The Coming of Peace

Children found new ways to play and sought playmates even while living in poverty. Adults also flocked together to festivals and sport events. During these gatherings, people could forget their daily hardships, and share joy and excitement. It was a moment when people could be enveloped with smiles and cheers, and feel the coming of peace. Clicking the shutter and feeling happy, Sasaki couldn’t help but think of all the small children who died without knowing such a peaceful life.

Children and Play

Children in Hiroshima who used to frequently stand blankly and wear lonely expressions gradually became absorbed in playing and showed bright smiles. Safe play time and space came back to the world of children.

A boy at a ferry landing (Left)

1953 Moto-machi

The boy looking out from the waiting-room at the landing used by ferryboats connecting Moto-machi and Tera-machi is assumed to be a son of the ferryman, waiting alone for his father’s return.

A boy mounted on a wooden horse

1949 Hatchobori

This boy is enjoying riding a wooden horse on the roof of a department store. Although this was a coin-operated ride, the boy was rocking it himself.

Peeping into a playhouse

1954 Niho-machi

Popular theater performed in a small playhouse was one of the recreations for ordinary citizens. Children are peeping into the playhouse with great interest before the curtain is raised.

Mimicry of stall-style sales demonstration

1953 Moto-machi

A circus came to the Citizens Plaza in Moto-machi. The boy is imitating stall-style sales demonstration for visitors who flocked to the circus.

Playing with snow (Left)

1955 Nakajima-cho

The Peace Memorial Park, covered by a snowfall. Children of Fukuromachi Elementary School are engrossed in rolling snow-balls, and shouting in joy.

Festivals and Events

Soon after the end of the war, local festivals and school athletic meets also returned. As the reconstruction advanced, new festivals were celebrated and various sports games were held. Spectators’ excitement and cheers brought about a sense of solidarity and liveliness to the residents of Hiroshima, who shared hardships with one another.

The General MacArthur Cup Competition

1949 Moto-machi

The 3rd General MacArthur Tennis and Ping-pong Cup Competition was held in Hiroshima City. In preparation for this event, the Hiroshima City Chuo Tennis Court was newly built, to welcome nearly 2,000 participants from all over Japan.

Olympic torch relay

1964 Nakajima-cho

The torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics, held on September 20, 1964. The runner was passing in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims in the Peace Memorial Park.

National Sports Festival

1951 Kan-on-machi

On October 27, the opening ceremony of the 6th National Sports Festival’s autumn meets was held at the Hiroshima Prefectural Multi-Purpose Sports Ground. A number of difficult tasks involved in hosting the festival were carried out with the enthusiastic cooperation of citizens.

Firefighters’ New Year’s Ceremony

1953 Moto-machi

This ceremony was held at the civil ground at the former site of the Western Drill Ground. Many spectators watched this high-spirited ladder race.

Hiroshima Festival

1953 Hondori

The Hiroshima Festival was initiated in 1952. Dances and parades were popular among visitors. In the photo is the “Oiran Dochu” costume parade conducted by volunteers from the Hondori Shopping Street.

Hiroshima Restoration Exposition

1958 Nakajima-cho

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the inauguration of Hiroshima municipality, the exposition was held at the Peace Memorial Park as the first venue, the eastern end of the Peace Boulevard as the second venue, and the restored tower of Hiroshima Castle as the third venue.

Hiroshima Carp and the Former Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium

The Hiroshima Carp professional baseball team inauguration ceremony

January 15, 1950 Moto-machi

20,000 fans gathered for the Hiroshima Carp professional baseball team inauguration ceremony held in the civil ground on the former site of the Western Drill Ground.

Completion of the former Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium

1957 Moto-machi

With a capacity of 18,000 spectators, the former Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium was completed, equipped with lighting for night games.