Hiroshima Insight

Tsurumi Bridge

Path of evacuation after the atomic bombing

Tsurumi Bridge spans the Kyobashi River at the east end of Peace Boulevard in the city of Hiroshima, about 1.7 kilometers from the hypocenter. The bridge links the Tsurumi-cho area in Naka Ward and the Hijiyama-honmachi area in Minami Ward.

The wooden bridge was constructed in 1880. When the atomic bomb was dropped over the city, on the west side of the bridge, there were 1,936 people from 12 schools, including the Hiroshima Girls' Commercial School and First Hiroshima Prefectural Junior High School, mobilized there for work, helping to dismantle buildings to create a fire lane. (Figures are from an exhibit held in 2004 at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.)

Other people laboring in the area came from the Voluntary Army Fighting Corps of such areas as Onaga, Yaga, Kojin, and Danbara, as well as companies like the Toyo Kogyo factory (now, Mazda Motor Corporation). (Information obtained from documents on the war damage held by Hiroshima Prefecture.)

The bomb’s heat rays ignited the railings and other parts of the bridge, but the flames were quickly extinguished. Many survivors were then able to cross the bridge to seek refuge in Mt. Hijiyama and other areas.

At the east end of the bridge stands a large weeping willow that was able to endure the atomic bombing. However, in September 2007, when the tree was more than 100 years old, it was confirmed to have withered and died. Today, a newly born trunk from the same roots has appeared and is producing green leaves.