Hiroshima Insight


Soon after the atomic bombing, people began to live in makeshift dwellings in the charred city. From the ashes of the bombing, Hiroshima slowly rose toward reconstruction.

In 1947, the first Peace Festival was held in today’s Peace Memorial Park. Shinso Hamai, then mayor of Hiroshima, read out the first Peace Declaration at this event. Stressing the misery and sinfulness of war, he appealed: “Let us join together in renouncing war forever and building the ideal of peace on this earth.”

In 1949, a special law called the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law was enacted by the Japanese government, the fruit of efforts made by the people of Hiroshima and Mayor Hamai, who spearheaded the reconstruction of the city. The new law pledged that Hiroshima would be rebuilt as a “Peace Memorial City.” With special assistance from the national government, Peace Memorial Park and other sites were developed.

In 1996, the A-bomb Dome, located in the northern part of the park, became a World Heritage site. As a “living witness” to the atomic bombing, the A-bomb Dome continues to convey to the world the horror of nuclear weapons and the importance of peace.