Which Japanese city is the site of the Peace Memorial Park, built to memorialize the victims of the world's first nuclear attack?
And the answer: Hiroshima.
The park was built around the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, which was the only structure left standing after the explosion of the first ever atomic bomb. The ruin has been preserved in the same state as a symbol of the depths of human destruction, and of hope for world peace.
Hiroshima operated as a center for military activities during the imperial era, playing significant roles in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War, and the two world wars. Ultimately, the military strong-front based out of Hiroshima motivated the nuclear attacks in 1945— regardless of its non-intervention in WWII. The ruin, preserved exactly as it stood after the bomb hit Hiroshima in 1945, represents a spiritual center for anti-nuclear activity around the world. Peace Memorial Park, located at the epicenter of the blast, contains a museum and other various monuments dedicated to the victims of nuclear fallout. In recent years, the Atomic Bomb Dome at the center of the commemorative site has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site to which citizens pay tribute each year on August 6.
Around 1950, a comprehensive rebuilding of the city began. Reconstruction of structures such as the Inari Bridge and other industries in the city have led to significant economic and infrastructure growth. Today, Hiroshima is the largest industrial city in the western Honshu and Shikoku regions.
Hiroshima Castle, sometimes called Carp Castle, is one of the most highly visited sites in the city, as it was the home of the daimyō (feudal lord) of the Hiroshima han (fief). The castle was originally constructed in the 1590s, but was destroyed by the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945. After being rebuilt rebuilt in 1958, it now serves as a museum of Hiroshima’s history before World War II.
Learn more about the history of Hiroshima here.