Memoirs of War: Music Sirens and their current condition

The so-called music sirens (a series of air raid sirens that were modified to produce music instead of a monotonous and distinctive whine that warned people that an air raid was occurring) are becoming old, outdated and most have already broken down and are left in disrepair.


The sirens were initially placed by the Imperial Japanese authorities to warn the citizenry of WWII that there was an impending or currently happening air raid and that everyone must seek shelter.


Photo credit to:

This left a massive scar of the people of Japan and even senior citizens can still recount the horror of the bombs falling on their city.


However, since the war ended after America dropped the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the sirens were repurposed and heavily modified to produce music instead of an alarm.


The music sirens were praised by the people of the time when they were repurposed because, as we all know, there wasn’t any social media or internet at the time and people would have nothing to do but think of the disaster.


The music sirens, in short, were a welcome change of ambient noise for everyone.


However, since it’s been 70 years since the war, the music sirens weren’t maintained properly and only a handful – only 5 remain operational. That’s a stark contrast to the original 200 that were produced in 1954.


With the advent of the CD player in the late 1980’s and color TV in the 1960’s and even the portable radio in the mid 1990’s, the music siren was old and antiquated technology that no longer needed to exist and production stopped in 1998.


Many people in the area say that it shouldn’t be left do disrepair because it has essentially become a symbol of peace.


Reference: ‘Music sirens,’ erasers of bad war memories, drop in number


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to know the latest news and openings in Japan.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Promise, we’ll keep you posted!