Hiroshima TV to make A-bomb documentaries available in English

Local broadcaster will stream several of its A-bomb related documentaries on its website from August 6, the 72nd anniversary of the Hiroshima A-bombing.

As part of a commemorative program titled “Message From Hiroshima”, 6 films produced by the broadcaster will be streamed on its website on this page (which displays “coming soon” at time of writing) from August 6 (Japan time). Hiroshima Television will also be opening of films to the public via ads in the New York times on August 5 (U.S. time).

While the development and use of the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 has been the subject of many documentary films produced in the west, the stock of documentary films made in and from the perspective of cities attacked have been difficult to access, both in terms of availability and language, to those outside of Japan. This move by Hiroshima Television, though perhaps overdue, is welcome and one that we hope more broadcasters will follow.

The films to be streamed are:

  • U.S. POWS and the A-bomb [被爆米兵 hibakubeihei]
    55 min. 2016
    It is little known that 12 American prisoners of war died by atomic bombing in Hiroshima and the people of Hiroshima entombed them with honor. This untold story tells about the absurdity of war and atomic bombs, and furthermore, humanity beyond borders. (2016 Japan Broadcast Culture Awards second prize)
  • Isihibumi (Carved in Stone/Stone Monument)
    (85 min. 2015)
    Hirokazu Kore-eda’s reworking of a classic 1969 TV program produced by Hiroshima Television. Read Mark Schilling’s review in the Japan Times here.
  • Ishibumi
    (53 min. 1969)
    The original 1969 film mentioned above.
  • Homeward Bound [家路]
    (73min. 1997)
  • Streetcars and School Girls [チンチン電車と女学生~2003・夏・ヒロシマ~]
    (48min. 2003)
  • A Message from the Vanished Streets of Hiroshima [消えた町並みからのメッセージ~CGでよみがえる8月6日~]
    (47min. 2005)


Kore-eda’s Ishibumi will be streamed for one month and the other 5 films until the end of March 2018. We would love to see Hiroshima Television make these films available in perpetuity, and perhaps even let them out into the wild on the world’s most used video platforms.