The Heart of a Military City - 3
Recreation Area for Citizens
Moto-machi was a military reservation with various military facilities, but it was also a place open to the people of Hiroshima. It became a familiar place where people could enjoy a cool evening, catch dragonflies, and watch the troops training. The Western Drill Ground built in Otekuruwa on the Castle’s south side was usually used as a training ground for troops, but with permission from the military, it could be used for fairs and exhibitions and many events were held there. At the annual Shokonsai Festival held to honor war dead, the people of Hiroshima enjoyed horse races, motocross, and bustling food stalls and show tents.
Showa Industrial Exposition
Layout of the Hiroshima Shokonsai Festival
Horse and motocross races at Hiroshima Shokonsai Festival
School trip diary（excerpt）
We finally made it to the Western Drill Ground and saw the cavalry training on their horses. We rested there and then moved on to the Divisional Headquarters. Arriving in front of the gate, there was a sentry in uniform with an imposing sword. When we expressed our desire to see the Imperial Headquarters, a single soldier came out, gave us consent, and led us inside. As we progressed further on, 2 or 3 sentries like the one at the gate stood at attention. Here are the renowned ruins of the Imperial Headquarters. An officer came out and explained its history and some things to take heed of as we visited. We left our hats and lunches there and went to view the main room. First off, I was surprised by the solemnity, silence, and modesty. I thought about the late emperor, a member of an awe-inspiring unbroken imperial lineage, living in this cramped, crude room for more than 6 months and became overwhelmed by emotions. I was in awe. Afterwards, we went downstairs and viewed weaponry and some of the spoils of wars. There was nothing surprising among all of the great variety of things. After everyone had finished their visit, we left the Imperial Headquarters and hurried to see the 71st Infantry Regiment barracks, but mobilization orders were given to them that morning, so we weren’t able to visit them.