Striving to fill voids in Hiroshima, evidence of victims remains in records of A-bombing disaster—Many photos taken after A-bombing added as new content to redesigned website

On January 3, the Chugoku Shimbun redesigned its website “Striving to fill voids in Hiroshima,” the newspaper’s major undertaking designed to capture the reality of devastation from the atomic bombing, adding new content under the heading “Records of A-bombing disaster.” The redesigned website is to include numerous photographs taken immediately after the disaster, with the aim of conveying the horror of the atomic bombing that destroyed Hiroshima and the lives of its residents. In this way, in concert with existing content centered on photographs of Hiroshima taken before the atomic bombing in “Recreating cityscapes,” the newspaper will continue to communicate the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons.

With the newly added section “Records of A-bombing disaster,” the revamped website will have more than 100 new photographs of Hiroshima’s city center and other locations taken after August 6, 1945, including those capturing the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall (now the A-bomb Dome), Hondori shopping street, Fukuya Department Store, and Hiroshima Castle ruins, in addition to photos of Hiroshima’s central areas, which had been turned into a scorched plain.

Among those images, photos taken by 14 photographers will be accompanied by articles delving into the background behind the photos and the experiences of the photographers, based on feature articles and story series carried in the Chugoku Shimbun newspaper. The new content includes photographs taken by Yoshito Matsushige — former staff photographer at the Chugoku Shimbun who died in 2005 at the age of 92 — that depict the horrific conditions faced by Hiroshima residents on the day of the bombing, August 6. Mr. Matsushige’s photographic negatives were designated, in March 2021, as important tangible cultural properties by the Hiroshima Municipal Board of Education.

Most of the photos newly added to the website were taken by members of the Association of Photographers of the Atomic Bomb Destruction of Hiroshima, an organization that Mr. Matsushige founded in partnership with other photographers, and photos recently donated to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Photos and articles will continue to be added to the website to coincide with news coverage and article series.

The website’s redesign is part of the Chugoku Shimbun’s 130th anniversary project and was achieved with support from the Hiroshima International Cultural Foundation. Visit the redesigned website at: https://hiroshima75.web.app/.

(Originally published on January 3, 2022)