Hiroshima Insight

Enkobashi Bridge

Bridge ornaments used as scrap metal during the war

Enkobashi Bridge, which spans Enkogawa River, is located in Minami Ward, on the southeast side of Ekimae-Ohashi Bridge in front of Hiroshima Station. It was completed in 1926.

At that time, there were ornaments on the newel posts at the ends of the bridge railings: bronze figures of eagles with their wings spread and lamps were perched on globes.

The railings were also adorned with the metal ornaments of two monkeys grasping a peach. The beautiful ornaments led to the bridge being called “Hiroshima’s finest bridge.”

During the war, however, because of a shortage of metal, an order to collect available metal was issued in 1941. In line with this order, the bronze figures of eagles and the monkeys with their peach had to be given to the government as scrap. New ornaments on the newel posts and bridge rails were then crafted from stone.

Though the bridge was located about 1.8 kilometers from the hypocenter, the atomic bomb destroyed only a portion of the railing. As a result, many of the wounded traveled over this bridge to flee the hypocenter area.

Today, Enkobashi Bridge is the oldest among all 2,900 bridges under the city’s management. In the future, the old metal ornament on the newel post on the south end of the bridge will be restored as a memorial to the past.

It has been nearly 90 years since Enkobashi Bridge was constructed in Minami Ward. In the aftermath of the atomic bombing, many people crossed over this bridge to flee the area.