Hiroshima (広島市 Hiroshima-shi) is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu- the largest island of Japan. The city’s name, 広島, means “Broad Island” in Japanese. Hiroshima gained city status on April 1, 1889. On April 1, 1980, Hiroshima became a designated city. As of August 2016, the city had an estimated population of 1,196,274. The GDP in Greater Hiroshima, Hiroshima Metropolitan Employment Area, is US$61.3 billion as of 2010. Kazumi Matsui has been the city’s mayor since April 2011.
Hiroshima is best known as the first city in history to be targeted by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped an atomic bomb on the city at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, near the end of World War II. Most of the city was destroyed, and estimates of the number of people killed outright or shortly after the blast have ranged upward from 70,000. Deaths and illnesses from radiation injury continued to mount through the succeeding decades.
After the war, great efforts were taken to rebuild the city. Predictions that the city would be uninhabitable proved false. Destroyed monuments of Hiroshima’s historical heritage, like Hiroshima Castle and Shukkeien Garden, were reconstructed.
As a memorial to all of the victims, Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park was built. It is a constant reminder of that day, and it attracts visitors from all over the world with its moving message of peace. And leafy Hiroshima, with its wide boulevards and laid-back friendliness, is far from a depressing place.