April 1 (Sat.), 2006 through March 31 (Sat.), 2007
The temporary exhibition room on the 1st basement
The town of Hiroshima, reduced to scorched earth by the atomic bomb, was crowded with a variety of people, the injured searching for shelter and help,
others searching for and asking about the fate of family and friends.
This program exhibit retraces the routes walked at that time by survivors of the atomic bombing, based on memoirs written by the survivors themselves, and presenting in maps and photographs the horrors that they experienced along the way.
From the memoir (extract)
- We crossed Yorozuyo Bridge and headed toward the intersection at Takanobashi. We saw about twenty people with terrible burns lying in the rotary there. They were gasping, ｡ﾈWater, give me water｡ﾉ in almost lifeless breaths. We ran toward City Hall, in front of which we found the burned steel frame of a streetcar. Inside were about 10 lifeless bodies, burned so badly we could not distinguish man from woman. At the large entrance to City Hall, we found another body scorched badly like a grilled fish. But, it was very odd that only the chestnut-colored shoes on the body still shone as if they were new.
Making our way to Kamiya-cho, we discovered one more burned-out streetcar in front of the Bank of Japan. Tanks of water for fighting fires were placed at intervals of about 200 meters. There were about five or six scorched bodies piled at each tank, each person with his or her head thrust into the tank.
written by Hajime Tasaka
-From Taishou Bridge, we made our way along the Hijiyama Line. We walked along the streetcar-line avenues from Tsurumi Bridge to Shirakami Shrine, and then from Kamiya-cho to Aioi Bridge.
At first we hesitated to cross over the immense number of corpses that we encountered, but because we were worried about my mother, who had been left in the city, we kept praying and reluctantly walked across the bodies. From Aioi Bridge, we made several attempts to enter Zaimoku-cho, where we were temporarily living. But we were held back by the flames and gave up. That night we dozed at the Aioi Bridge. On top of the bridge, people who were concerned about their relatives and other victims gathered burnt wood from the area to provide warmth, because even though it was midsummer, it was cold. One after another, a large number of people took their last breaths right before our eyes. I feel like I witnessed a living hell on earth.
written by Toshimichi Ogawa