51 America 4-16

American soldiers returning back from Iraq

On April 30, 2005, I took part in a gathering to listen to the experience of American soldiers who returned from Iraq. The gathering was held in an assembly hall located at a deserted theater site in New York City. When I arrived there, the gathering had already started and homemade food and beverages prepared by supporters were already half-eaten and scattered across the table. We were taken to another room where noisy music from the hall could be heard. I concentrated on listening to the soldiers’ speeches so that I would not miss their words.

Mr. Gerard Matthew served as a U.S. military contract driver shuttling between Kuwait and Iraq for five months beginning in September, 2003. His vehicle’s cargo included fragments that seemed to be parts of broken tanks. He worked barehanded, without mask or shirt, because of the hot weather. Before long, he began to see double or triple. Even after being caught by sand storms, he slept inside the vehicle or on sand. He began to notice edema on his face in the morning. Later on at a hospital in Kuwait, he was diagnosed as having severe dehydration and was supplied with plenty of water. He went to see a doctor in Germany, and then had a medical examination in Washington D.C. in the U.S. He was told, “You have the highest degree of contamination of depleted uranium.” and received medication, but it did not work. Even five months after a urine examination, he did not receive the results. Therefore, he requested the results from the hospital, but their reply was “your sample is missing.” He threw away his old military uniform, as he was sick of the military. In March 2004, his wife got pregnant. An examination showed that the fetus had only one finger on its right hand. As he was not well informed of the effects of the depleted uranium ammunition in advance, he had to face such a difficult situation. Now he is suing the U.S. military along with his daughter who suffers from her hand deformity.

Mr. Anthony Philip was stationed as a Military Policeman in Samawah, Iraq. He had symptoms such as headache, rash and swelling of the feet. The military hospital diagnosed him as having no serious problems, but it was clear that they could not get an accurate diagnosis with their old medical equipment. Before returning to the U.S., he was told by his senior officer that he should not provide his blood for transfusions for ten years, and should not have his own baby at least for three years. Both the military headquarters and U.S. government argue that depleted uranium ammunition is safe. I don’t know exactly to what extent Samawah has been contaminated by depleted uranium, but his words “Samawah is terrible” touched my heart profoundly.

Another retired soldier, whose name I forgot, said one thing which the above-mentioned soldiers did not mention. He said, “America has brought peace to Iraq. We fulfilled our mission. To achieve our mission, we were prepared to encounter some difficulties. However, it is a great shame that they did not tell us to wear masks and gloves in advance.”

In November 2005, Mr. and Mrs. Matthew were invited by a citizens group to make speeches in Hiroshima, Osaka, and Tokyo. Unfortunately I missed the opportunity to meet them again, but I did learn from a media report how information on the use of depleted uranium that the U.S .military had hidden and the reality caused by DU were revealed to the public, thanks to their efforts to reform people’s awareness.

In September 2006, I learned from newspapers that the U.S. military started investigations of the cases caused by depleted uranium. Sadly, everything is one step behind.


Listening to Mathew

52 America 4-17

Claiming "No More Hibakusha" in New York

On August 6, Hiroshima City holds its annual Peace Memorial Ceremony in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims in Peace Memorial Park. Under the Cenotaph the stone chest sits, whose front reads, "Please rest in peace. We shall not repeat the evil." It houses the books registering the names of the A-bomb victims. In November, 1952, Dr. Radhabinod Parl, an Indian judge at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, said, "It was not the Japanese who dropped the A-bomb. American hands have not been cleansed yet." His remarks aroused controversy over the use of "we" in the inscription. Today, it is generally accepted that the ardent wish not to repeat Hiroshima's tragedy is universal for human beings and that the inscription is a warning and lesson for all mankind. However, a few years ago, I started to think about whether it is right to hold the Peace Memorial Ceremony with the unknown A-bomb victims neglected.

In New York, in the spring of 2005, I met Shigeko Sasamori, who is a hibakusha and a member of the World Peace Mission. I told her about the neglected unidentified victims. She said, " As I live in the U.S., I don't know well about what's happening in Hiroshima recently. But I agree with you. We need to address this problem while hibakusha are alive."

On Sunday, May 1, it was clear and cool breezes were comfortable. There was an event in which people marched for peace from the U.N. building to Central Park. Ms. Sasamori and I were told that we were too old to join the march. We were waiting for it in Central Park at around one o'clock, but we started to walk the course backward rather than just waiting there. When we arrived at Carnegie Hall, we could hear the chants and see the people marching. At the front of the parade were the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and representatives of hibakusha groups. They carried banners with the words protesting against war and nuclear weapons. We waved greetings to the acquaintances and shrewdly joined the front. The press took pictures of the parade while their helicopters were whirling around above us. The parade rolled into Central Park and people tried to keep their own space in front of the special stage where Hiroshima's mayor, Nagasaki's mayor and representatives of hibakusha made speeches. Then, hibakusha including us went up to the stage and repeatedly cried out, throwing up our fists, "No More Hiroshimas. No more Nagasakis. No more hibakusha. No more war."

Ms. Sasamori talked to Mr. Akiba, Hiroshima mayor, who was surrounded by the press after he stepped down from the stage. She said to him, " Mr. Akiba, it's been a while. Please take some time to listen to her," and introduced me to him. It was an unexpected opportunity and I got upset, but I told him, "Please add unidentified victims to the books kept in the stone chest." He brought out a notebook and took a note of my request. I had a hunch that my wish would come true.

When I returned to Japan, my daughter's family said, "You looked fine in Central Park. We saw you in the news."


march to Central Park (by Chugoku Shinbun)

53 America 4-18

In the NPT Review Conference

From May 2 to 27, 2005, the NPT Review Conference that meets every five years, was held in New York. It drew particular attention from the world amid growing concern over the moves of India, Pakistan and North Korea that had not signed the NPT yet.

On April 28, New York City was literally a melting pot. I heard that more than 1000 hibakusha from Hiroshima and Nagasaki had come to N.Y., but I, also a hibakusha, was not counted in them. It would be impossible to count how many hibakusha gathered.

We needed an ID to get into the U.N. building. There was a long line at the entrance because of the conference. I got an ID, dangled it from my neck and I was ready.

I paid a courtesy call to Nobuyasu Abe, the UN Undersecretary General, who was in charge of disarmament affairs. While we told him the purpose of our mission and what we had done, he told us about the problems of weapons of mass destruction and power games between nations concerning disarmament. He said, "As the conference has a unanimity rule in principle, it is clear that the nuclear powers will not participate in the voting. Considering the present circumstances, it will be hard to move forward to nuclear disarmament. We need to get the nuclear powers involved more actively in it. I wish we could at least move toward the strengthening of the IAEA inspections." Then he advised us to make contact with the foreign ambassadors to Japan and obtain their understanding of our peace activities. He also suggested that we should encourage young people to take over the peace movement.

Several workshops addressing starvation, discrimination, education and so on were held in the building. A group from Hiroshima and Nagasaki displayed pictures of the A-bombing and had a paper crane section where they taught how to fold paper cranes and talked about the brutality of nuclear weapons. A few people had interest in the Hiroshima-Nagasaki issues, but most people just passed by the booth. It seemed that people were just busy with their own issues.

On May 4, at the height of the NPT Review Conference, I got a seat in the public gallery of the Assembly Hall, because ten people, including Tadatoshi Akiba, Hiroshima mayor, were to make speeches. The Hiroshima mayor, Nagasaki mayor, Yoko Ono and several hibakusha were to make speeches on behalf of us in the U.N. Headquarters. I had greatly expected that their speeches would attract much attention from the world.

However, each country's representatives had gone out one after another before the speeches started, and only about thirty people remained in the hall. I was discouraged at the sight. Someone who was familiar with the NPT Review Conference told me that speeches about Hiroshima and Nagasaki tragedies were not in the official program and were held during the scheduled lunch time. It was only Japanese people, anti-nuclear activists and media staff who listened eagerly to the speeches. I heard that these speeches got headlines in Japan.

Members could not reach agreement at the NPT Review Conference that year. Is the abolition of nuclear weapons just an illusion?


a monument in front of the U.N. building

54 America 4-19

People Who Healed Hiroshima

Atomic bombs are different from conventional bombs in three points--heat rays, blast and radiation. I’m not a scientist, but if I tell whatever I know, it will be a long story.
The temperature of the huge fireball formed after the A-bomb exploded 600m above the ground was 300,000℃, and at the hypocenter on the ground, 6,000℃. If you imagine these estimates, you would understand that the expression, “The city of Hiroshima was completely destroyed” is not an exaggeration.

Each survivor had deep injuries on his body and in his mind. People who had burns by heat rays and developed keloid scars avoided being in public, wearing long-sleeved clothes even in summer, covering themselves with a scarf or holding a parasol.

I became a junior high school student in 1949. On my way to school, I often saw girl students with ugly keloid scars on their whole faces. I always passed them by with my face down.

In 1955, ten years after the A-bombing, ten women who had developed serious keloid scars were to go to New York to have operations in Mount Sinai Hospital. Rev. Kiyoshi Tanimoto of the Christian Methodist Nagarekawa Church, Norman Cousins and others were instrumental to realize this project. It was widely covered by the news media that the women flew in a military airplane from the U.S. Iwakuni Base. When I saw a picture in the paper, I was relieved to know that the woman who I had in my mind went for an operation. Later I learned in the news that after the operation she was adopted by Mr. Norman Cousins and moved to Los Angeles.

It has been 50 years since then.
On the early morning of April 29, 2005, as soon as I saw her at the hotel lobby in New York, I ran up to her and took her hand. She was surprised and stared at my face and said, “How do you do? My name is Shigeko Sasamori.” As I noticed that we met for the first time, we exchanged greetings again.

On May 2, Mr. Okada, a journalist of Chugoku Shinbun Newspaper, and I visited Mount Sinai Hospital, north of Central Park. Although the staff who had worked in the hospital when Ms. Sasamori had an operation were not there anymore, we received courteous hospitality from the hospital.

Mr. Okada said first, “This hospital taught Hiroshima reconciliation.” Doctors who met us told the whole story, showing us their observations then. They explained that this hospital was a private one run by the Quakers, and that the treatment for these women was significant in the history of the hospital; that is to say, it was the beginning of a relief operation of war victims.

Hearing the doctor’s words, “Now there are more than 12,000 patients related to 9/11,” I felt as if I saw a sickening part deeply lying in the States.

Ms. Sasamori said,“I stayed at a civilian home and received a lot of financial and psychological support at that time,” looking into her memories with deep emotion.


at Mt.Sinai Hospital (by Chugoku Shinbun)

55 America 4-20

A Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia

On May 3, 2005, by introduction of Tsutomu Ishiguri, the director of the U.N. Asia Pacific Peace Disarmament Center, I visited the representative of the Republic of Uzbekistan, who exerted himself to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia. When we were led into a room in the UN building, he said to us,“I’m impressed by the first visit from the A-bombed country. I feel familiar with you, because we, the same Asians look alike. Besides we have a lot of visitors from Japan to our capital, Tashkent.” I felt like apologizing for my ignorance.

The representative said calmly,“When the Soviet Union collapsed, Central Asia was filled with nuclear weapons. Thanks to the support of the U.N., we five countries successfully created a nuclear-weapon-free zone. Especially by the advice of Mr. Ishiguri, Japan helped us with negotiations between the countries and with money. Before then our country had no experience of international treaty negotiations, so we got some ideas from other countries. While we accumulated knowledge of diplomacy and made the draft of the treaty, we gradually began to learn the differences of national interests and diplomatic experiences. We had a hard time in management. In order to fall into step, it was important for the five countries to achieve the goal with the same feeling. We often had coffee time and discussed matters.” We heard this with deep emotion looking at each other with Mr. Ishiguri.

He continued, Kazakhstan takes a positive attitude for making a nuclear-weapon-free zone. It was decided that the presidents of the five countries would gather to sign the treaty in Semipalatinsk, where nuclear tests had been conducted no less than 460 times. Last week non-nuclear countries gathered in Mexico City. More than half of the U.N. members praised the nuclear demilitarization of Central Asia and supported it. If we can sign the treaty, it’ll go down in history.”

Since I had an opportunity to say a few words, I said,“Although I can only say the words from a citizen’s viewpoint, creating a nuclear-weapon-free zone especially requires courage, belief, and action. I hope the neighboring countries will follow you. I wish you success and thanks for giving us hope.”

I’m ashamed to say that I knew only the names of these countries, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, but I couldn’t point to them correctly on a map.

In this trip I knew the fact that these countries held a conference in Sapporo, in 1999 and 2000, in order to realize a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia.

In August, 2006, Prime Minister Koizumi visited the Republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. I heard that he discussed resource development aid, but I haven’t heard that he showed any interest in their making a nuclear-weapon-free zone.

On September 9, as I woke up early, I turned on the radio. NHK news reported, “Five Central Asian countries signed the agreement on the formation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone.” But TV and newspapers reported mainly the election of the next leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, or drunken driving.


U.N. committee members from Kazakhstan

56 America 4-21


People were coming and going in and around the U.N. building as the NPT Review Conference, which meets every five years, was ongoing. It started on May 2, 2005.

On the afternoon of the 4th, we, World Peace Mission members, were waiting in a basement restaurant for Mr. Weeramantry, a former judge of the International Court of Justice, a permanent organ of the U.N.

He was vigorously moving around in belief that the period of the NPT Review Conference was a precious opportunity to appeal for nuclear abolition to the world conscience. We knew that he could spare only a little time for us. Mr. Okada, a Chugoku Newspaper reporter, wanted to make the most of his limited interview time, lighting one cigarette after another without puffing much.

A little after we had expected him, a small gentleman showed up moving through the crowd to us. As a Sri Lankan, he had a dark and deep complexion. I saw him at the anti-nuclear rally in Hiroshima on August 6, 2001, but unfortunately missed his speech for some reason at that time. I had not seen him since.

Mr. Okada started with the words of gratitude, “We thank you for the judgment you made in 1996 that the use of atomic bombs was illegal.” Then we followed with a number of questions concerning the nuclear situations in the past, present and future.

Mr. Weeramantry said, “The problem is that the nuclear powers are not willing to work for disarmament and nuclear weapons reduction. The logic of nuclear deterrence is deception and violation of the treaty. In particular, the U.S. attitude not to rule out the first use of nuclear weapons is dangerous.” He took palm-sized little books out of his leather bag under his arm and handed them out to each of us saying, “My opinion is in this book.” Urged by his secretary, he was about to leave, but hastily turned around and said, “Will you translate this little book into Japanese for a wider audience?”
“Yes. Hiroshima Speaks Out, to which I belong, will do the translation. When finished, can we put up both the Japanese translation and the English original on our website?” I boldly asked for his permission. His answer was, “Yes, of course.”

At the end of this little book, Why the Nuclear Danger Grows from Day to Day, he says, “Nobody knows how long our luck will last. Unless all human beings stand up to act together for nuclear abolition, this particular weapon alone could annihilate the whole of mankind.”

It took us half a year to finish its translation, and is now on our website. Responses are now coming in from everywhere.


with Judge C.G. Weeramantry

57 America 4-22

What Does Peace Mean to the Elite?

On May 5th, 2005, I visited the Kennedy School of Harvard University in Boston. It is the super-elite school that was founded to offer higher education after graduate school. Nine hundred students are learning there from eighty countries. The majority of them are students sent by companies.

To tell the truth, from the previous night my heart had pounded wildly, because Shigeko Sasamori, who had had repeated operations for keloids caused by the A-bomb’s heat rays, was scheduled to attend the same presentation. As I miraculously escaped injuries at the A-bombing, I have felt guilty about other survivors. Therefore, when telling my A-bomb experience, I always speak about the survivors who suffered from keloid.

The meeting for the presentation was held at a hotel adjacent to Harvard University. I gave a presentation in a tense atmosphere. However, the presence of Japanese students among the staff, especially the ones from Hiroshima, made me feel relaxed.

From the beginning, professors and students argued lively. We could sum up their opinions; It is difficult to abolish nuclear weapons immediately. In the past 60 years there have been good things and bad things. Please understand that there were also successful aspects.

American people are proud of the use of the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which they believe made the war end earlier. Nuclear deterrence is also one of the good things for them. One bad thing may be that the international public opinion doesn’t accept having dropped the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Other bad things include the hidden exposure to radiation while developing nuclear weapons, the enormous cost needed to develop nuclear weapons and the cost for storing nuclear weapons.

A professor stated, “In the 1950s or 1960s, nuclear weapons spread and so did the threat. However, the JFK elites deterred the further spread of nuclear weapons. The present number of nuclear powers is fewer than ten. If they hadn’t taken any actions, there would have been more nuclear powers.” I felt a chill to see many students nodding at his statement.

I said, “I worked in the Hiroshima Atomic-bomb Hospital which was built 12 years after the A-bombing. There were many patients who could not have regular jobs because of the disorders from their burns and surface injuries or the after-effects of radiation. To my surprise, it was the first time for many of them to see a doctor. To me, who witnessed the tragedy of the A-bomb, the assertion of nuclear deterrence sounds empty.”

Holding her keloid hand up in the air, Ms. Sasamori said, “It is true that America is a nuclear power. Now I’m living in Los Angeles. I can’t tolerate the fact that the tax I pay is used for nuclear weapons. If America will not make efforts to abolish nuclear weapons, we can’t prevent other countries from possessing nuclear weapons.”

Red Sox Stadium could be seen from the windows of the hotel we stayed in. Ichiro was scheduled to play in the game on the day we left New York City. I felt very sorry about the near miss.


58 Japan 1-1

Inheriting Hiroshima’s Experience Means

The Chugoku Shimbun planned the “Messages to the Future” project and ran the following article:
Sixty years have passed since the A-bomb was dropped by the USA and Japan surrendered. The A-bomb survivors have appealed for world peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons, saying that we must not repeat that experience. However, so many nuclear weapons which could wipe out the earth several times still exist. We also know that there are many A-bomb survivors who live their everyday lives sealing off their tragic memories of that day. Old age creeps upon those survivors. Did we face the experience of “that day” properly? Can we transmit the survivors’ memories to the future generations? Can we hand down the experience of the A-bombing, not as its awful power, but as a tragedy given to humans? Young people who shoulder the future will meet the A-bomb survivors, beyond the age gap of half a century. The young will listen to the survivors’ lives and their messages to the future.

Responding to this article, many young people joined this project and developed studies.

On June 25th, 2005, the young participants, who had studied in the “Messages to the Future” project, and the survivors, who had been dispatched as a World Peace Mission, held a dialogue meeting. Ordinary citizens also participated.

Many demanding survivors and elderly people remarked that succeeding young people were lacking in enthusiasm, while some defended the young. The hall was filled with excitement. The young said that they could not imagine war or nuclear weapons in their fulfilled lives but that they learned many things in this project, hearing many A-bomb experiences.

I felt disappointed with notional statements and threw a chill over the meeting by saying, “Can you say that you have inherited Hiroshima just because you have heard many A-bomb experiences? The memory of bombed Hiroshima is said to have been fading, but who have made it fade? The A-bomb survivors have kept telling about their A-bomb experiences. There are countless people at home and abroad who pledged to work for realizing world peace after hearing our stories. Have they forgotten their words? Have their fallen tears already dried? Don’t kid yourselves that you have inherited Hiroshima’s experience just because you have collected many A-bomb stories.
A male graduate student disputed, saying, “In fact, we don’t have nuclear weapons in Japan. We are not threatened by any war now. I only do what I can do.”

I got excited and countered, “Doing only what you can do means that you can change nothing. It will be possible to convey messages to the future only after you make efforts to extend your actions and concerns.

An elderly person soothed me, ‟Please don’t be so harsh on the young. Let’s praise them just for being here.”

Am I extreme?


Young people learning what happened in Hiroshima

59 Japan 1-2

Sixty years after the A-bombing, speaking out from Hiroshima

At the end of 2004, my friend, Michiko Hamai, who I had talked with about Hiroshima, launched HIROSHIMA SPEAKS OUT to convey messages from Hiroshima to the world. Responding to her call, about 20 people gathered, most of whom were experts at English. I also joined the group as an A-bomb survivor, thinking that I might be helpful.

Visitors from home and abroad to Hiroshima want information on Hiroshima but often feel inconvenience from heavy printed materials. Michiko suggested that it would be useful in the Information Age technology and the materials would be put on disks.

In less than one year after forming the group, through troublesome processes including collecting information and getting permission of use of copyrighted materials, we put up our website in both Japanese and English. We posted “Floating Lantern,” written memoirs issued in 1971 by the construction committee of the Monument of the A-bombed Teachers and Students of National Elementary Schools. The monument is located in the green zone in the south side of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Next, we started to make CD-Rs, which we had long cherished. Although we were full of passion to speak out what happened in Hiroshima, we had no money. When we asked a friend, a professional designer, how much it would cost to design a disk and a jacket, we were surprised to hear the price.

As I had just replaced my old personal computer, I devoted myself to reading a manual, learning how to design a disk. Whenever I came up with a new design, I made trial disks, which traveled back and forth between Hiroshima and my house in Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture.

On January 25, 2005, Michiko Hamai appeared in the Chugoku Newspaper smiling with the CD-R of “Floating Lantern” in her hand. Immediately, we sent as many CD-Rs as possible to foreign peace activists, universities and education institutions whose addresses we knew. We gave one to visitors to Hiroshima. We got their responses through emails. It was delightful to get a wave of requests from Japanese educators, who said that they would like to use this CD-R as an educational material.

When I visited Sweden to tell my A-bomb experience, I took some with me. I also gave them out to a lot people when I went to America as a member of the Hiroshima World Peace Mission.

At that time, we were already preparing for “Written Monument,” a collection of the stories of A-bomb victims in “Mutsumien,” an A-bomb Nursing Home in Hiroshima. We were puzzled by the names of places and people written in Chinese characters which were difficult to read. When I made phone calls to the local municipal offices and explained our purpose, they responded courteously. In early autumn of 2005, we brought out “Written Monument.”

In 2005, I met Judge C.G. Weeramantry, former vice-president of the International Court of Justice, during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. He gave me a booklet, “Why the Nuclear Danger Grows from Day to Day” and allowed us to translate and post it on our website.  By the end of the year, we completed the job.  

Our next project is proceeding on a record of the people who engaged in the rescue operation at Hesaka, a village which was located some distance away from the hypocenter.

I met a young man, who we just call Koo, 27, at my church. He is an expert of information technology and his wife-to-be is a physicist. He helped us to update our website. He is a welcome member for us. His future wife accompanied him when he came to learn about Hiroshima. He helped us to update our website. Even though I live far away from Hiroshima, I feel closer to Hiroshima. 


Donating HSO's CDs (by Chugoku Shinbun)

60 Japan 1-3

Messages Left on the Walls

Fukuromachi National Elementary School was located 460m from the hypocenter. Thanks to its reinforced construction, the school remained standing despite great damage. One week after the A-bombing, the school became a makeshift relief station where my parents and younger sister stayed until the beginning of the winter that year.

After the war, the building was repaired temporarily with board and plaster covering its soot-blackened walls so that the elementary school under the new system could start.

In the last year of the 20th century, it was decided to reconstruct the aged school building. In the process of its demolition, a great number of messages and notes appeared.

When writing, “Patient Murakami,” was found, I intuitively knew that it was a note to identify my mother, who would hardly have been identifiable due to her glass injuries. With the help of my friends I launched a campaign for its preservation as a precious A-bomb relic, despite the resistance of the City Board of Education. The writing, “Patient Murakami,” is now displayed in the Peace Museum next to the newly constructed Fukuromachi Elementary School.

In the summer of 2001, a documentary, “Please, Contact Me,” was made and broadcasted as an “NHK Special.” Also, the director of the program, Kyosuke Inoue wrote a book, Hiroshima, Messages Left on the Walls published by Shueisha.

Early February in 2005, Mr. Inoue told me that he received the impression about his book from Keiko Kotoku, a marimba player, who was studying at Piteå Music College in Sweden.

On March 21 that year, I met Keiko for the first time at the Stockholm City Hall square. In her twenties, she had large impressive eyes.

Her grandfather, who ran a drugstore in Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture, told his little granddaughter in tears about the time when he had headed for Hiroshima for relief right after the A-bombing.

When the U.S. started war against Iraq, she was a student at a music college in Boston. She raised her anti-war voice to the people around her, only to receive a reaction of “Remember She believed people should learn from history. Being roused to action, she composed a piece, “Gaku,” with an anti-war and anti-nuclear weapon theme. She has played it in various countries. “Gaku” is also her grandfather’s name.

After reading Hiroshima, Messages Left on the Walls, she composed “Onegai,” a solo piece sung in soprano voice which expressed the desperation of the people who searched for their loved ones in the ruins. Our conversation continued endlessly.

That summer, I was given opportunities to tell my A-bomb experiences at Keiko Kotoku Peace Concerts in Hiroshima, Takarazuka and Tokyo.