2015 / Forum and art exhibit for Hiroshima and Nagasaki experiences, Mar. 19 & 21

Children Honoring Sadako. © Richard Fukuhara 2012

Children Honoring Sadako. © Richard Fukuhara 2012

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6, and August 9, 1945. Chapman University will host “Shadows for Peace, for the Sake of the Children (kodomo no tame ni), the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Experience” Forum and Art Exhibit on March 19, and the Japanese American National Museum will host the same event on March 21.

The “Shadows for Peace” program is dedicated to remember the over 120,000 victims who died the first two days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the 10s of thousands who died days, months, and years later from the atomic bomb radiation related illnesses. Doug Erber, President of the Japan America Society of Southern California says, “This Forum will be the largest and most important of its kind.”

This free program includes Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) video interviews and a video interview with Dr. James Yamazaki who in 1949 led a U.S. medical team to study the effects of radiation on children in Nagasaki.

Four keynote speakers include Ms. Kikuko Otake, Hiroshima Hibakusha and author of “Masako’s Story;” Ms. Tomoko Maekawa, educator, author, and president of the Never Again Nagasaki Campaign and executive member of the International Exchange Division of the Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace; Dr. Akiko Mikamo, lecturer, author, and president of the San Diego WISH, Worldwide Initiative to Safeguard Humanity, and president and medical psychologist at the US-Japan Psychology Services in San Diego; and Dr. David Krieger, lecturer, author, and founder and president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and chair of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibilities.

Artwork created by Richard Yutaka Fukuhara will be exhibit prior to each forum. Many of the artworks were created from Hibakusha testimonials and combined with photographs taken in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Each image is framed in a black shadow box with burnt bamboo as a secondary frame. The bamboo represents dignity and can be bent and burnt to extremes and yet, returns tall and proud, the “gambare” spirit of the Japanese people. Also, in each artwork, there is a small paper crane representing the prayers, hopes, and dreams of children to live in a World of Peace.

The Chapman University program will be held at the Wallace All Faith, Fish Interfaith Center on March 19. Reception and art exhibit is scheduled from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm and the Forum begins at 6:15 pm and ends at 8:15 pm.

The JANM event will be held on March 21, at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum with the art exhibit opening at 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm. The Forum starts at 2:00 pm and ends at 4:15 pm. Limited seating at the Tateuchi Forum, RSVP is required. For more information, call (714) 998-8790 or email: richard@shadowsforpeace.com