Photo/IllutrationA photo of the domed ceiling of the Atomic Bomb Dome, which was then known as the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, taken by Shigeru Oki (1899-1979) before the building was leveled by the U.S. atomic bombing in 1945 (Provided by the Hiroshima Municipal Archives)

  • Photo/Illustraion

HIROSHIMA--To mark the 20th anniversary of the Atomic Bomb Dome's inclusion on the World Heritage list in 1996, a rare photo of the interior of the promotion hall before it was leveled by the atomic bomb has been displayed at an archives here since last year.

In the black-and-white photo, part of the domed ceiling, the handrail on the fifth floor, the stairway from the fourth floor and what appears to be a person standing in front of a window can be seen.

A copy of the photograph, showing the former Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, was donated to the Hiroshima Municipal Archives in Naka Ward.

The picture were snapped by Western-style painter Shigeru Oki (1899-1979), who hails from Hiroshima. The photo was stored in an album kept by his bereaved family, and a copy of the data was contributed to the archives in September.

As the building was reduced to rubble in the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing, it is rare that a picture showing the inside of the promotion hall has been discovered. The photo is currently being exhibited in the lobby of the archives to celebrate the anniversary.

The 216 articles donated to the facility included two photos showing the prefectural industrial promotion hall being used as the venue for oil painting and military artist exhibitions.

At the commemorative exhibit in the archives, 53 items, including three copies of pictures related to the promotion hall taken by Oki, the building’s design drawing, a photo of the facility being built and a copy of the World Heritage designation certificate, are on display.

An exhibited list of people who provided funds for preserving the Atomic Bomb Dome between 1962 and 1969 shows a group of former residents of Hiroshima Prefecture who lived in San Francisco, an ambassador of the Soviet Union, an Australian military doctor working to help Hiroshima recover from the atomic bombing and other people outside Japan who sent contributions.

The memorial exhibition will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays until Feb. 3. Admission is free.

For more details, contact the Hiroshima Municipal Archives at 082-243-2583.