Takehara Hiroshima - Tourism Guide -

Takehara HiroshimaTourism Guide

Takehara's Tourist Attractions

Ohkunoshima Poison Gas Museum (大久野島毒ガス資料館) Ohkunoshima area

  • Ohkunoshima Poison Gas Museum (大久野島毒ガス資料館)  1
  • Ohkunoshima Poison Gas Museum (大久野島毒ガス資料館)  2
  • Ohkunoshima Poison Gas Museum (大久野島毒ガス資料館)  3
  1. Ohkunoshima Poison Gas Museum (大久野島毒ガス資料館)  1
  2. Ohkunoshima Poison Gas Museum (大久野島毒ガス資料館)  2
  3. Ohkunoshima Poison Gas Museum (大久野島毒ガス資料館)  3

The Ohkunoshima Poison Gas Museum, established in 1988, has exhibits on the chemical weapons plants that were built on the island in 1929 and were in use until the end of World War II, in 1945.

Mustard gas and tear gas were produced in factories on the island along with weapons such as the balloon bomb (fugo), a hydrogen balloon attached with a small incendiary bomb. The fugo was designed as an inexpensive weapon that could ride on the jet stream over the Pacific Ocean to drop bombs on American cities.

The small museum has two rooms with exhibits showing the effects of chemical weapons in war and poison gas manufacturing on workers.

The first room focuses on the Imperial Japanese Army’s secret program to develop chemical weapons on Ohkunoshima. The exhibits highlight the dangerous working conditions in the chemical weapons plants, and the effects of chemical weapons on the human body. The rubber suits, gas masks, gloves, and boots that the workers wore were not completely airtight, allowing poisonous material to seep in, which damaged the skin, eyes, and throat. Many of the workers suffered from exposure to the chemicals. Displays include equipment used to manufacture and store poison gas, as well as workers’ documents such as notebooks and training manuals.

The second room is set up as a classroom, with posters and photographs showing how poison gas affects the human body, particularly the lungs, eyes, skin, and heart. There are images from Iraq and Iran of victims of poison gas, which illustrate the horrors of chemical warfare in more recent times.

The island is dotted with war-related debris, including the south, central, and north artillery batteries, and shuttered factories.

Before the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), the island was fortified to protect the Seto Inland Sea. Three artillery batteries were constructed to monitor enemy approaches. The North Battery Ruins mark the remnants of one of the original batteries constructed on the island; 22 cannons were installed between 1897 and 1902. During World War II, the North Battery was used to store poison gas.

The Ammunition Storage Warehouse was used to store poison gas during World War II, and to store ammunition for U.S. forces during the Korean War (1950–1953). The roof of the building was made of light material to limit damage in the case of an explosion.

The power station, now in ruins, provided power to the island during World War II and was used to store ammunition during the Korean War. You can see signs of its history in the words “MAG2” on one of the walls, indicating an area for storing ammunition magazines.

The Nagaura Poison Gas Storehouse was the largest poison gas storehouse on the island. Around 100 tons of poison gas was stored in each of its six rooms. It was originally painted in camouflage colors.

The Ohkunoshima Poison Gas Museum was built with the cooperation of groups representing the affected people and associated towns, cities, and Hiroshima Prefecture. The museum and people of Ohkunoshima hope that tourists will visit the museum along with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima City to learn about the importance of peace.