Hiroshima/ Historical Documents

Map of parks proposed in the 1946 reconstruction plan of Hiroshima

This map shows all proposed parks in Hiroshima as part of the postwar reconstruction plan in 1946, illustrating the extent of the reconstruction plan throughout the city. The abundance of planned parks throughout Hiroshima suggest the importance of rebuilding Hiroshima’s image as a city of peace.

Before the war, Hiroshima had a very strong military culture and was the city that produced most of Japan’s military equipment. The introduction of more parks into Hiroshima was clearly a move away from the heavy military role it previously played for the country. A park is an extremely social program asa place of leisure. They are breaks within a city where the public can gather, enjoy nature and each other’s company. The large number of parks planned in the city, suggests that a priority was given to developing peace image rather than to rebuild their previous source of economy and income, the military supply production. This emphasises the idea that the planners, people and the city really wanted to move away from the idea of the city as a memory of destruction into a city of peace.

Due to many different intangible factors, many of these parks were not realised.

Japanese architect, Kenzo Tange proposed an expansion of his Peace Park zone toward Central Park (Chuo Koen), and unlike many of the parks shown in the plan, was not realised.  Tange’s unrealised plan as the central axis for our discussion and look at the various social, economic and political factors that contributed to the unrealisation of the plan.

Parks proposed in the 1946 postwar reconstruction plan of Hiroshima © 1985, Motomi Nanba et al.
Parks proposed in the 1946 postwar reconstruction plan of Hiroshima © 1985, Motomi Nanba et al.

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