The Vault

Five Panoramic Photographs of the Ruins of Hiroshima 

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Seventy years after the bombing of Hiroshima, this group of five panoramic photos held by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum shows how the city looked in the fall of 1945, when groups of physicians, scientists, and photographers surveyed and documented the aftereffects and the city’s recovery efforts. 

Three of the images are by Shigeo Hayashi, a former photographer with the Japanese Army who shot for the propaganda magazine FRONT during the war. Hayashi worked with the Special Committee for the Investigation of A-Bomb Effects, a group set up by the National Research Council of Japan. He photographed the bomb’s aftermath as part of his committee work in early October 1945. Later in his life, he was to become an anti-nuclear activist. 

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One is by American photographer H.J. Peterson, who visited Hiroshima in November with the United States Army’s Strategic Bombing Survey. The group filed a report the following year: “The Effects of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

Click on the images below to access larger files that will allow you to zoom in. (With these photographs, zooming is essential.) 

Photo by Shigeo Hayashi.

Courtesy of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. 

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Photo by U.S. Army.     

Courtesy of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. 

Photo by H.J. Peterson. 

Courtesy of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. 

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Photo by Shigeo Hayashi. 

Courtesy of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. 

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Photo by Shigeo Hayashi.    

Courtesy of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. 

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