Recalling the Lost Neighborhoods

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Peace Memorial Park was created where Nakajima-hon-machi, Zaimoku-cho, and other neighborhoods once enlivened the area with movie theaters, cafes, and other downtown attractions.

On the grounds of Kokutaiji Temple, which stood on the other side of the Motoyasugawa River, towered camphor trees thought to be 300 years old. To protect the roots of these beloved trees, the streetcar tracks had been diverted and the sidewalk raised off the ground.

Each October, the Shokansai Festival honored the souls of the dead on the Western Drill Ground in Moto-machi. All such activities and scenes were lost to the atomic bombing.

Storefront display, Donated by Masateru Yabuno, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum collection

Storefront display

This display is from Amatsu Kyuseido, a store in Nakajima-hon-machi, which sold valuable metals and fountain pens. The store was close to the hypocenter and completely consumed by fire, but the storefront display had been taken to the suburbs for protection.

The old Saigokukaido Road (Nakajima Hondori) running through Nakajima-hon-machi pulsed with city life. Movie theaters and cafes drew residents from around the city pulsed with city life.

Paper bag from a photo gallery

This paper photograph bag came from the Star Photo Gallery in Nakajima-hon-machi. The gallery stood close to the hypocenter and burned completely. All members of the family that owned it died.

Paper bag from a photo gallery, Donated by Kinichi Kishimoto, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum collection
Burl from a camphor tree, Donated by Shigeomi Sasaki Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum collection 

Burl from a camphor tree

Camphor trees thought to be 300 years old stood on the grounds of Kokutaiji Temple. The nearby streetcar tracks were diverted to protect the roots of the beloved trees, but nothing could protect them from the atomic bombing.

We can no longer enjoy those spectacular trees. When the grandfather of the donor entered the city after the bombing to look for his nephew, he took home with him this burl.

Camphor trees on the Kokutaiji Temple grounds, Drawn by Kenichi Nakano, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum collection

Furoshiki (wrapping cloth) from Shokonsai

This furoshiki came from the Hiroshima Shokonsai Festival in October 1930. At this yearly festival on the Western Drill Ground, people thronged to the booths run by various businesses and thrilled to the excitement of the motorcycle race.

Furoshiki (wrapping cloth) from Shokonsai, Donated by Ken Mitsumoto, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum collection
Shokonsai Festival Drawn by Kazuo Akiyama, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum collection
Hiroshima Catalog of Commercial Products and Tourist Attractions, Donated by Setsuko Iwase, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum collection

Hiroshima Catalog of Commercial Products and Tourist Attractions

This copper-plate print from October 1883 of a street lined with prominent merchant homes gives life to pre-war Hiroshima. Hidesaburo Iwase, who owned the print, died in the atomic bombing. Some years later, his remains were identified in the Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound and returned to his family. 

“Most Recent Map of Hiroshima City”, Donated by Keiso Minami, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum collection
Nakajima-hon-machi Area, Drawn by Magoichi Jitsukuni, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum collection
Credits: Story

contributor — Masateru Yabuno, Kinichi Kishimoto, Shigeomi Sasaki, Ken Mitsumoto, Setsuko Iwase, Keiso Minami
creator — Kazuo Akiyama, Kenichi Nakano, Magoichi Jitsukuni

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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