|(1) Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims
The Construction of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims(Official name: Memorial Monument for Hiroshima, City of Peace, also known as the A-bomb Cenotaph)began in 1950 and on August 6 of the next year, 1952, the unveiling ceremony took place. It contains a stone chest housing a register of those known to have died of exposure to the A-bombing. Through application procedures by the relatives of the deceased, names of victims who die are added to a registr. In this register are listed Japanese people as well as the namea of non-Japanese, and as of August 6, 1995,65 volumes of the register contained the names of 192,020 people.
Since the former arch-shaped cenotaph made of reinforced concrete had deteriorated badly after 32 years of its construction, remodeling of the cenotaph started in June 1984, and the present cenotaph was conpleted on March 26, 1985. "Inada Stone," a kind of granite ,was used in rebilding the cenotaph. The new cenotaph was constructed in the same size and shape as the original onew which Mr.Tange had designed . Placed under the cenotaph are the original stone plate on which an inscription is carved, and the original stone chest in which the register of the names of those who died is stored. An underground storage for the register was newly built since there will be more names added to the register in the future.
Original of the lnscription
The Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims, in the shape of a clay figure of an ancient house, was designed to house the souls of those who perished due to the atomic bomb. The register of the names of those who died is placed in it. The front of the stone coffin reads, "Let all souis here rest in peace; For we shall not repeat the evil."
Mayor Hamai commented on the inscription by saying, "Every shared the desire to pray for the peace of the dead, howeve it was difficult to formulate this into a pledge for peace" After racking his brains, Mayor Hamaqi asked Chimata Fujimoto, his chief secretary, if he had any ideas for an inscription. He thought of his respedted teacher, Prof. Tadayoshi Saika of Hiroshima University, an authority classical inscriptions. Fujimoto visited him immediatelty in the archery hall where he was living at the time because his residence had been heavily damaged by the bomb. The entrance had a dirt floor and was followed by a low room piled full of books. There was a small desk, but almost no room to move.
Explaining Mayor Hamai's ideas, Fujimoto talked with him for about tow hours. The next day Prof. Saika visired Hamai tto shoe him a braft he had written. His draft read, "Rest in peace; for we shall not repeat the evil." The words were perfect for expressing what ws on his heart. The Mayor decided to adopt Prof. Saika's draft on the spot and askeed him to do the handwriting which would be engraved on the monument.
When Prof. Saika finished writing, Mayor Hamai could not hide his delight. He took it to the city press club to show it to the reporters. They responded with applause. There was not doubt that the atomic bomb victims were not merely the representatives of one nation or one race, bbut of the whole world, and they should be recognized as a foundation for peace for all human beings. All people on earth should bmake this pledge for a peace without nuclear weapons. However, when the inscriotion was completed, many people did not understand Mayor Hamai's intention. There were arguments for and against it.
Dr.R.B.Pal, a delegate from India to the World Federation Asian Conference held at Honkawa Elementary School in November 1952, visited and prayed before the cenotaph. He said in real anger, "It is apparent that the "we" in the inscription " For we shall not repeat the evil" means Japan. What is this evil? The cenotaph is dedicated to the souls of the atomic bomb victims Everyone knows that it was not the Japanese who dropped the atomic bomb. The hands of those who dropped it are not responsible for that. That war was a result of the Western powers invasion of the Orient." In the Tokyo War Crimes Traials. Dr.Pal maintained to the end that Tojo and the others were innocent. There were many who expressed agreement with his words.
For an English translation of this inscription, Prof. Saika sent it to his eldest son who was studying at the University of Illinois. He finally settled on the following translation. "Let all the souls here rest in peace; For we shall not repeat the evil. "The subject of the sentence is very clear. It is "we" who prostrate ourselves before the cenotaph. All of us who are human beings need to make this pledge. This is a beautiful statement from one who has directly confronted the tragedy of the atomic bomb.
Prof. Saika contributed on article to the city bulletin describing what he meant. "The worst evil committed in the twentieth century is the dropping of the atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, but the citizens of Hiroshima are not brooding on the past, but seeking for light for the future, attempting to do what has not yet been done. It is the privilege of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to resolve that we shall not repeat this evil. (omission) If the efforts of Hiroshima brighten the future for all fuman beings, then the sacrifice made by the victims has not been in vain. "Form this it is clear that the inscription concerns the past, the present and the future of the human race, not of a particular individual.
To accurately communicate the purpose of the message engtraved on the cenotaph, the city of Hiroshima, on November 3, 1983, placed two panels, one in Japanese and the other in English, at the left of the cenotaph, The panels appear to float on the surface of the peace pond which lies around the cenotaph. The English inscription is as follows:
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