@38 days until Hiroshima Summit: Hiroshima’s central area before the atomic bombing

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

During the Edo period, Hiroshima was originally a town of water transport where many ships came and went along the delta of the Ota River. After the harbor construction of Ujina port (now Hiroshima port) in 1889, however, Hiroshima became a big maritime center. It developed as a military city responsible for troop transportation and logistics, and established a position as the central city in the Chugoku region. Hiroshima’s Hondori shopping arcade, Haccho-bori, and Kamiya-cho areas were always crowded with shoppers.

On August 6 1945, these areas were devastated by the atomic bombing. It is estimated about 350,000 people were in the city at the time of the bombing, and the death toll from the attack is said to have reached about 140,000 by the end of the same year. As both of these numbers are merely estimated figures, however, the full facts about the A-bombing damage have yet to be clarified. Uncertainties about the damage were created because the bomb burned down and vanished the lives of people, the downtown area, and government records. These uncertainties tell us about horribleness wrought by the atomic bombing.

(Originally published on April 11, 2023)