The Heart of a Military City - 2

Creation of the Imperial Headquarters

The Imperial Headquarters was the highest organization from which the war was conducted under the emperor. When the Sino-Japanese War began, it was first located in Tokyo, but in order to quickly respond to changes in the war it was moved in August 1894 to Hiroshima from where troops were being dispatched. From September 15, 1894 until April 27, 1895, the Meiji Emperor commanded his troops from the Fifth Division Headquarters in Moto-machi, which served as the Imperial Headquarters. Since many other important government posts also moved to Hiroshima, it was as if Hiroshima had become the temporary capital.

Street map of Hiroshima at the time of the Sino-Japanese War (reproduction)

In this map, Moto-machi can be seen in the top center surrounded by the outer moat of the castle. From the "Headquarters" and "Drill Ground" labels, it is easy to see that the area was used by the military.
Issued on December 28, 1894 Collection of Hiroshima Municipal Archives

Hiroshima Castle at the time of the Sino-Japanese War

Looking towards the tower from the castle’s Honmaru (now, the field in front of Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine), the Imperial Headquarters can be seen to the right of the slope in the center behind the trees.
Around 1894 or 1895 Collection of Cultural Promotion Division, Culture and Sports Department, Citizens Affairs Bureau, Hiroshima City

Wood Block Print: Safe Arrival in Hiroshima Prefecture

This woodblock print shows the arrival of the Meiji Emperor at the Imperial Headquarters on the Hiroshima Castle lands. It differs from the actual events since the emperor arrived by carriage, not horseback.
Issued in 1894 Collection of Hiroshima Municipal Archives

Commencement of the Provisional Imperial Diet

A ceremony marking the start of the Diet session was held in the presence of the Meiji Emperor on October 18 in the Hiroshima Provisional Diet Building built on the Western Drill Ground. There, the draft budget covering expenditures for the Sino-Japanese War were unanimously approved by both the House of Peers and the House of Representatives.

Hiroshima Provisional Diet Building

The Provisional Diet Building was built within the castle walls on the Western Drill Ground. In this picture, the House of Representatives is on the left and the House of Peers is on the right. The area was packed with people from far and wide for the opening ceremony on October 18, attended by the Meiji Emperor.
Around 1894 Collection of Hiroshima Municipal Archives

Inside the Provisional Diet Building
House of Peers (Above) and House of Representatives (Below)

At the center of both chambers sat a chairperson with members seated in a half circle around him.
Around 1894
Collection of Hiroshima Municipal Archives


At the Heart of Hiroshima’s Changes