What is the “Hiroshima: Faces” Project?
The name “Hiroshima” is written in Japanese using kanji as 広島, but in this project, it is sometimes written phonetically in the Japanese katakana script as, ヒロシマ. Do you know why?
At 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, a single atomic bomb was dropped by the United States onto a city, destroying everything in an instant. The city was burnt to the ground and turned into a charred wasteland. This is the city we are referring to when we talk about ヒロシマ.
Yet Hiroshima was resurrected, like a phoenix from the ashes, through the blood, sweat and tears of those who miraculously survived, together with the support and efforts of many collaborators.
Hiroshima was rebuilt as a peaceful city,
where many rivers flow, greenery flourishes,
buildings and stores line the streets,
where trains run through the city,
people smile as they pass by each other,
and schoolchildren are no longer mobilised for the war effort.
At first glance, it is difficult to find traces of the Hiroshima that was devastated by the bomb today. But, in fact, that Hiroshima is still alive throughout the city.
ANT-Hiroshima has been working in Hiroshima for more than 30 years, focusing on peacebuilding and international cooperation. Throughout our history, we have met many hibakusha. As we continued to meet with them and our relationships with them deepened, we began to wonder if it would be possible to somehow preserve, in a tangible form, these people as they live their lives today, their expressions and their A-bomb experiences.
“Hiroshima: Faces” is a project to record and convey the images and words of Hiroshima’s hibakusha. We have produced a series of booklets that introduces the pivotal moments of each person’s life, along with their portraits. The booklets have been donated to places such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, and to public libraries in Hiroshima City. In the future, we plan to also donate them to other public libraries throughout Japan.
This website was created so that the contents of the booklets can reach as many people as possible. 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing, and as the hibakusha continue to age, conveying the A-bomb experience to future generations is becoming a pressing issue. We hope this project will serve as a gateway for as many people as possible to encounter Hiroshima’s hibakusha and provide them with the chance to reflect upon Hiroshima, the A-bombed city, and peace.
ANT-Hiroshima, Executive Director
In cooperation with Rekisei-sha
Rekisei-sha was founded 1905 in the Nishi Ward, Hiroshima City. It is a company that designs, develops, and manufactures foil-printed paper. The factory still retains an A-bombed chimney and a storage room. Here, too, the faces of Hiroshima live on.