City of Hiroshima plans to reopen main building of Peace Memorial Museum next April

(by Kyosuke Mizukawa, Staff Writer)

On November 26 it was learned that the City of Hiroshima has decided to reopen the main building of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which has been closed to renew its exhibits, prior to the start of the 10-day holiday period beginning on April 27, 2019, in conjunction with the current emperor’s abdication. As many people visit the museum each year during the Golden Week holidays, the city is now seeking to reopen the main building at the end of April so that visitors will be able to see both the east building and the main building during this time. The city hopes that the renewal of the exhibition will help many visitors understand the devastating consequences of the atomic bombing.

The main building of the Peace Memorial Museum was closed in April 2017 when the east building was reopened after the renewal of its exhibits was completed. By focusing on real artifacts, like the belongings of those who lost their lives in the U.S. attack, the museum is pursuing a new direction that can convey the catastrophic destruction of the atomic bombing in keener detail. Earthquake reinforcement work is also being carried out at the museum and is expected to be completed by the time of the Peace Memorial Ceremony in 2020, which will mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

The City of Hiroshima had originally aimed to open the renovated main building in the spring of 2018. However, the reopening was delayed until the spring of 2019 when defects in past construction work were discovered and have needed to be addressed. Another factor in the delay has involved relocating the museum’s larger items, which has required more work than expected. Thus, taking into account the progress of the construction work, and the government’s decision to turn Golden Week into 10 consecutive holidays starting in 2019, the City of Hiroshima has reconsidered the day that the main building is reopened.

The Golden Week holidays are one of the most popular times of the year for people to visit the Peace Memorial Museum. On May 4, which was the busiest day of the 2018 Golden Week holidays, 10,452 people, about twice as many as the daily average number of visitors during the last fiscal year, toured the museum.


Renewal of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
The Peace Memorial Museum is being renovated so that the exhibits in the main building can convey the true effects of the atomic bombing; exhibits on the third floor of the east building now introduce “The Danger of Nuclear Weapons,” including the damage caused by nuclear testing; and exhibits on the second floor show “The History of Hiroshima,” including the reconstruction of the city after the atomic bombing and its ongoing efforts to promote peace. In the main building, a collection of burnt school uniforms, bags, and other items that belonged to mobilized students who perished in the bombing will be put on display. The east building, after its renovations were completed, was reopened in April 2017.

(Originally published on November 27, 2018)