Hiroshima before the Bombing

Hiroshima had long been a key transportation hub. At the beginning of the Showa Era, the population had reached 200,000, and the city was the political and economic center of the Chugoku Region. This academic city with its numerous institutions of higher learning also became one of Japan's most prominent military cities. Among its residents were military personnel and workers from Korea and Taiwan, which were then Japanese colonies. The hustle and bustle of Hiroshima's streets is depicted in postcards. Photographs and film also reveal a city full of energy, and yet, the war was impacting nearly every aspect of peoples' lives.

Streetcar street in front of Fukuya Department Store
Taken by Wakaji Matsumoto

Well-known Hiroshima Locations in Postcards

Hondori with its attractive lily-of-the-valley lanterns
Donated by Teruhisa Shimizu

Shintenchi, the famous Hiroshima shopping district originating from the Taisho Era
Donated by Kenichi Kawarazaki

Aioi Bridge and Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall (now, A-bomb Dome)
Donated by Michiko Kawakami

Hiroshima University of Literature and Science, Hiroshima Higher Normal School (later became Hiroshima University)
Donated by Teruhisa Shimizu

Imperial Headquarters during the Sino-Japanese War
Donated by Shigemi Hamamoto

Hiroshima, 1945

−A-bomb Damage Revealed in Photographs−