Panorama of Hiroshima's Motomachi District

Panorama of devastation from the roof of the Hiroshima Prefectural Commerce Association in Motomachi District, 285 yards (260 meters) from the hypocenter. A commission from the Japan Science Council was sent to study the effects of the bomb in October 1945. Filmmakers and photographers from the Nihon Eigusa Studio were recruited. Shigeo Hayashi, an Imperial Japanese Army veteran of Manchuria and a former reporter for FRONT Magazine, was selected. The team arrived at Hiroshima on October 1, 1945 and began at the hypocenter at Shima Hospital. When the weather cleared, he climbed several buildings and made these panaramas. He later wrote, "Every few steps I saw the remains of another makeshift crematoria. Wherever I aimed the camera, voices from the hell of two months earlier flooded toward me." Locations include 1.) Air-burst hypocenter over Shima Hospital. 2.) Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall; "Atomc Bomb Dome" and Peace Museum today. 3.) Motoyasu Bridge. 4.) Hiroshima Chapter, Red Cross Society. 5.) Aioi Bridge, the aiming point for Enola Gay's bombardier. The bridge built in 1932 took on a "T" shape two years later when it extended an arm to the "nose" of Jisenji Temple on the north tip of Nakajima-hon-machi. It was because of this unusual shape that it was chosen as the target of the atomic bombing. Immediately after the bombing, the bridge was strewn with debris and human and animal corpses. The floating corpses were enough to choke the river. 6.) Honkawa National School, which was used as a hospital after the bombing. Many schoolchildren were killed as they were outside constructing defenses. All of Hayashi's work was confiscated by Supreme Command Allied Powers (SCAP) run by US General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. 540 35mm photos and 174 4x6 photos were donated to the Hiroshima Peace Museum after their return in 1973. Hayashi later became head of the Anti-Nuclear Photography Movement.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Hiroshima Peace Museum
Date Photographed: 
Friday, October 5, 1945
Hiroshima Prefecture