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Hiroshima City
Image:Map Hiroshima en.png
Hiroshima City's location in Hiroshima prefecture, Japan.
Country Japan
Region Chūgoku, Sanyō
Prefecture Hiroshima prefecture
Physical characteristics
Area 905.01 km²
Population (as of October 2006)
     Total 1,160,956
     Density 1282.8/km²
Location 34°23′07″N, 132°27′19″E
Tree Camphor Laurel
Flower Oleander
Hiroshima City Hall
Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba
Address 〒730-8586
Naka-ku, Kokutaiji 1-6-34
Phone number 082-245-2111
Official website: Hiroshima City

Coordinates: 34°23′07″N, 132°27′19″E

Image:Symbol-hiroshima.gif The Japanese city of Hiroshima (広島市 Hiroshima-shi?) is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshū, the largest of Japan's islands. Geographical location 34°23′07″N, 132°27′19″E (City Hall). It is most known throughout the world as the first city in history subjected to nuclear warfare with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.

Hiroshima gained municipality status on April 1, 1889 and was designated on April 1, 1980 by government ordinance. The city's current mayor is Tadatoshi Akiba who assumed the office on February 23, 1999.


[edit] History

Hiroshima was founded in 1589, on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea, and became a major urban center 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. 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 was on the losing side. 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.

[edit] Atomic bombing

Atomic Bomb Dome at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, a remnant of the city near ground zero of its nuclear bombardment.

On August 6, 1945 the nuclear weapon Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima by Enola Gay, killing directly an estimated 80,000 [1][2] people and completely destroying approximately 68% of the city's buildings.[3] In the following months, an estimated 60,000 more people died from injuries or radiation poisoning. [4][5] Since 1945, several thousand more hibakusha have died of illnesses caused by the bomb.

After the nuclear attack, Hiroshima was rebuilt and the closest surviving building to the location of the bomb's detonation was designated the Genbaku Dome (原爆ドーム) or "Atomic Bomb Dome", a part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The city government continues to advocate the abolition of all nuclear weapons.

[edit] After the war

Folded paper cranes representing prayers for peace.
Current Atomic Bomb Dome (left) and modern buildings

Hiroshima was rebuilt after the war, with new modern buildings rising all over the city. Several US civic leaders and scholars were consulted about the rebuilding plan. 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 received 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.

While many other Japanese cities had abandoned their streetcar systems by 1980s (during 60s to 70s, Japanese cities—like British ones—were anxious to get rid of their streetcar systems due to damage to the infrastructure), Hiroshima has retained its streetcar systems. This is because the construction of subway was too expensive for the city to build, as it is located on a delta. During 1960s, Hiroshima Electric Railway, or Hiroden, bought extra streetcars from other Japanese. Since most of such street cars retain their original appearance, the streetcar system is called "Moving Museum" by some railroad buffs, although they are now being replaced by newer streetcars. Of four streetcars that survived the war, two of them are still in operation as of July 2006 (Hiroden model 650, Number 651 and 652).

[edit] Attractions

Image:Okonomiyaki 2.jpg
A man prepares okonomiyaki in a restaurant in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima's rebuilt castle (nicknamed Rijō, meaning Koi Castle) houses a museum of life in the Edo period. Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine is within the walls of the castle.

Hiroshima is known for its version of okonomiyaki, called "Hiroshima-yaki" or "Hiroshima-fū-okonomiyaki", but just called "Okonomiyaki" there. The Hiroshima version of okonomiyaki is unique for its inclusion of soba or udon noodles.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which includes the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, brings many visitors from all around the world, especially around the time of the annual commemoration called Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. And there are Children's Peace Monument and Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims.

Other attractions include Shukkei-en and Mitaki-dera. Festivals include Hiroshima Flower Festival and Hiroshima International Animation Festival.

[edit] Sports

Hiroshima is home to several professional and non-professional sports teams.

Baseball fans immediately recognize the city as the home of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Six-time champions of Japan's Central League, the team has gone on to win the Japan Series three times. Sanfrecce Hiroshima is the city's J. League football team.

Symbol Club Sport League Venue Established
Image:Hiroshimatoyocarplogo.jpg Hiroshima Toyo Carp Baseball Central League Hiroshima Municipal Stadium 1950
Image:Sanfrecce-bear.jpg Sanfrecce Hiroshima Football J. League Hiroshima Big Arch 1938
Image:Jtthunders.gif JT Thunders Volleyball V.League Nekota Kinen Taiikukan 1931
Image:Maplelogo-d.jpg Hiroshima Maple Reds Handball Japan Handball League Hirogin no mori Taiikukan 1994

[edit] Wards

Hiroshima has eight wards (ku):

Emblem Ward Population Area (km²) Density
(per km²)
Image:Symbol-akiku.gif Aki-ku 78,176 94.01 832 Population as of October 31 2006
Image:Symbol-asakitaku.gif Asakita-ku 156,368 353.35 443
Image:Symbol-asaminamiku.gif Asaminami-ku 220,351 117.19 1,880
Image:Symbol-higashiku.gif Higashi-ku 122,045 39.38 3,099
Image:Symbol-minamiku.gif Minami-ku 138,138 26.09 5,295
Image:Symbol-nakaku.gif Naka-ku 125,208 15.34 8,162
Image:Symbol-nishiku.gif Nishi-ku 184,881 35.67 5,183
Image:Symbol-saekiku.gif Saeki-ku 135,789 223.98 606

[edit] Demographics

As of 2003, the city has an estimated population of 1,136,684 and the density of 1532.44 persons per km². The total area is 741.75 km².

[edit] Industry

Mazda Motor Company, now controlled by the Ford Motor Company, is by far Hiroshima's dominant company. Mazda makes many models in Hiroshima for worldwide export, including the popular MX-5/Miata and Mazda RX-8. The Mazda CX-7 is scheduled to be built there, starting in early 2006. Other Mazda factories are in Hofu and Flat Rock, Michigan.

[edit] Business

Hiroshima is the center of industry for the Chūgoku-Shikoku region, and is by and large centered along the coastal areas. The Chūgoku area has a GDP of approximately (US$)270 billion, making it economically larger than many countries including Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden and Austria. Its largest industry is the manufacturing industry with core industries being the production of cars (Mazda) car parts and industrial equipment. General machinery and equipment also account for a large portion of exports. Because these industries require research and design capapilities, it has also had the offshoot that Hiroshima has many innovative companies actively engaged in new growth fields (for example, Hiroshima Vehicle Engineering Company [HIVEC] http://www.hivec.com) Many of these companies hold the top market shares in Japan and the world, or are alone in their particular field. Tertiary industries in the wholesale and retail areas are also very developed.

Another result of the concentration of industry is an accumulation of skilled personnel and fundamental technologies. This is considered by business to be a major reason for location in Hiroshima. Business setup costs are also much lower than other large cities in the country and there is a comprehensive system of tax breaks, etc on offer for businesses which locate in Hiroshima. This is especially true of two projects: the Hiroshima Station Urban Development District and the Seifu Shinto (http://www.seifu-shinto.jp/index_f.html) area which offer capital installments (up to 500 million yen over 5 years), tax breaks and employee subsidies.

Seifu Shinto which translates as West wind, New town is the largest construction project in the region and is an attempt to build "a city within a city." It is attempting to design from the ground up a place to work, play, relax and live.

Hiroshima has long been a port city and Hiroshima port or Hiroshima International Airport can be used for the transportation of goods.

As for workers, the lifestyle is considered to be good (if a little lacking in nightlife) and Hiroshima recently made it onto Lonely Planet's list of the top cities in the world. Commuting times rank amongst the shortest in Japan and the cost of living is lower than other large cities in Japan such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto or Fukuoka.

Information on all these matters can be received from Hiroshimas' Economic Affairs Bureau (http://www.business.econ.city.hiroshima.jp 082-504-2241) and is available in either English (James Clarke) or Japanese (Yamamoto-san).

[edit] Sister cities

Hiroshima has several sister cities[6]:

[edit] References

  • Kowner, Rotem (2002). Hiroshima. In M. Ember & C. Ember (eds.), Encyclopedia of Urban Cultures, 4 vols. (II: pp. 341-348). Danbury (CT): Grolier. ISBN 0-7172-5698-7

[edit] Further reading

  • Pacific War Research Society, Japan's Longest Day (Kodansha, 2002, ISBN 4-7700-2887-3), the internal Japanese account of the surrender and how it was almost thwarted by fanatic soldiers who attempted a coup against the Emperor.
  • 'Hiroshima bomb may have carried hidden agenda' - A Newscientist report on recent findings suggesting Japan was looking for peace, and US' ulterior motive for dropping the bomb.
  • Richard B. Frank, Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire (Penguin, 2001 ISBN 0-14-100146-1), a thorough analysis of all the available contemporaneous intel from the perspectives of the various participants during the last months of the war. Uses newly declassified US military intelligence records and other primary sources from many countries to make the case that bombing had a huge net saving of lives, Japanese and American, over an invasion. The author shows why the Japanese were preparing to continue the fight for an indefinite period and why they expected that a bloody defense of their main islands would lead to something less than unconditional surrender and a continuation of their existing government.
  • Robert Jungk, Children of the Ashes, 1st Eng. ed. 1961
  • Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, ISBN 0-679-76285-X
  • John Hersey, Hiroshima, ISBN 0-679-72103-7
  • Masuji Ibuse, Black Rain, ISBN 0-87011-364-X
  • Hara Tamiki, Summer Flowers ISBN 0-691-00837-X

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Hiroshima travel guide from Wikitravel

Image:Hiroshima Prefecture shadow picture.png Hiroshima Prefecture
Akitakata | Etajima | Fuchu | Fukuyama | Hatsukaichi | Higashihiroshima | Hiroshima (capital) | Kure | Mihara | Miyoshi | Onomichi | Otake | Shobara | Takehara
Aki | Jinseki | Sera | Toyota | Yamagata
  See also: Towns and villages by district edit

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