@68 days until Hiroshima Summit: Aioi Bridge

by Taiki Yomura, Staff Writer

The Aioi Bridge is built on the spot where the Honkawa River and the Motoyasu River are split to the north of Peace Memorial Park in Naka Ward, Hiroshima. It is said the bridge was used by the U.S. military as target for dropping the atomic bomb because it had the distinctive T-shape.

At one time before the war, it was an H-shaped bridge, including the wooden bridges connecting the north end of the present-day Peace Memorial Park site and the opposite sides of the Honkawa and Motoyasu Rivers. The bridge’s shape from those days can be verified with an old pictorial postcard (provided by Atsunori Masuda). The wooden bridges were built by locals in 1878. They were initially toll bridges dubbed the “Money collection bridge.”

Though a bridge beam was deformed when a part of the walkway floated upward as a result of the atomic bombing, it was repaired and continually used for a long time after the end of the war. Part of the deformed beam is now displayed at the Peace Memorial Museum in Naka Ward. The current bridge was completed in 1983. The round granite stones placed on top of the newel posts are inspired by images of the circle of humankind and world peace.

(Originally published on March 12, 2023)