Photo/IllutrationThe Aioibashi bridge in Hiroshima around 1934, from footage filmed by Hideo Inoue and donated by Kazuko Inoue (Provided by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum)

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HIROSHIMA--Seven minutes of footage from Hideo Inoue's home movies offer invaluable insight into what this city was like 11 years before it was destroyed by an atomic bomb.

The films have been posted on the website of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Museum officials said they are the first they have received in more than half a century that record Hiroshima before the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing.

A lot flashes by in seven minutes. Crowds walk past a cinema. Bathers play at the beach. Military personnel march through the street.

Kazuko Inoue, 87, Hideo's daughter-in-law who lives in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, donated the films.

She said they were among the possessions of her husband, Setsuo, who was from Hiroshima and died in 2015, and had been shot by Setsuo’s late father, Hideo, mainly to record his family.

Scenes of central Hiroshima appear. So does Aioibashi bridge, which the U.S. military used as a target to drop the atomic bomb on the city.

The films also show Nigitsujinja shrine, whose main hall was destroyed by the blast, and the former building of Hiroshima Station.

The museum estimates the movies were made around 1934 based on a sign in one scene promoting a film being screened at a cinema and other items found in them.

Ryo Koyama, a curator at the museum, stressed the importance of the footage.

“The era saw the ‘modernization of life,’ and people started working on weekdays and enjoying leisure activities in suburban areas on weekends,” Koyama said. “In addition, the movies show some aspects of Hiroshima as a city that was home to many military facilities.

“The historically significant materials show the local landscape that would be reduced to rubble 11 years later.”

Kazuko said Hideo loved to shoot movies for fun. When shortly before his death he moved from Hiroshima to Nishinomiya, where his son’s family lived, he brought the reels with him.

Two years ago, Kazuko read in a newspaper article that the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum had unveiled another film of Hiroshima before the bombing and decided to donate two 9.5-millimeter Pathe Baby reels of Hideo’s films to the museum to “be of help to it.”

Pathe Baby was a compact, home-use film system sold in the 1920s by French company Pathe. Pathe's projector and windup camera were popular in Japan, primarily among wealthy individuals.

The museum commissioned Tokyo-based Imagica Lab. Inc. to digitally remaster the historic movies, so they could be shown on the museum’s Peace Database.

Readers can view them at: (http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/database/index_e.html).