@34 days until Hiroshima Summit: Demolition of buildings

by Rina Yuasa, Staff Writer

When the atomic bomb dropped by the U.S. military detonated over Hiroshima, it also took the lives of many young boys and girls, because students from the former junior high schools and women’s senior high schools, equivalent to present-day junior and senior high schools, were mobilized to assist with work in the area near the hypocenter. What they worked on was the “demolition of buildings” to dismantle buildings and houses to create fire lanes so the spread of fire could be avoided in case of air strikes. An A-bomb survivor did a drawing about how it was carried out.

During the latter period of the Pacific War, many students in Hiroshima were mobilized to work on the demolition of buildings or at military factories. According to the Peace Memorial Museum, more than 8,000 students were mobilized to help with the demolition of buildings at the time of the atomic bombing, and most of them died. The area where they worked on demolition is now prepared as Peace Boulevard. In the green space along the boulevard, there are many monuments inscribed with the names of the students who perished.

(Originally published on April 15, 2023)