Hall with H-bombed boat Fukuryu Maru reopens

Fukuryu Maru No. 5 is displayed at the Daigo Fukuryu Maru Exhibition Hall that reopened in Koto Ward, Tokyo, on April 2, 2019.


By JAPAN NEWS YOMIURI Published: April 16, 2019

An exhibition hall displaying a fishing boat that was exposed to radiation from a U.S. hydrogen bomb test at the Bikini Atoll in the central Pacific has reopened in Tokyo, with new exhibits including 3D images from aboard the vessel.

The Daigo Fukuryu Maru Exhibition Hall in the capital's Koto Ward opened its doors again on April 2. New exhibits there include video recordings of former crew members and 3D images of the ship's interior.

Fukuryu Maru No. 5, from Shizuoka Prefecture, was exposed to radiation from the hydrogen bomb test on March 1, 1954. The 23 crew members were affected by the nuclear fallout, or "ashes of death," and one of the crew died six months later. The hydrogen bomb was said to have been about 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

After the ship was decommissioned in 1967, a citizens' movement campaigned to preserve it, and the Tokyo metropolitan government constructed the exhibition hall in 1976.

"We enriched the quality and quantity of the exhibits, hoping many people will take interest in the subject," a hall official said.

The 30-meter-long vessel, weighing 140 tons, was exhibited at the hall, but it closed last July for renovation work due to its aging.

The facility replaced leaking roofs and changed the walls' heat insulation materials in a bid to create a better environment to preserve the over 70-year-old wooden ship. It also improved lighting by installing light-emitting diode light bulbs.

The renewed exhibits include a new video recording of verbal accounts of former crew member Matashichi Oishi, 85, and 3-D images from aboard the boat, to which entry is not usually permitted. The new exhibits are devised to tell visitors about the horrors of nuclear bombing.

There also are more explanatory notes in English for some of the exhibits, which explain nuclear tests conducted in various places around the world and the damage they have caused.

Many venues for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are in the vicinity of the hall.

"I hope the exhibits will provide an opportunity for foreign visitors to discover Fukuryu Maru No. 5," said Mari Ichida, 51, who works at the attraction.

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