Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hiyijima Hill

High on Hiyijima Hill, opposite the entrance to Hiroshima's Museum of Contemporary Art, a single Henry Moore scuplture, shaped like a pair of malformed legs twisted downwards at the hip, forms a kind of gateway to a lookout point over the flat land back towards the centre of destruction. A US Army photo shows the view in October 1945, two months after Toyofumi Ogura saw it on the day of the bombing:

All around me was a vast sea of smoking rubble and debris, with a few concrete buildings rising here and there like pale tombstones, many of them shrouded in smoke. That's all there was, as far as the eye could see.

The hills of Koi are still there. The Kyobashi River too. The rest of the city rises once more in innumerable steel and concrete spikes. Even the daffodils are almost in bloom.

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