Shigeo Hayashi

Shigeo Hayashi
October 1945
In front of the approach to Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine
Photo by Tsuneo Tago

Shigeo Hayashi (林 重男Hayashi Shigeo, 1918–2002) was a Japanese photographer. After three years of Army service he began his career as a photographer with the Japanese propaganda magazine FRONT, in 1943. In September 1945 he was one of two photographers assigned by the Special Committee for the Investigation of A-bomb Damage to document the aftermath of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In subsequent decades he worked as a commercial photographer. He died in 2002 at the age of 84.

It was the first clear day in the several since my arrival in Hiroshima. As I had planned the day before, first thing in the morning I climbed to the rooftop watchtower of the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Hiroshima Prefectural Commerce Association) to take panoramic photos of the burnt plain of the city.
“Unbelievable,” I found myself mumbling. I turned and turned, trying to take in the spectacle. “I’m not dreaming. This is for real.”

From Approaching Ground Zero (Iwanami Junior Paperbacks), by Shigeo Hayashi

Hiroshima Panorama

Click and drag images or use the navbar tools to pan and zoom. Reload page if panaromas fail to load.

The Plain of Rubble
From a watchtower of the Hiroshima Prefectural Commerce Association
Location: Moto-machi
Distance from hypocenter: approx. 260m
October 5, 1945

From the roof of new Chugoku Shimbun building
Location: Kami-Nagarekawa-cho (now, Ebisu-cho)
Distance from hypocenter: approx. 870m

Panoramic photos from the new Chugoku Shimbun building that stood where Mitsukoshi Department Store stands now. From the observation room on the roof, one could see the entire city, the Chugoku mountain range and surrounding islands. That entire landscape was transformed on August 6 1945.

Assembled by Gordon Belray 2022.