Hiroshima (Japanese: 広島市 Hiroshima-si — Hiroshima City) is a city in Japan in Hiroshima Prefecture in the Chukoku Region on the western part of Honshu Island. According to the 2005 census, 1,154,595 people lived in the city. It is well known in the world for the Second World War, because on August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on this city.
Hiroshima was founded in 1589 on the coast of the Seto Sea, and became a city center during the Meiji period. The city is located at the wide and low-lying mouth of the Ota River, which has 7 channels that divide the city into six islands that jut out into Hiroshima Bay. The city is almost flat, only slightly above sea level; the hills in the northwest and northeast of the city rise up to 200 m.
The city was founded by Mori Motonari as his headquarters. Some half a century later, after the Battle of Sekigahara, his grandson and leader of the Western Army Mori Terumoto found himself on the losing side. The victorious Tokugawa Ieyasu stripped Terumoto of most of his possessions, including Hiroshima, and gave Aki Province to another daimyo, a supporter of his.
Eventually the daimyo of the area became Asano, and Hiroshima became the seat of the han during the Edo period. After the abolition of the khanate, the city became the seat of Hiroshima Prefecture.
During the First Sino-Japanese War, Hiroshima was a major supply and logistics base for the Japanese military. She kept that role until the Second World War.
The Little Boy atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The bomb was dropped by an American B-29 Enola Gay bomber, which was specially modified to drop that bomb. The atomic blast destroyed about 80% of the city, and it is estimated that the blast and subsequent radiation killed over 220,000 people.
After the war, Hiroshima was rebuilt as a "peace city-monument", and the building closest to the explosion was marked as the "Atomic Bomb Dome", part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Every year on August 7, the mayor gives a speech entitled "Declaration for Peace" in memory of the atomic disaster. The city government is constantly advocating for the abolition of atomic weapons and for peace in the world, and since 1968 has sent a letter of protest every time an atomic weapon is detonated in the world. The city is a popular location for international conferences on peace and social issues, and in 1994 it hosted the Asian Games.