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About the Memorial Tower

Pacific War Air Raid Victims National Memorial(the Memorial Tower)

Overview of the Memorial Tower

The Pacific War Air Raid Victims National Memorial (referred to as "the Memorial Tower" below) was built on October 26, 1956 to honor the departed souls of the 509,700 civilian victims of the aerial bombardment and other calamities during the Pacific War, as well as to pray for eternal peace around the world.
The Memorial Tower comprises the tower, the front chamber and apron, and the side pillars. The apron shows the locations of the 113 war-damaged cities on a map of Japan (Tokyo, 99 cities, and 13 towns), and each of the side pillars representing a war-damaged city shows the date of the bombing, the number of victims, the affected population, and the names of the successive mayors who were in charge of reconstruction.
Every year on October 26, which is the commemoration date of the completion of the memorial's construction, the Peace Memorial Ceremony is held to honor the victims of the aerial bombings around Japan. Many people visit from all over the country to attend the event, including members of the Cabinet Office.
To repair the damage caused by the deterioration of the Memorial Tower due to aging, it underwent restoration work in 2006 on the 50th anniversary of the erection of the monument.
 
    Structure of the Memorial Tower    : Reinforced concrete with granite exterior
    Composition of the Memorial Tower: The tower, the front chamber and apron, and the side pillars
    Height                                          : 26.75 meters
    Front chamber                              : About 196 m2
    Apron                                           : About 280 m2
                                                           A map of Japan is engraved, showing the positions of the
                                                           113 war-damaged cities using round stones that are inserted
                                                           into the surface.
    Side pillars                                    : A record of the damage in each of the 113 cities and the
                                                          names of mayors in charge of reconstruction are engraved.
    Number of pillars                           : 138 (114 in front and 24 in back)
    Shape of the tower                        : The tower is shaped like a sword stuck in the ground to
                                                          express a pledge to never again engage in war.
    Construction completion date          : October 26, 1956
 

Origin of the Construction of the Memorial Tower

May 17, 1952           : In the 10th general meeting of the National League of War-Damaged Cities, it
                                 was decided that the memorial would be built in Himeji, where the League first
                                 originated.
                                 Decision is made to build the Memorial Tower in Tegarayama, Himeji.
July 23, 1952           : As a result of a nation-wide competition, the work of Ryutaro Takaya of Tokyo
                                 is chosen as the official design of the memorial.
May 8, 1953            : Construction begins. Construction cost: 80 million yen (donations collected
                                 from all over Japan)
October 26, 1956     : Construction is completed.
June to August 2006: Memorial undergoes restoration work.

Memorial Tower Restoration Work

Cost                                   : About 20 million yen
Overview of restoration work: The adhesive mortar that was leaking from the stone joints of the
                                            tower, the front chamber and apron, and the pillars was scraped off,
                                            and the broken sections were repaired. In addition, a chemical
                                            cleansing was carried out on the entire monument to remove dirt, and
                                            a waterproof finish was applied on the ceiling of the front chamber.
                                            Repairs were done around the main pedestal, the tiles of the pathways
                                            were cleaned, and the graveled parts were paved with colored
                                            pavement.

Victims and Affected Population Across Japan During Air-Raids

Photo of the side pillars
The side pillars show records of the damage caused in the 113 cities around Japan, including the dates of the bombing, the number of victims, the affected population, and the names of the successive mayors who were in charge of reconstruction.
  • Victims                 : 509,734
  • Affected population: 9,551,006

Votive lanterns

May 18, 1957: The decision was made in a board meeting to build lanterns along the path approaching the Memorial Tower.
The construction was handled by a company located in a town neighboring Himeji. They requested the factory for lanterns (6 large lanterns and 93 small lanterns).
The Pacific war whole country air strike
         Victim Association of memorial service
〒670-0971
475, Nishinobusue, Himeji-shi, Hyogo
   (Himeji-shi peace museum)
TEL.079-260-7117
FAX.079-260-7117

1.The Pacific war whole country war damage city air strike death person
 Maintenance of the memorial
2.The Pacific war whole country war damage city air strike death person
 Public information enlightenment business of the memorial
3.The Pacific war whole country air strike victim memorial peace
 Prayer-style enforcement
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