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Small Steps to International Peace Dialogue in Rural Hiroshima

University Peace Exchange Program at Fukutomi Star Terrace 福富・星降るテラス

At Fukutomi Star Terrace 福富・星降るテラス in the countryside of Hiroshima, an international exchange on peace is sprouting among the next generations of college students while they experienced the rural lifestyle and learned in depth about the history of Hiroshima. A small peace exchange program leaves its footsteps on the trail to future international dialogue and global peace.

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Rebuilding Hiroshima – Akio Nishikiori: Atomic Bombing Survivor, Architect

Akio Nishikiori was eight at the time of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. After the war, he gained qualifications as an architect and set to work assisting in the reconstruction of Hiroshima – with the aim to rebuild it as a city of peace.
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Emiko Okada: the story of an atomic bombing survivor (Part Four)

This is the fourth and final part of a series in which we have been uploading the English translation of an interview with Emiko Okada, a survivor of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. Her whole story will be told in parts, detailing her early life before the war, her experience in the bombing and its aftermath, her life in the decades following the bombing, and her activism in recent years, in posts over the next few weeks. The interview was conducted in Japanese and has been translated so that her story can be spread around the world, to encourage people to think more deeply about peace and the role of nuclear weapons in the world today. The interview was spoken and has been translated as is, so read it as if somebody was talking to you.
Part one, in which Okada-san speaks of her pre-war life and experience in the bombing, can be accessed here.
Part two, in which Okada-san speaks of her life and struggles following the bombing, can be accessed here.
Part three, in which Okada-san speaks of her activism and peace-building work, can be accessed here.

For Peace

There’s a way to have your thoughts known

Unlike most people, I haven’t studied much and don’t have a lot of information around me. When they held the G8 at Lake Toya in Hokkaido, I sent them a letter. Privately, telling them I was a hibakusha. Asking them, if they had come all the way to Hokkaido, they should visit Hiroshima as well. In America’s case, I sent it directly to the White House. I never imagined that I’d actually get a reply.

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Emiko Okada: the story of an atomic bombing survivor (Part Three)

This is part three of a series in which we are uploading the English translation of an interview with Emiko Okada, a survivor of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. Her whole story will be told in parts, detailing her early life before the war, her experience in the bombing and its aftermath, her life in the decades following the bombing, and her activism in recent years, in posts over the next few weeks. The interview was conducted in Japanese and has been translated so that her story can be spread around the world, to encourage people to think more deeply about peace and the role of nuclear weapons in the world today. The interview was spoken and has been translated as is, so read it as if somebody was talking to you.
Part one, in which Okada-san speaks of her pre-war life and experience in the bombing, can be accessed here.
Part two, in which Okada-san speaks of her life and struggles following the bombing, can be accessed here.

 

“What can you do for world peace?”

My meeting with Barbara

I looked in the Chugoku Shinbun and an article titled “What can you do for world peace?” leapt out at me. I was 49 at the time, and it was an article by the World Friendship Centre. They were searching for people to undertake activities in the US. Until then, I’d only known dressmaking, I’d been completely focused on making ends meet and hadn’t given any thought to world peace.

It was a completely different world to me. One that wasn’t just Hiroshima. I’d only seen America in movies. Gone with the Wind and such. It was like a dream. I’d only thought that America must be super bright and fun.

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Emiko Okada: the story of an atomic bombing survivor (Part Two)

This is part two of a series in which we are uploading the English translation of an interview with Emiko Okada, a survivor of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. Her whole story will be told in parts, detailing her early life before the war, her experience in the bombing and its aftermath, her life in the decades following the bombing, and her activism in recent years, in posts over the next few weeks. The interview was conducted in Japanese and has been translated so that her story can be spread around the world, to encourage people to think more deeply about peace and the role of nuclear weapons in the world today. The interview was spoken and has been translated as is, so read it as if somebody was talking to you.
Part one, in which Okada-san speaks of her pre-war life and experience in the bombing, can be accessed here.

Living through the devastation

My father’s struggle

After the bomb fell, my dad had not only felt great guilt at losing his daughter, but both guilt and difficulty that the same middle schoolers he had been giving a radical military education to, he now had to teach about the sanctity of life and democracy; the middle schoolers who had survived, anyway.

During the war, even though they were officially middle schoolers, they were receiving the same education as the military. As the evacuation point for Matsumoto Commercial School was in Danbara, in the shadow of Mount Hijiyama, most people survived. They spent three days trying to clean away rubble in the care of the teachers, but were sent home. Within ten days, the war finished.

Now, he had to teach those same students democracy; my dad was very conflicted. As it was the same school, the same students. They blacked out all of the textbooks, and had to teach the importance of life this time around.

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