Hiroshima’s Memorial Tower for Mobilisation Students

The memorial for the mobilisation students was erected close to the A-bomb Dome in July 1967, to honour over 10,000 mobilisation students who died during World War II. The sculpture, designed by Katsukoh Entsube, was also intended to be an embodiment for Hiroshima’s wish for no more damage through war and for permanent peace around the world.

The tower stands at 12 metres tall and was made with reinforced concrete and ceramic boards, made of special “Arita-ware”. A goddess image of peace and eight doves decorate the memorial. The five-level tower spreads out like an open fan toward the sky, depicting increasing prosperity for the future, and a candle is attached to the leading pillar of the tower.

The tip of the pillar has a broken form, which represents the untimely deaths of many 12 to 16 year-old students, who were forced to work as mobilised students during World War II, due to the shortage of labour force.

Assuming that there were many victims of various denominations, the face of the goddess image of peace represents Kannon; she wears a crown on the her head and has the feathers of an angel on her back. In one of her hands she holds the flower of a soul, instead of a lotus, expressing the full figure of freshness and young affection.

Four symbols, each two metres tall, were placed on behind the tower. These represent: the work of increasing food production; the sewing work by schoolgirls; the ironsmith work in the factories by schoolboys; and a scene of floating lanterns in the river.

The names of 352 students lost in battle across the country, are displayed on a copper sheet behind the monument. A mortuary tablet, commemorating approximately 7,000 mobilisation students who were killed in the atomic bomb, is enshrined in a safe box within the tower.

SOURCES: 

  • Information leaflet from the Memorial Tower for Mobilisation Students
  • http://www.douingakuto.com

Hiroshima’s Memorial Tower for Mobilisation Students

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