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Peace Seeds: A Video Letter To Green Legacy Hiroshima…

Here is a video message to Green Legacy Hiroshima. It is compiled of two video reports, one from Irkutsk Botanical Garden, Russia, and the other from Nichia Gakuin, Buenos Aires, Argentina, where “peace seeds” from trees that survived the atomic bombing have been planted and are now flourishing saplings…

In his message, Dr. Victor Kuzevanov, Director of the Botanical Garden of Irkutsk State University, say,

“Irkutsk city is the first place where plants of Green Legacy Hiroshima were received. Plants we have here are tangible rexources and at the same time they are very good messages for Russians and for people of the world of the dangers of nuclear disaster. We hope that working together we can protect our very sensitive, very fragile world from nuclear disaster.”

Julio Bernal, Project Coordinator of the “Semillas de Paz” (Seeds of Peace) project at Nichia Gakuin reads a message in Japanese thanking the people of Hiroshima for the donation and for sending peace and love to far distant South America.

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Our Blog Has A New “Resources” Page…

We have just added a new Resources page to this blog and have posted our first freely downloadable “resource” on the page.

The resource is an educational document titled “Spreading Hiroshima’s Spirit of Peace,” by Tomoko Watanabe.

In the report, Tomoko-san describes her experiences in the immediate post-war period as she grew up in a family of “A-Bomb Survivors”. At first, people did not talk so much about their experience of the A-bomb. When Tomoko’s grandfather died, she began to question her purpose in life and writes,

“It was the first time that I felt keenly aware of the fact that I was born in Hiroshima to parents who were survivors of the atomic bomb.”

 

Tomoko goes on to describe how she came to be active in peace education as a result of her early experiences. Other sections of the report deal with the “Destruction and Rebirth” of Hiroshima, Hiroshima as a “Fortress of Peace,” and the work of ANT-Hiroshima.

The resource is in PDF format for easy downloading. Please feel free to download the report and use it as an educational resource or for any kind of peace-related activity, or simply for personal purposes.

More reports will be added in due course.

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On Behalf Of Green Legacy Hiroshima – Thank You ANT-Hiroshima!

Nassrine Azimi

Nassrine Azimi

Our friend and colleague, Nassrine Azimi contacted us to say that she would like a message on our blog for the 25th anniversary of ANT-Hiroshima on behalf of Green Legacy Hiroshima, because, as she wrote,

“[w]ithout ANT – and you [Tomoko] – GLH would not have happened. I hope you will accept this small tribute on behalf of us all…”

We are very happy to accept Nassrine’s tribute, and we are pleased to present it here:

“I met ANT-Hiroshima’s Tomoko Watanabe shortly after settling in Hiroshima, where my institute – the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) – had opened its Asia-Pacific office in 2003. Tomoko seemed to be the go-to person whenever one needed a solution, so when at the end of my term as director of UNITAR I shared with her my love of trees and expressed a desire to do something for younger children, she promptly connected me to an enlightened school principal, with whom we later created a friendship garden. And of course when I thought of working with the UNITAR team and worldwide network, to spread the message of Hiroshima’s A-Bomb surviver trees, it was to Tomoko I turned.

“I remember very well that cold winter night in early 2011 when we spoke of Green Legacy Hiroshima. I asked for her help. Within weeks she had mobilized her family and colleagues, and thanks to her, almost by magic, two of the most able and timely individuals I could dream of appeared: Chikara Horiguchi and Hideko Yamada, both of whom seemed born to be master-gardener and manager of Green Legacy Initiative, respectively. Thanks to this dream-team and to many many others who rallied around the initiative, within two years it has spread to some 20 countries.

“Tomoko’s particular talent is an ability to connect and inspire people for a larger cause, to remain small and focussed while accomplishing big things, and to be great in even the smallest circumstances. I have watched her keep ANT a place of both action and ideas – effervescent, welcoming, professional and yet so human. May that many other politicians and administrators learn the art of leadership from this slight, elegant woman.

“People sometimes express admiration, that Green Legacy – such a simple idea – has had such universal resonance. It maybe so, but without implementation it would still have been just an idea. I am grateful to the saints and sages who brought Tomoko and I to work together, starting like ants on the path of Green Legacy Hiroshima; one can hardly have a better companion for this long, 1000-year journey.”

Nassrine AZIMI

Co-Founder/Coordinator
Green Legacy Hiroshima
Greenlegacy@unitar.org
Www.unitar.org/greenlegacyhiroshima

Senior Advisor
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

At a Green Legacy Hiroshima tree planting ceremony in Hiroshima.

At a Green Legacy Hiroshima tree planting ceremony in Hiroshima.

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ANT-Hiroshima Is an Inspiration, by Diana Roose

Diane Roose

Diane Roose

We received a lovely message from Diana Roose, congratulating us on reaching our 25th anniversary this year!

Diana Roose is the author of Teach Us to Live, Stories from Hiroshima and Nagasaki (available on Amazon.com).

Diana visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki to interview the survivors and record their stories, which can be heard on the CD that comes with the book.

 

Here is Diana’s letter to ANT-Hiroshima in full:

Congratulations to ANT-Hiroshima on your 25th anniversary!

I have been impressed with your work ever since I met you many years ago in Hiroshima. At that time, I was writing a book about the stories of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

You encouraged me, and my book, Teach Us to Live, was published in English in 2007.

We believe that the stories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and now Fukushima, must be told around the world. There is no other path to true peace. This work is hard and long, but like ants, we persevere. I learned from ANT-Hiroshima that our efforts can also be very joyful. Working for peace with people from around the world, young and old, can be fun.

I remember attending one of the art exhibits in Hiroshima sponsored by ANT-Hiroshima, where pictures drawn by children were sold to raise money for peace. I still have a beautiful drawing by a young boy in Pakistan hanging on my wall. It is a powerful reminder that young people bring the promise of peace to the world.

My own son, Kevin, accompanied me to Hiroshima when he was 16 years old, and he was deeply impressed by what he learned through ANT-Hiroshima. He wrote his college entrance essay about meeting a survivor of the atomic bombings. Now he is 26 years old, and he has become a journalist. His impressions from Hiroshima have stayed with him.

Your focus on young people is most important. I have spent many years working with teachers at all levels, from elementary school through college, to help them teach about peace and nuclear issues. This is difficult, and it is not encouraged in the United States. But by providing good books and other learning materials in a positive manner, we can teach the next generation about the dangers of war and nuclear weapons.

My next project will be a book (or web site) entitled “Teaching Hiroshima.” I hope to include ANT-Hiroshima as an example of how we can teach young people about war and peace in a positive, successful way. Your work has been an inspiration for my work too.

ANT-Hiroshima offers a model of true international peacemaking. Inspired by hope and love, you accomplish the difficult tasks of teaching about peace with grace and care.

I will always admire the work of ANT-Hiroshima, and I wish you many more years of success ahead.

Diana Roose
June 10, 2013

Thank you, Diana, for sharing your thoughts with us on this occasion. We wish you all the best in your new project.

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Paper Crane Journey Translated into Chinese

For a couple of weeks during August and September ANT-Hiroshima took on a Chinese student, Dong Yanan, as office intern.

dongyanan

Dong Yenan

Dong-san is an exchange student from Tongji University in Shanghai. She is studying at Tohoku University.

Dong-san came to Hiroshima with a group of young people from areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The group had come to Hiroshima on internships so that they would be able to learn about how Hiroshima recovered from the atomic bombing at the end of World War Two.

While working at ANT-Hiroshima Dong-san translated Paper Crane Journey into Chinese. Dong-san says that she made the translation in the hope of strengthening ties between Japan and China.

Paper Crane Journey

Paper Crane Journey

Paper Crane Journey describes the life of Sadako Sasaki, a little girl who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, but later contracted leukemia and died at the age of 12, in 1955.

When she was in hospital, Sadako began folding paper cranes according to an old myth that your wish would be granted if you folded 1,000 cranes. After she died her classmates started a campaign to raise money for a memorial and in 1958  the Children’s Peace Monument was unveiled in Peace Park.

The publisher of Paper Crane Journey has given ANT-Hiroshima permission to attach translations of the original text onto the pages of the Japanese-language book. So far, ANT-Hiroshima has translated Paper Crane Journey into 11 languages, including English, German, Nepalese, Dari, and now Chinese. Translated versions are made whenever requested and provided at “cost” price.

When Dong Yanan returns to Tongji University next spring, she plans to donate a Japanese and a Chinese copy of the book to the university. She says,

“I want to tell people that war, which victimizes innocent people, must never be waged”

The executive director of ANT-Hiroshima, Tomoko Watanabe expressed her hope that,

“The hopes for peace of young people will bridge the boundaries of political differences.”

If you would like to order copies of Paper Crane Journey in your language, please contact ANT-Hiroshima at ant@ant-hiroshima.org to discuss your needs

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Green Legacy Hiroshima