On the 25th of April 2015, central Nepal was struck by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Eight hundred people lost their lives, and hundreds of thousands more were left homeless by the disaster.
Nepali medical students studying in Hiroshima joined forces with Hiroshima citizens’ groups to create the Hiroshima-Nepal Earthquake Relief Team, which began relief efforts as quickly as possible. The Relief Team gathered donations to purchase medical supplies to send to Nepali hospitals, and volunteers traveled to the capital city of Kathmandu and the surrounding area to give free medical care, gather information on conditions, and find housing for displaced people, among other activities.
ANT-Hiroshima also participated in the relief effort. Tomoko-san, Professor of Neurosurgery Kazunori Arita, and Doctor of Neurosurgery Masayuki Sumida traveled to Nepal to distribute donations to various medical teams. The two doctors also performed many surgeries free of charge at Annapurna Neurological Institute, as well as taking part in a meeting on medical relief efforts. At the meeting, they gave words of support and presented the donations, intended for temporary housing, a rehabilitation hospital, and other facilities, along with three suitcases worth of medical supplies. Using the donations, the Relief Team was able to build many temporary houses for displaced people.
On her first trip to Nepal, Tomoko-san gave the newly-elected mayor of Kathmandu copies of the picture book “Paper Crane Journey,” to be distributed to public schools, along with a letter of encouragement and support from the mayor of Hiroshima. On her second trip, Tomoko-san directly gave many copies of “Paper Crane Journey,” translated into Nepali and English, to public elementary schools, in order to teach children about the story of Hiroshima — the bad and the good — and bring smiles to their faces. Hopefully, Nepal, like Hiroshima, will be able to recover quickly from the disaster that occurred there. After a bilingual reading of the story, Tomoko-san taught the students how to fold paper cranes. The ANT Hiroshima representatives also returned to Annapurna Neurological Institute to support the surgery department and give copies of “Paper Crane Journey” to the young patients.
Even after Tomoko-san the majority of the Earthquake Relief Team representatives returned to Japan, they maintained the important ties between Hiroshima and Nepal and continued to support the establishment of a rehabilitation hospital for children in Nepal, as well as other long-term recovery efforts.
Outreach Ecology Works With Green Legacy Hiroshima In Photodocumentary Of A-bomb Witness Trees Of Hiroshima
In August of this year a team of photographers from OutreachEcology.com visited Hiroshima and worked with Green Legacy Hiroshima to produce a “spherical photodcumentary” of the a-bomb survivor trees that continue to flourish in the city.
The aim of the project was to photograph some of the A-bomb survivor trees using Google Photo Sphere on an Android smartphone to create a 360 panoramic record of fifteen of the trees in their current locations. The resulting photo is in two dimensions, but can be “warped” by a computer and transformed into a sphere to provide the panoramic effect.
The team were also keen to stress that the photos should be made available as a resource for projects relating to the a-bomb survivor trees as witnesses of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. One suggestion was that they could be used as part of a “then and now” project that places photos from the immediate post-war period alongside photographs of the same location taken today, such as the panoramic photo-sphere photos.
With that in mind, we have made available the full report as a downloadable PDF file in the Resources page of this blog. The PDF file includes a download link to the complete archive of a-bomb-survivor tree photospheres and a link to the Google streetview archive of the trees as well as many other resource links of use to reasearchers.
Click Here to go to the Resources page.
The 5th November marked the 34th anniversary of the city of Manchester, England, becoming the world’s first nuclear free city. The city was declared to be a “nuclear free zone” on 5th November 1980.
To mark the occasion the Mayors for Peace organization awarded the city some seedlings taken from ginko trees that survived the bombing of Hiroshima. Mayors for Peace is a global programme founded by the mayor of Hiroshima, Takeshi Araki, in 1982. Manchester is a vice presidential city in the Mayors for Peace programme.
The ginkgo trees were growing less than two kilometres from Hiroshima city centre and survived the atomic bombing, despite suffering severe damage. The following spring, new buds appeared on the charred trunks of the trees, giving hope to the survivors of the bombing as they began to rebuild their city.
Manchester is the first city in the United Kingdom to receive peace seeds from Hiroshima.
The ginko-tree seedlings were officially presented to the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Sue Cooley.
Accepting the seedlings, the Lord Mayor said:
To receive these seedlings from trees that survived the atomic bomb is truly breathtaking, they serve as both a pertinent symbol of hope and a reminder that we stand proud, with our fellow Mayors for Peace cities, in the call for nuclear disarmament.
“I hope that local children are inspired by these symbolic ginkgos and look forward to seeing their art work next year. Involving young people with the Mayors for Peace programme is vital in making sure the next generation do not forget the immense destruction nuclear weapons can cause and do not repeat the mistakes of the past.
The seedlings will be nurtured and cared for by the Hulme Garden Centre in Manchester and they will be used in a school project , Project Gingko, in 2015.
The project will invite children from Manchester to create artwork reflecting upon the destruction of Hiroshima in 1945 and how nature can help regenerate destroyed cities.
The artwork will be entered into a competition and an exhibition of the completed artwork will be held. The winners of the competition will be invited to attend a special event with representatives from Hiroshima.
The story was picked up by the BBC News: Hiroshima ginkgo tree seeds take root in Manchester
We received a report from Dr Basant Pant about a seminar which he organized with the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) to study the effects of radiation on human health. The seminar was held in commemoration of the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6th 1945.
Writing on his Facebook Page, Dr Pant explained,
Today at 8:15 am Aug 6th 1945, first atom bomb was dropped in Hiroshima leading to 80,000 deaths, thousands of injury, great destruction, and long term effect of radiation.
We all should learn a lesson from Hiroshima, risk of Nuclear war & accident incorporate all human beings, nobody is immune from it so, we should continue to show our concern against its development, proliferation and use.
Today NAST is organizing a special event in this regards and here are some of the slides from my presentation.
“War is Evil; not the countries who fight it”
We would like to extend our thanks to Dr Pant and NAST for organizing this event.
Thirty years ago the city of Sagamihara in north-central Kanagawa Prefecture, close to Tokyo, declared itself a “City of Peace and Nuclear Weapons Abolition”.
To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of its peace declaration, Sagamihara organized several activities including a competition for the city’s elementary and junior high school children to design peace posters.
The winners of the peace poster competition took on the role of temporary peace ambassadors for Sagamihara. They travelled to Hiroshima to engage in peace activities. While in Hiroshima, they met Tomoko Watanabe of ANT-Hiroshima.
Here are two of the winning posters. The first was designed by elementary school pupil Anon Oyama. The message reads,
Te o tsunageba buki wa motenai!!
You don’t hold weapons when you join hands!!
Here is the winning peace poster by junior high school pupil, Sana Goto. The message reads:
Ano kanashimi o hikisuide … heiwa no onegai o Nihon kara
(May) prayers of peace from Japan … overcome that grief