The Hiroshima Ikeda Peace Memorial Hall is located in the Hikarimachi precinct of Higashi-ku in Hiroshima City. This is a former military parade ground where, during WWII, young soldiers trained before posting to Asia. Thus, the location has a sad history as a base for the spread of the devastation of war.
Building the Peace Memorial Hall here gave the location a new, more constructive mission. The hall is intended to be a Castle of Peace and a Bastion of Everlasting Peace, so that all who gather here will be Soldiers of Peace, spreading the seeds of peace throughout Japan and the whole world.
The hall stands ten-story high. On the first floor is an exhibition, “Youth and the Heart of Hiroshima,” made by the Hiroshima Youth Division to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the city’s devastation by the atomic bomb. The exhibition shows the efforts of Soka Gakkai’s first three presidents to achieve peace, as well as the peace-oriented activities of the Hiroshima Youth Division. Each of the exhibition’s panels has English text.
The hall has a theater, where visitors can hear testimony from survivor of the atomic bomb and see reconstructions of the bombed area.
There is also a Soka Library, with around a thousand books and other reading materials, including those written by Daisaku Ikeda and overseas publications. The library has a huge range of peace literature available only here in Hiroshima.
On the second floor is the Antinuclear Exhibition: “Everything You Treasure – For a World Free From Nuclear Weapons,” made by SGI in cooperation with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), as well as the name plates made during the sixth SGI General Meeting by friends from 46 countries and regions around the world to commemorate the profound significance of their gathering here in Hiroshima, the birthplace of our peace movement.
On the third floor is the Chugoku Auditorium. With a floor space of roughly 1,100m2 and a domed ceiling, the room is designed in the image of Hiroshima’s Peace Dome.
The hall has hosted many notable intellectuals, including Johan Galtung of Norway, the father of peace studies, and Dr. N. Radhakrishnan of India, a renowned scholar of Gandhian studies.
Outside, the grounds are adorned with cherry blossom trees dedicated to Dr. and Mrs. John D, Montgomery, professor emeritus at Harvard University and founding director of the Pacific Basin Research Center (PBRC) of the Soka University of America.
The trees were planted in 1991 in recognition of the couple’s efforts to help Hiroshima’s recovery and emergence as the birthplace of our peace movement, spurred by their sadness at the horrors of the atomic bomb.
1-15-39, Hikari-machi, Higashi-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima