Hiroshima Insight

Hiroshima Prefectural Office

Blown down and burned, a total of 1,141 victims

At the time of the atomic bombing, the Hiroshima Prefectural Office was located in Kakomachi (part of present-day Naka Ward). The wooden building, constructed in the Meiji Era (1868-1912), lay only about 900 meters from the hypocenter, and so was blown down and burned. Most of the workers there were killed instantly or burned to death under the wreckage of the building.

According to the prefectural government, a total of 1,142 civil servants fell victim to the atomic bomb, including workers in other offices and those who were on their way to work that morning. Notes written by a worker who visited the rubble of the Prefectural Office in the aftermath describe the cruel scene: “There are charred bodies here and there. Making guesses based on the position of the desks, I picked up bones and placed them into envelopes, writing each person’s name on them.”

In the evening of August 6, the Prefectural Office and its operations were moved to Tamonin Temple on the western side of Mt. Hijiyama and on August 7, again shifted to the Higashi Police Station in Shimoyanagicho (present-day Kanayamacho, Naka Ward). From August 20, a portion of Toyo Kogyo (today’s Mazda Motor Corporation, in Fuchu Town) was used as a temporary site, then from July 1946, the former Hiroshima Army Ordnance Supply Depot became the Prefectural Office building. In 1956, it was moved to its current location in Motomachi, Naka Ward.

A monument was raised on the site where the former Prefectural Office, destroyed in the A-bombing, once stood.