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(hĭr'ōshē`mə, hērō`shmä), city (1990 pop. 1,085,705), capital of Hiroshima prefecture, SW Honshu, Japan, on Hiroshima Bay. It is an important commercial and industrial center manufacturing trucks, ships, automobiles, steel, rubber, furniture, and canned foods. The city is also a market for agricultural and marine products. Founded c.1594 as a castle city on the Ota River delta, Hiroshima is divided by the river's seven mouths into six islands. After 1868, Hiroshima's port, Ujina, was enlarged, and rail lines were built to link it with KobeKobe
, city (1990 pop. 1,477,410), capital of Hyogo prefecture, S Honshu, Japan, on Osaka Bay. One of the leading Japanese ports, it is also a major industrial center and railway hub.
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 and ShimonosekiShimonoseki
, city (1990 pop. 262,635), Yamaguchi prefecture, extreme SW Honshu, Japan. An important port and fishing center on Shimonoseki Strait, it is opposite Kitakyushu, with which it is connected by bridge and tunnel.
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During World War II, Hiroshima was the target of the first atomic bomb ever dropped on a populated area; it was dropped by the United States on Aug. 6, 1945. Almost 130,000 people were killed, injured, or missing, and 90% of the city was leveled. Much of the city has been reconstructed, but a gutted section has been set aside as a "Peace City" to illustrate the effects of an atomic bomb. The Peace Memorial Museum is there. Since 1955 an annual world conference against nuclear weapons has met in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima prefecture (1990 pop. 2,861,699), 3,258 sq mi (8,438 sq km), is generally mountainous, with fertile valleys. Rice and oranges are grown extensively, cattle are raised, textiles are manufactured, and shipyards are plentiful. Hiroshima, KureKure
, city (1990 pop. 216,723), Hiroshima prefecture, SW Honshu, Japan, on Hiroshima Bay. It is a major naval base and port, and merchant ships and oil tankers are built there.
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, and OnomichiOnomichi
, city (1990 pop. 97,103), Hiroshima prefecture, SW Honshu, Japan, on the Inland Sea. It is a shipping center and the site of several Buddhist temples, notably that of Senko-ji (10th cent.).
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 are among the important cities of Japan.


See J. Hersey, Hiroshima (1946, repr. several times); R. Takaki, Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb (1995).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a prefecture in Japan, in the southwestern part of the island of Honshu, on the coast of the Inland Sea. Area, 8,400 sq km. Population, 2.7 million (1975). The capital of Hiroshima Prefecture is the city of Hiroshima. The terrain is hilly and mountainous, with peaks that have elevations of up to 1,339 m (Mount Kammuri). The climate is subtropical and monsoonal. The average temperature in the city of Hiroshima is 3.8°C in January and 26.8°C in August; precipitation exceeds 1,500 mm annually. The principal river is the Ota. Most of the prefecture is forested. The economy is based on both industry and agriculture.

Hiroshima is one of Japan’s largest industrial regions. In 1971 the manufacture of ships and motor vehicles accounted for 26 percent of the value of the prefecture’s industrial output. The contributions of other important industries were as follows: general machine building, 16 percent; ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, 19 percent; chemical products, 7 percent; and food and condiments, 6 percent. Cement, textiles, and rubber articles are also manufactured. Copper, pyrites, and tungsten are mined on a small scale, and there are saltworks on the coast. The industrial enterprises of the prefecture are concentrated primarily in the coastal zone of Hiroshima Bay and the new industrial region of Bingo, including the city of Fukuyama.

Forestry is of some importance in Hiroshima, and approximately 13 percent of the prefecture’s territory is cultivated. The leading agricultural crop is rice; in 1971, 68,000 hectares were planted to rice, and 212,000 tons were harvested. Wheat, barley, and sweet potatoes are also grown, and fruits, including mandarins, are cultivated. Silkworms, livestock, and poultry are raised. Fishing is also important; the catch in 1971 was 26,700 tons.

The chief ports of Hiroshima Prefecture are Kure, where the outer harbor of Yoshiura is located, and the city of Hiroshima, where the outer harbor of Ujina is located.




a city in Japan, in the southwestern part of the island of Honshu, on the delta of the Ota River. Capital of Hiroshima Prefecture. Population, 787,600 (1974). Hiroshima is the chief industrial center of the Chugoku Economic Region. Among the city’s industries are machine building—including shipbuilding, ship repair, and the production of machine tools—and the manufacture of textiles, industrial rubber goods, wood products, paper, and food products. The city has a university.

The city of Hiroshima grew up around the castle of the feudal prince Mori, which was built in 1591.

On Aug. 6, 1945, the USA dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima without any military necessity. Much of Hiroshima was destroyed, and more than 140,000 people were killed or injured. Several international conferences of opponents of nuclear weapons have been held in the city since 1959. Since the 1950’s intensive restoration and reconstruction work has been done; the city’s redevelopment is one of the best examples of modern Japanese urban planning. The most important example of modern architecture in Hiroshima is the Peace Memorial Park and Buildings (1949–56, architect Tange Kenzo).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Japanese city destroyed by A-bomb (1945). [Am. Hist.: Fuller, III


where the atomic bomb was dropped (August 6, 1945). [Am. Hist.: Fuller, III, 626]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a port in SW Japan, on SW Honshu on the delta of the Ota River: largely destroyed on August 6, 1945, by the first atomic bomb to be used in warfare, dropped by the US, which killed over 75 000 of its inhabitants. Pop.: 1 113 786 (2002 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005