Hiroshima Insight

Hiroshima Fukokukan

107 people in the telegraph office become A-bomb victims

Hiroshima Fukokukan was a seven-story building with a basement. Built in 1936 in Fukuromachi, part of downtown Hiroshima, it was the tallest building in the city back then. The building was home to such businesses as an insurance company and a restaurant called “Seiyoken.”

In June 1945, the Hiroshima Telegraph Office, formerly a unit of NTT West Japan, moved its operations into five floors, as well as the basement, of the Hiroshima Fukokukan building. Because the telegraph office was responsible for transmitting air raid sirens and telegram and telephone communications, the Japanese military ordered that it be relocated to a strongly-constructed site. According to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, out of the 117 staff members assigned to the telegraph office, 107 perished in the atomic bombing.

The Hiroshima Fukokukan building remained standing, but all the floors above ground were gutted by fire. After the building was renovated, it was used until 1982, when it was finally torn down. Today, the Fukoku Seimei building rises from that location.

A steel beam from the Hiroshima Fukokukan building, snapped and badly bent by the A-bomb blast, as well as decorative stones that once adorned the roof, are on display in Peace Memorial Museum to convey the powerful force unleashed by the bomb.