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Located on the grounds of Hiroshima Castle, Hiroshima Gokoku Jinja (広島護国神社) is a Japanese Shinto Shrine in central Hiroshima City.
"Gokoku" Shrines are Shinto shrines designated as places of worship for those who have died in war. Like the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, what became Hiroshima's Gokoku Shrine was also originally constructed in 1868 to commemorate the Hiroshima Han victims of the Boshin War. Seventy-eight souls were enshrined in the Futabanosato shrine, named Mikureisha (水草霊社).
Eventually, the total number of souls enshrined there reached 92,700, including the soldiers from the former Aki no kuni (now western Hiroshima Prefecture) who died in Japan's wars up until the start of the Great East Asian War (as World War 2 post Pearl Harbor is known in Japan) and around 10,000 workers and volunteer corps who were stationed in Hiroshima and lost their lives to the A-Bomb.
In 1934 it was dismantled, rebuilt and renamed Kansaishoukonsha (官祭商塊社), and moved to a corner of the west of the military parade ground, where the Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium stood until the end of 2008. In 1939, its name was changed by order of the Interior Ministry to the Hiroshima Gokokujinja. In 1945 it was destroyed by the atomic bomb, and was rebuilt on the current site within the grounds of Hiroshima Castle in 1956 with the aid of donations from the citizens of Hiroshima.
The current main building is even more recent, rebuilt in 1995, when the grand stone slab approach was also added.
Events at the shrine are held throughout the year.
Gokoku Shrine can be found within the main castle grounds of Hiroshima Castle.
By train/streetcar: Hiroshima Castle is about a 10-minute walk north from the downtown area, including Kencho-Mae Station (Astram Line) or Kamiyacho-higashi stop (Hiroden streetcar).
Meipuru-pu: sightseeing bus The castle is also on the route for the Hiroshima sightseeing loop bus, Meipuru-pu, which starts from Hiroshima Station. The castle is a 6 minute ride and the second stop on the route.
By foot: The castle is about 10-15 minutes walk from both Peace Park and Shukkeien Garden. By foot, it can form part of an ideal day itinerary.
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