War and Peace: The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

21 May - 29 Aug 2021

Visitor warning: This exhibition includes images and stories of death, injury and destruction that could disturb some people


From death, destruction and despair, grew a movement for peace and disarmament.

During the Second World War in August 1945, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan – reducing the cities to ruin.

An estimated 200,000 people tragically died by the end of that year – both instantly and subsequently from the aftereffects of radiation. 

This exhibition displays belongings left by the victims, photographic panels and other material that show what happened under the giant mushroom clouds that darkened the skies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Also featured in the exhibition are some of the paper cranes folded by Sadako Sasaki, who developed radiation-induced leukemia in 1955. Sadako folded 1,000 paper cranes in the hope she would become healthy once again. Before she died, Sadako had exceeded her goal and folding paper cranes has now become a lasting symbol for peace. 

Exploring stories of destruction, recovery and prosperity, this exhibition highlights the importance of achieving a peaceful world without nuclear weapons. 

As you view these exhibits, our hope is that you will encounter the reality of the terrible damage wrought by nuclear weapons and deepen your understanding of nuclear weapons as an absolute evil.

Kazumi Matsui and Tomihisa Taue, Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively 


War and Peace: The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is an exhibition from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Part of War and Peace in the Pacific 75 an Australian National Maritime Museum USA Program supported by the USA Bicentennial Gift Fund.

Header image: Mushroom cloud of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, 6 August 1945. National Maritime Museum Collection, 00030434. Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds


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