Hiroshima

Your 4th of July:

My 4th of July:

By an odd twist of fate, we ended up in Hiroshima for our country’s  most patriotic holiday, the 4th of July – US Independence Day.

Hiroshima’s museum and the dome are pretty much all you’d want to see, the rest of the city is just a normal, Japanese city. Also since the city was leveled and completely rebuilt after the war, there are no interesting historical buildings pre-1950.

The Hiroshima museum had 2 wings, 1 was all about the lead-up to the war and the actual bombing. It had honest depictions of how Japan invaded China and how Hiroshima was an important port city and thus a good military target. They also had interesting displays of declassified American military documents explaining how we were basically looking for a reason to use the atomic bomb technology in war.

The second wing is all about the aftermath of the bomb. They have some really disturbing things like people’s burnt clothes (with 60 year old blood on it) and photos of the burns. Also, they present an honest look at how the Japanese studied radiation victims without treating them for many years.

Outside the museum is Peace Park which leads to the A-bomb Dome, one of the only buildings to have any remaining parts after the bombing. They left it the way it was – a skeleton of a building. We also found the hypocenter, the actual place over which the bomb exploded. There’s a small memorial there, though it’s in a weird spot next to a parking lot. If you click on this image, I retyped the plaque’s inscription in the description on Flickr.

In all, it was a completely weird, interesting, and contemplative way to spend my country’s independence day.

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