The Aioi Bridge (相生橋, aioi bashi) is an unusual T-shaped three-way bridge in Hiroshima, Japan. The original bridge, constructed in 1932, was the aiming point for the 1945 Hiroshima atom bomb because its shape was easily recognized from the air and also because the bridge was close to the center of the city.[1]

The modern reconstructed Aioi Bridge
The area around ground zero after the Hiroshima bombing. The T-shaped Aioi Bridge is visible near the center.

History edit

The bridge was built in 1932 for street cars. Its approximately 400 foot length spans the Honkawa and Motoyasu rivers.[2]

The Enola Gay targeted the bridge, releasing the bomb once it was within its sights. The bomb deviated from its intended target, missing the bridge by 800 feet. While not destroyed by the atomic blast, the bridge sustained significant damage. Following the explosion, a person who survived the event described witnessing the Aioi Bridge being lifted several meters into the air, only to settle back down onto its foundation afterwards.[3]

After the war, the bridge was repaired and remained in service for nearly four decades, before it was replaced by a new bridge (built as a replica) in 1983. A surviving portion of a floor girder from the original bridge was subsequently donated to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

The original Aioi Bridge
The railing of Aioi Bridge was slanted by the blast of atomic bomb.

The longer part of the bridge crosses the Ōta River just to the north of the island containing the district of Nakajima-cho [ja]. The downstroke of the "T" links the main bridge to the island, and is also the north entrance to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

References edit

  1. ^ Wyden, Peter (1984). Day one: before Hiroshima and after. Simon and Schuster. p. 239. ISBN 978-1476791739.
  2. ^ Wyden, Peter (1984). Day one: before Hiroshima and after. Simon and Schuster. p. 202. ISBN 978-1476791739.
  3. ^ Hoare, Stephen (1987). Hiroshima. London: Dryad Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0852196953.

External links edit

34°23′47″N 132°27′09″E / 34.3964°N 132.4526°E / 34.3964; 132.4526