On August 6, 1945, while the World War II was on, something happened that changed the fate of Japan forever. The United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima.
It was the world’s first atomic bomb, and was dropped by a B-29 bomber. Nicknamed ‘Little Boy’, the bomb immediately killed 80,000 people in one go. But the death count did not stop; thousands more died of radiation exposure.
Several monuments were nominated to mark the bombing and symbolize peace in the world while almost everything and everyone got devastated by the power of “a new and the most devastating bomb” in Hiroshima, as the then Emperor of Japan had said.
One of these monuments is Hiroshima Peace Flame, also called The Peace Flame.
Situated in the Hiroshima Peace Park, the Hiroshima Peace Flame is a monument dedicated to the victims of Hiroshima bombing. It is a symbol of peace.
The flame has been burning continuously since it was lit in on August 1, 1964 and serves as an emblem of fervent commitment against nuclear weapons to “burning the flame until the day when all such weapons shall have disappeared from the earth.”
The structure was designed in 1964 by Kenzo Tange, the then professor at the University of Tokyo. The pedestal of the monument has two hands pressed together at the wrist which bend back, and the palms are opening up towards the sky.
This design was created to wish for complete abolition of nuclear weapons and a world full of peace. Also, it had a purpose of consoling the souls of victims who died craving for water.
A Flame of Peace Relay is organized every year in which people run through towns, villages and cities into Hiroshima Prefecture calling for support for survivors and abolition of nuclear weapons.
Since the flame is seen as a symbol of peace, it is used to light flames in other events as well. For instance, when the Asian Games were held in Hiroshima in the year 1994, the Flame of Peace was used to light the sacred fire of the games event.