Category Archives: Guest Speakers

A day in Nagasaki City

Foto with atomic bomb survivor in the Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki City

Today, we went to Nagasaki. We had heard earlier last week from Omura – san, a representative from the local community, about his troubles finding a survivor of the atomic bomb in the town that we are staying in, Omura.

No one of the people that he asked wanted to speak about the experience, due to their fear of discrimination, and, for some of them, the hate towards foreigners. Yesterday, I heard from my host – grandfather that he was a survivor of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki. He shoved me a notebook containing his information from when the bombs were dropped.

In the notebook I could see that he was 3 years old when the atomic bombs were dropped. I assumed that the notebook was some kind of way for the Japanese governement to keep track of survivors and reunite their families. My host – grandfather diden’t tell me a lot about his experience, probably because of the strong feelings that he is still harburing in connection with the experience.

I knew that when we whent to Nagasaki City we would go to the atomic bomb and listen to a survivor telling us about her experience.

Both the museum and the survivors speech were emidiadly educational.

While I had learned about the atomic bombs in school back in Sweden, it was a whole different experience seeing the destruction in the museum and hearing about the effects directly from a survivor. Listening to the survivor and seeing the remains of both people and rabble in the museum changed my impression of the bombing experience.

I knew what happend was horrible but i believed that no one, exept the survivors, would actually be able to know exactly how horrible the atomic bombings actually were.

Thinging back upon what I have learned, heard and experienced today, I have decided to start i new project. I will create a video to show to the world, accompanied by music, using the materials that i gathered today.

This is for myself to show my appretiation to the people making this possible, and to sharewhat I have learned and experienced today with other people in the world.

Joel (Sweden)

A Peaceful man with not such a peaceful past

The more I come to Japan, the more I understand the importance Japanese people give to PEACE. After going through events as hard and powerful as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic bomb, I think any country would take the word “Peace” very seriously.

This time we had the opportunity to listen the story of a Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivor. As a 15 year old at the time of the bombing, his point of view of the event was surely very innocent but very realistic. With 81 years old today, he feels very lucky to have lived through this unfortunate event in 1945 and is now one of the many people committed to spreading the word of peace.

Rianne and Iris with the survivor

After he retired from his job as a teacher in 1998, he decided to start sharing his experience as a survivor from the A-Bomb and have been doing it for 13 years. With more than 70 speeches every year, he believes, this is his way of informing people about the facts of the bombing but most important, this is the way he is teaching everyone who meets him that hate is not the answer.

He shared his experience with all of us in World Campus Japan for about an hour. The final words of his speech were very calm and simple but the positive energy he was giving to all of us was more powerful than any words… “Since I retired my job as a teacher, my job has been to spread the word of peace and I will continue to do it until the day I die”

World Campus Japan members with the Survivor

I was seating there, as I did last year, and again I was reminded of the importance of the work we do in World Campus Japan, learning about other cultures, knowing the whys of every person and every country, to be able to respect each other.

After finishing his speech he gave us time for pictures with him and questions, he hugged all of us and said I love you to many of us. What a great feeling to have met someone that has gone through so much and has such a great outlook in life.

Celi and Brandon with the Survivor

I believe this is the beginning of a new moment for the world and for young people that take the risk to step out of their comfort zone, putting themselves in other people’s shoes to truly understand each other. It is everyone’s personal effort what will make this world a better place. It is not easy but we have to start now to have the peace we all want for ourselves and for our communities around the world.

(Celiana Dolovitz – Education Manager in the Summer ‘11 Road Team)

Commitment to Peace

Nagasaki survivor

The Nagasaki Atomic Bomb dropped only 3 days after the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb and all the after effects of the bombs were not only negative. Even when it sounds really weird to say that a bomb can bring anything positive; in Japan, the A Bombs brought a really interesting peace culture for the country of Japan where people not only know about Nuclear weapons but they also know about the importance of Peace, promoting peace and understanding peace.

The country itself has 3 principles of peace: to not own, fabricate or permit the introduction of nuclear weapons. This principles not only contribute to the peace of the country of Japan, but it contributes to the promotion of World Peace.

The picture above is of a survivor we had the opportunity to speak with before we visited the museum, he is also someone very committed to the promotion of peace not only in Japan but around the world.

Session 2 of World Campus – Japan and World Campus International is also committed to peace. We offered 1000 cranes we made with our host families to be part of the effort they are making in Nagasaki to promote peace.

The Day the World changed

Gold Crane

It was Monday, Aug. 6th of the year 1945, when Hiroshima City was hit by “Little Boy”, a bomb that destroyed and devastated not only buildings and belongings but lives and futures of endless people. This time, World Campus – Japan Participants had the unique and once in a life time opportunity to meet a survivor from that horrible event. She was 14, in 9th grade and she shared her story, her pain and her forgiveness with us. She told us every detail of her experience. We heard everything from pain, burned bodies, skin hanging from people’s arms, dead left and right, friends asking for help, mothers crying for their babies, fathers looking for their families, “black rain” and people losing their mind. “…It was scary to see the condition of the people around me, everything was dust, darkness and destruction”…she said.

140.000 kids were left without families that day and her father died of cancer a year and a half after the bomb do to the radiation he was exposed to. She also explained that even today, there are people still suffering from the after effects, like herself who is suffering from stomach cancer.

That afternoon we had an eye opening experience, the facts were there but today there is nothing we can do to undo what happened in 1945. “… To honored my father and friends that died because of the atomic bomb, I am now committed for life, to talk about it to promote peace”.

Her acceptance of reality is deep and her passion to teach others about the importance of tolerance, understanding and peace around the world is what makes her stronger every day. It was something she will never be able to forget and for us, is now, a huge responsibility, to spread the message of hope and peace around our own circles, communities, cities and countries.

A Touching Experience at the Hiroshima Peace Museum

Hiroshima Survivor Speech

One month ago, World Campus International went to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and listened to a speech from one of the survivors, Mr. Katsuji Yoshida. For all of us, that experience was very emotional and meaningful. When we were in the Hiroshima Peace Museum, Mr. Kasufumi Shintaku, who is a survivor of the A-bomb on August 6th, also shared his personal memories with us.

More than 60 years has passed since the end of the second World War. When I stood at the hypocenter in Hiroshima, in the very place where the bomb dropped, I felt that history was so close, yet so far away. Looking around the area, Hiroshima existed under the bright summer sunshine and I could not imagine that this was the place that an A-bomb nearly destroyed… The colorful tiny paper cranes surrounding the monument were a sign telling us that people have never forgotten the horrible tragedy.

When Mr. Shintaku shared his memories with us, we saw the cruel picture after the bomb dropped. We heard about a little child who cried for her parents, we felt the helplessness of the citizens and we all cried. I remember the sentence Mr. Yoshida wrote to us in the Nagasaki Museum, “The basis of peace is for people to understand the pain of others”. I believe that anyone who has the same chance to hear such a personal painful recollection will realize how important peace is and will put forth their best effort to never let that same tragedy happen again.

(Zuxin Hou, China)