Fascinating glimpses of pre-war Hiroshima in 85-year-old film

The Hiroshima Peace Museum has made seven minutes of film footage that provides fascinating glimpses of pre-war Hiroshima. Shot with a hand-cranked Pathé Baby home movie camera in 1934 (Showa Year 9) by Hideo Inoue, the two films were donated to the museum by his daughter-in-law in 2017 and have been digitized and shared on YouTube.

The films show footage of the city center, including Hiroshima Station, Hatchobori, Nigitsu Shrine, kids and families enjoying the beach, an awesome-looking pool, a local festival and the Aoi “T” Bridge that would be used as the target for the A-bomb in 11 years later.

Hiroshima’s role as an important military base is illustrated by a few seconds showing a parade of soldiers and horses pulling gun carriages under blossom-heavy trees.

Though entirely unrelated, watching the few seconds of a little kid on a tricycle I can’t help but recall Shin’s Tricycle which is displayed in the Peace Memorial Museum.


Asahi.com has some interesting then-and-now photos comparing still images from the footage with how the places look now. Can you identify any other places? Share in the comments below if you can.

Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of GetHiroshima.com and loves running in the mountains.

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