Tokyo Metropolitan Memorial Hall - remembering the 1923 earthquake
When returning home from a visit to the Sumida Hokusai museum, I decided to make a detour and visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Memorial Hall near Ryogoku station to grab a few pictures for this blog article. The hall was built in memory of the over 100000 people who died during the Great Kanto earthquake of September 1, 1923. Just outside the hall are two other memorials, one to commemorate the Koreans who were murdered after the earthquake and the other to commemorate those who died during the air raids of World War Two.
Whenever I go there I often have two sets of very different feelings. One is of course sadness, due to the many people who died during those events of long ago. However, I also think about the effects the earthquake and bombings have had on the city of Tokyo. Enter the hall and you will soon understand.
Inside are pictures of both the aftermath of the earthquake and of some of the bombings. They are quite incredible to say the least. The pictures are all black and whites and show whole areas completely flattened, completely gone. Nothing left but rubble. In one picture, there are just bodies, burnt beyond recognition, stacked upon each other. In both cases what could the city do when all was in ruin? Get up and start again, rebuild.
It makes me reflect upon history. Even though those events of long ago were completely tragic, they were so important in the shaping of modern Tokyo. If they had not happened, how different would the city be today? Would the city be better or not? Of course, that is a question that will never be answered but it is an interesting question to ponder. All I can say is that I am satisfied with what the city has become.
If you ever visit the Tokyo Memorial Hall, I hope you give a thought to all the people who are enshrined there and to all the destruction that happened around them. It must have been truly terrifying when they met their fates.
The hall is located in Sumida ward’s Yokoamicho park and also on the grounds you can find the Kanto Earthquake Memorial museum. Entry is free and I strongly urge you to visit it. The museum is quite small and old and in need of upgrading, but the exhibits are very powerful. I think they tell the story of September 1, 1923 very well. It is one of my favourite museums in Tokyo. The hall and the museum won’t take up all your day, or even half your day, but they will give you something to think about.
- July 2017 3
- Jun 29, 2017 Wadakura Fountain Park - 和田倉噴水公園 Jun 29, 2017
- Jun 21, 2017 Hydrangeas at Myohoji in 2017 Jun 21, 2017
- Jun 19, 2017 My First Model Photo Shoot Jun 19, 2017
- Jun 14, 2017 Hydrangeas at Hakusan Shrine in 2017 Jun 14, 2017
- Jun 7, 2017 Tokyo Metropolitan Memorial Hall - remembering the 1923 earthquake Jun 7, 2017
- Jun 1, 2017 Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2017 Opening Ceremony Jun 1, 2017
- May 25, 2017 Tokyo at Night - Shinjuku May 25, 2017
- May 21, 2017 Sanja Festival 2017 - shots from Kaminarimon May 21, 2017
- May 15, 2017 Sarashobou: Serious Books in Tokyo May 15, 2017
- May 12, 2017 Tokyo at Night - Omotesando May 12, 2017
- May 5, 2017 Children's Day in Tokyo 2017 May 5, 2017
- May 2, 2017 Azaleas at Nezu shrine in 2017 May 2, 2017
- Apr 29, 2017 Wisteria at Kameido-Tenjin Apr 29, 2017
- Apr 13, 2017 Cherry blossoms at Zenpukuji River Park - 2017 Apr 13, 2017
- Apr 11, 2017 Cherry blossoms on the Kanda river - 2017 Apr 11, 2017
- Apr 7, 2017 Cherry blossoms at Inokashira park - 2017 Apr 7, 2017
- Apr 5, 2017 Cherry blossoms at Aoyama cemetery - 2017 Apr 5, 2017
- Apr 4, 2017 Cherry blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen - 2017 Apr 4, 2017
- Apr 4, 2017 Cherry blossoms at Chidorigafuchi - 2017 Apr 4, 2017
- March 2017 3
- February 2017 2
- Jan 13, 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon 2017 - it's all about cars and girls Jan 13, 2017
- Jan 1, 2017 New Year's Day in Tokyo -2017 Jan 1, 2017
- December 2016 5
- November 2016 5
- September 2016 2
- August 2016 2
- July 2016 2
- June 2016 4