Delegates of the 64th JASC took time to remember the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. during World War II as part of the discussion during JASC 64. The August 9th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki was marked by a presentation on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by JASC delegates Hiroshi Watanabe (Okayama University) and Noriaki Santo (University of Tsukuba). Both students, originally from Hiroshima, gave a historical overview of the bombings and a personal reflection on the relevance of the bombs in people’s lives to this day. Discussion followed in which delegates addressed the importance of the historical events and debated the necessity of nuclear weapons and power in today’s world.
On August 10th the delegation attended a screening of the new film Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard. The film provides an intimate account of the bombing of Hiroshima through the eyes of children, who were given a gift of art supplies from a church in the U.S. during the rebuilding of Hiroshima. Instead of pictures of sadness, trauma, or fear, the children drew colorful images full of hope and inspiration. The film documents the rediscovery of these pictures and their return to Japan where the original artists regathered to see the pictures they had drawn over 50 years before. More about the film can be found at Hiroshimaschoolyard.com.
Director and Co-Producer of the film, Bryan Reichhardt was in attendance at the screening where he answered delegates’ questions about the film.
The emotion and depth of the experience for delegates did not end with the film and discussion. After the film, delegates were able to meet and interact with Mr. Takashi Tanemori, a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima. Mr. Tanemori moved to the United States in the 1960s to seek revenge for the bombing, but eventually had an epiphany that led him to devote himself to fostering forgiveness. He is now a writer, speaker and artist residing in Berkeley, CA. More about Mr. Tanemori can be found on his website.