@33 days until Hiroshima Summit: Mannequins modeled after A-bomb victims

by Fumiyasu Miyano, Staff Writer

Three displayed mannequins, with their skin peeled and hanging from the hands, looked like they wandered hopelessly against a background of a ruined town, seeking water. From 1991 until 2017, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Naka Ward displayed those life-sized mannequins modeled after victims in the aftermath of the atomic bombing. There were three plastic mannequins: an adult woman, a female student, and a boy. Their predecessors were made of wax.

When the museum announced a new policy to review exhibits with a focus on physical A-bombed items and remove the mannequins, it received a wave of opposing opinions because at one time, many visitors learned about the terror of the atomic bombing in childhood through the exhibition of the mannequins.

Since the museum’s renewal in 2019, the main building displays about 300 physical items including belongings left by A-bomb victims. The mannequins are kept in storage underground, and haven’t been used since having been removed from exhibition.

(Originally published on April 16, 2023)