down.
  • "A-bomb materials without visible damage from bombing" are articles of clothing or other belongings of the victims that were preserved by families in the absence of physical remains or items with the victims at the time of their death. Of all donations, 38% were in this category; 27% were donated as remembrances of the dead, and 11% were donated by a survivor.
  • "A-bomb artifacts with visible damage from the bombing" accounted for 21% of the whole. Survivors donated 4%, while family members of victims donated 17%.
  • "Materials from A-bomb studies and research" include roughly 40 personal items the city of Hiroshima discovered during excavation projects on Ninoshima Island, as well as notebooks, journals, photos, etc., kept by members of A-bomb damage survey teams and other investigators.
  • The "Other" category includes wartime and postwar picture post cards, magazines, maps, and the like.
  • The largest category was documents, 59% of all donations. These 150 items included textbooks, notebooks, letters, diaries, and 70 disaster and death certificates. The second largest category was clothing, 17%. The prevalence of documents is probably due to the ease of preserving them and the family's strong attachment. Most were closely associated with the deceased.
  • Buddhist statues, Buddhist altar articles, knives and swords include Kannon statues, small rice bowl stands for altars, and military swords handed down in families.
  • US military items include possessions of US soldiers exposed to the atomic bombing as prisoners of war.

The sponsors were unable to ask all donors their reasons for donating the materials, but most donors spoke to us about the situation at the time of the bombing and their hopes for peace.
To us their words communicated a range of emotions and psychological conflict. Clearly, the difficulty of preserving the item was far less important than the positive motivation--the desire to support peace education.

The Entrusted Past and Future
New Materials Donated for the 60th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings

Overview of the Nationwide Solicitation of A-bomb Artifacts, Photographs of the Deceased, and Eyewitness Accounts
Emotions Revealed
    * Memories of That Day
    * An Unquenchable Sorrow
    * Remnants of Those Who Never Returned
  Emotions Entrusted to Us
    * --The New Materials--
  Results of the Nationwide Solicitation of A-bomb Artifacts, Photographs of the Deceased, and Eyewitness Accounts
    * Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Collection Materials
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