2007年08月18日

A Big Throng of Cranes Come to Hiroshima

Keiko Murakami

“Sending Hiroshima out to the world” is HSO’s motto. We are actively involved in encouraging those who share the same idea with us or study trying to build up peace.

1) On June 19, 2007, Keiko Kotoku, a marimbist, and Keiko Murakami, an HSO member made a visit at a Japanese school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our flight had a big delay and we were very late for the appointment made by e-mail, but they welcomed us warmly. I told the active and cheerful students about Hiroshima, and dialogued with them about war and nuclear weapons. Was it because they were living in a foreign country that the students were responsive in reaction?
The students entrusted us with paper cranes with signatures put on the cranes’ wings.

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Both Keikos talk about Hiroshima at a Japanese school in Buenos Aires.

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At a Japanese school in Buenos Aires

2) On June 20, 2007, Keiko Kotoku and Keiko Murakami had an exchange with some percussionists who can represent Argentina. Gabriel Glocer and Hector Correa, in particular, who performed with Keiko, identified themselves with the theme of Keiko’s work, GAKU, meaning that we should learn from history. They held gatherings and concerts by calling their circles in great number. Both Keikos learned in Argentina that Hiroshima and Nagasaki had not been conveyed to the Spanish speaking sphere as well as Mexico that we visited last April. Naturally, they were surprised to know the disasters in Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the first time. Each of them promised that they would like to realize a peace concert in Hiroshima and Nagasaki some day. We gave a class for folding paper cranes. We were entrusted with paper cranes folded by the percussionists in Buenos Aires.

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Happy artists, their cranes completed!

3) On July 10, 2007, Noriko who used to be a musical artist recited “Sadako and One-thousand Paper Cranes”, and Keiko Murakami, an HSO member, gave testimony about her exposure to the Atomic bombing at Kinuta Minami Elementary School in Setagtaya Ward, Tokyo. Then, politely waiting for their turns, the students said to Noriko and me, “what is the most important thing to avoid war? ”, “Why did the father of Barefoot Gen have to be blamed as an unpatriotic national when he said that war shouldn’t be fought, which was just right?”, “I’d like to shake hands with you, an Atomic-bomb survivor.”, etc., which were sharp questions and warm remarks made for us.

And a week later, paper cranes folded by the students were sent to me packed full in a cardboard box. I hear the cranes were folded by them out of their heightened feelings, without any intervention of their teachers or parents. A few of the cranes were hurt, so I gave them treatment and decided to send them all to Hiroshima.

I stringed them away with thread. Yoshie Watanabe, a Hiroshima TV director, who happened to be with me for an interview helped me with the paper cranes, which numbered 1,311 in all.

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With 1311 cranes being stringed


4) On July 30, 2007, a lot of paper cranes were offered at Children’s Monument with the help of two high-school students who came from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Hiroshima TV showed it in the evening news show.

Note: Kalamazoo, Michigan and Numazu City, Shizuoka-ken have been sister cities since 1963. Both cities have exchanged visits every other year. A trip to Hiroshima was included in the program in 2005 for those who want to study Hiroshima. HSO has helped them with peace study from the very beginning including the visit of Miyajima or Itsukushima Island.

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At the front of Children’s Peace Monument or Sadako’s Monument

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A student from Kalamazoo offering cranes entrusted us