HIROSHIMA HISTORY

Hiroshima History including the establishment of Hiroshima and history of Hiroshima Atomic bombing.

Hiroshima was founded in 1589, on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea, and became a major urban centre during the Meiji period. The city is located on the broad, flat delta of the Ota River, which has 7 channel outlets dividing the city into six islands which project into Hiroshima Bay. The city is almost entirely flat and only slightly above sea level; to the northwest and northeast of the city, some hills rise to 700 feet.

Hiroshima was founded by Mori Motonari as his capital. About a half century later, after the Battle of Sekigahara, his grandson and the leader of the West Army Mori Terumoto lost the battle. The winner Tokugawa Ieyasu deprived Mori Terumoto of most of his fiefs including Hiroshima and gave Aki province to another daimyo who had supported him.

Finally Asano was appointed the daimyo of this area and Hiroshima served as the capital of Hiroshima han during the Edo period. After the han was abolished the city became the capital of Hiroshima prefecture.

During the First Sino-Japanese War, Hiroshima emerged as a major supply and logistics base for the Japanese military, a role that it continued to play during World War II. On the 6th of August 1945, Hiroshima was heavily damaged by the nuclear weapon Little Boy, the second such device to be detonated, and the first ever used in military action. The American atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the major factor leading to the surrender of the Japanese government six days after the latter attack.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Hiroshima Peace Memorial

After the nuclear attack, Hiroshima was rebuilt as a "peace memorial city," and the closest surviving building to the location of the bomb's detonation was designated the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. The city government continues to advocate for the abolition of nuclear weapons, writing a letter of protest every time a nuclear weapon has been detonated anywhere in the world since the city's bombing, and has advocated more broadly for world peace.

Hiroshima gained city status on April 1, 1889 and was designated on April 1, 1980 by government ordinance.

Hiroshima, following the atomic bombing

After the war
Hiroshima was rebuilt after the war, with new modern buildings rising all over the city. In 1949, Hiroshima was proclaimed a City of Peace by the Japanese parliament, at the initiative of its mayor Shinzo Hamai (b. 1905-d. 1968). As a result, the city of Hiroshima was receiving more international attention as a desirable location for holding international conferences on peace as well as social issues. As part of that effort, the Hiroshima Interpreters' and Guide's Association (HIGA) was established in 1992 in order to facilitate translation services for conferences, and the Hiroshima Peace Institute was established in 1998 within the Hiroshima University. In 1994, the City of Hiroshima hosted the Asian Games.

Also, as a result of the atomic bombing, Hiroshima began to receive donations of streetcars from all over Japan. (After World War II, Japanese cities - like British ones - were anxious to get rid of their streetcar systems due to damage to the infrastructure, and so there were plenty of streetcars available to give away.) Hiroshima thus rebuilt its streetcar system along with the rest of the city, and thus Hiroshima is the only city in Japan with an extensive streetcar system (although other cities have streetcar lines). Some streetcars that survived the war - and the nuclear attack - were put back into service, and four of these are still running today. For the most part, however, Hiroshima has updated its streetcars over the years.

Tens of thousands of people marked the 40th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city on August 6, 1985.

(Article based on Wikitravel article by Jpatokal. Based on work by Jose Ramos and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Article used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0.)

Hiroshima

HIROSHIMA

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