Osaka International Peace Center (Peace Osaka) - 大阪国際平和センター (ピースおおさか)
Osaka International Peace Center (Peace Osaka), on the edge of Osaka-jo Koen and close to Osaka Castle, is a museum largely focused on the devastating American air raids on the city of Osaka during the latter years of World War II.
As is the way with such museums relating to World War II in Japan, the museum is labeled a "Peace" rather than a "War" museum, reflecting the continuing sensitivity of the subject of World War II in the history of the country.
Osaka International Peace Center (Peace Osaka) opened in 1991 with a wider focus with exhibits not only on the destruction wrought on Osaka from the skies by American bombers but also the US invasion of Okinawa and the actions of Japanese troops in China and South East Asia.
Funded by Osaka City and Osaka Prefecture, the museum was forced to realign its exhibits after coming under pressure from the then Mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto and the nationalist Japan Innovation Party.
When Peace Osaka opened after a "renewal" in 2015, the old exhibits referring to Japanese atrocities and the suffering the Japanese military wrought in Asia had been removed.
Now the museum is realigned to concentrate solely on the bombing of Osaka in 1945 with many of the exhibits hands-on and child-friendly to cater to the many school children who are brought here on school excursions.
Osaka International Peace Center is on three floors each divided into various zones.
Visitors enter on the second floor of the museum where there is a video explanation of the course of the historical events from the First Sino-Japanese War to the Russo-Japanese War, the Pacific War and the American bombing raids on Osaka.
Large wall panels depict both the time scale of the historical events, the damage done to the city and the increase in the destructive power of the weapons of the period.
Other zones on the second floor have exhibits showing daily life in the time of the conflict including the lives of school children. These include original letters and documents (ration booklets, call-up notices) and exhibits on the diet and clothing during war time.
The first floor attempts to recreate the reality of the Osaka air raids with replicas of various US bombs as well as a bullet ridden helmet and shattered masonry. A typical air raid shelter has been reconstructed and dioramas and projection mapping help to explain the destruction that befell the city before Japan's eventual surrender.
The third floor is devoted to the post war period, first the US Occupation, the Black Market and Osaka's remarkably swift rise from the ashes of war to become the economically vibrant city of today. This area is devoted to maintaining peace in the world and contains a work shop space.
Outside the Toki-no-niwa is a modern, garden space under a dome with the names of those who perished in the air raids engraved on a plaque. Eight metal bells can be rung to remember the more than 10,000 civilians who died.
"Weekend Cinema" held in the auditorium presents classic Japanese and world films on Saturdays for free. Many of the films have conflict and war as a theme.
Access - how to get to Osaka International Peace Center (Peace Osaka)
Osaka International Peace Center (Peace Osaka)
Tel: 06 6947 7208
Hours: 9.30am-5pm, closed Monday or the next day if Monday is a public holiday
Admission: Adults 250 yen; high school students 150 yen, junior high and elementary school students free.
The Osaka International Peace Center (Peace Osaka) is a short walk from Morinomiya Station on the Chuo Line and Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line of the Osaka subway and the JR Osaka Loop Line. Alternatively, the museum is a slightly longer walk from Tanimachi 4-Chome Station on the Tanimachi and Chuo lines.