Topics 2009

Study Tours from Hiroshima Shudo University and Students' Comments

1.Study tours

Some 70 students who take the Hiroshima Studies course at Hiroshima Shudo University took tours to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. They also visited the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force 1st Service School in Etajima, Hiroshima, to learn more about peace issues.

The students visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in two groups, on Saturday, May 30, and on Saturday, June 6 respectively. After the visit to the museum each group listened to an atomic bomb survivor and deepened their understanding of the reality of the A-bomb experience.

Group A (tour on May 30)


Tour to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum


Listening to an A-bomb survivor

Group B (tour on June 6)


our to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum


Listening to an A-bomb survivor

2.Students' comments following the tour

I live with my grandmother, who is also an A-bomb survivor. She told her story of the war repeatedly to me as a child, but I was not much interested in it. After listening to the story of another survivor today, I very much regret that I did not listen more seriously to my grandmother. Although she is still fine, the day will come when all the A-bomb survivors will have gone. The thought of that day scares me very much, because the memory of the atomic bombing seems to be fading away concurrently. I know that we are learning, and we must learn, their experience before that day comes. However, it will be extremely difficult to take in everything they have to say. What should we do to take over as much as we can? Discussions will be needed on that point. I would like to listen more to my grandmother and other A-bomb survivors.

I was born and grew up in Hiroshima Prefecture. Since elementary school we have learned about atomic bombs, wars and so on. Our family temporarily lived in Nagoya for two years, and this experience enhanced my awareness of what happened in Hiroshima, and of my being a Hiroshima native. I would like to communicate my knowledge of Hiroshima to more people, and to know more about the A-bombing myself, thereby contributing to the promotion of peace. After listening to the survivor, I became determined to start today telling other people about Hiroshima

While the tour around the museum was very interesting, I was more deeply impressed by the story of the A-bomb survivor, which was so real that it made me think about many things. We tend to think about politics when we hear the word "nuclear." But the fear of things nuclear actually fell upon everyday life in 1945. Today, we do similar things in our daily lives as they were doing at that moment.

I was very much impressed by the word "living hell." I deeply appreciated the opportunity to listen to the A-bomb survivor. I believe that the scenes come back to her whenever she describes her "living hell." I could imagine those scenes while listening to her story. She tried to help others, and desperately looked for her mother. All her memories must be very vivid. I strongly empathize with her hope that nobody would have the same experience again. I would like to retain the candle of peace that Ms. Takeoka lit in my mind, and to share the light with other people. Thank you very much for the precious experience.

I was born and grew up in Hiroshima. We have learned about the fear of atomic bombs and the importance of peace through peace classes at elementary school and on other occasions. But today was the first time for me to listen directly to an A-bomb survivor. The actual situation must have been much worse than my worst imagination. She told us her story despite the return of such hard memories. We must continue to communicate the knowledge of atomic bombs from Hiroshima to the world. One of the things we can do is to pass on the stories of the A-bomb experience. To that end, I would like to know more about the A-bombing, and become one of the broadcasting towers for peace.

I came to Hiroshima to attend university, and this was the first time for me to listen to an A-bomb survivor. I imagined the sights of that time while listening, and it was really painful to imagine it. Today's Hiroshima scarcely reminds me of what happened in this place only 64 years ago. At the end of her story, I could not stop shedding tears. I would like to pass on what we felt from her story to younger generations.

I have always lived in Hiroshima, but today was the first time for me to listen to an A-bomb survivor. I have been to the museum many times, but it was also the first experience for me to be guided by a peace volunteer during the museum tour. I will never forget the stories that I have never listened to before. I would like to store today's experience in my mind, and hand it down to younger generations. Through each of us listening, personalizing and passing on the stories of A-bomb survivors, we will be able to expand peace in the world. These sad memories should never become faded. We, from Hiroshima, will continue to advocate peace.

The story of the A-bomb survivor brought home to me, among other things, the importance of human life. We are very fortunate to be able to lead such a normal everyday life. I appreciated today's precious opportunity to listen to the A-bomb survivor. The story of her real experience on August 6, 1945, will become food for thought in my future life.

The survivor's story brought home to me the terror of war. I was very sad to listen to the detailed situation following the A-bombing, and to know how catastrophic it was. It must have been extremely hard for her to depict those terrible scenes in words, but it was very meaningful for me to hear those details. I think that nuclear weapons should not exist on earth, and must be abolished completely.

I am from Hiroshima, and have learned about peace since my elementary school days. I have been to the museum several times as part of my social study classes. At those times, I only saw and heard what was there passively. Now, as a college student, I think I should do more. We should take classes and listen to survivors, and pass on their experience to younger generations. I believe that there is a role that can only be played by people who were born in Hiroshima and grew up in today’s era. I will do what I can, though it may be small. I believe that it is really important for all humankind that the importance of peace is recognized and shared throughout the world.

Since I was at nursery school, I have heard that Hiroshima experienced war and atomic bombing, and the damage was devastating. However, present-day Hiroshima is such a peaceful and cheerful city that it scarcely reminds me of what happened in those days. It would be particularly so for younger children, residents of other prefectures, and people who have never been to the museum. I think that I myself will have to communicate the damage, pain and tragedy of the A-bomb to such people. Japanese people say, "We must not repeat the same mistake",but it seems that we are actually traveling toward it. Although my influence is very small, I would like to contribute to creating a peaceful world without war. I will become a teacher, and will communicate this to my classes.

I arrived earlier than expected today, so I went to see the Atomic Bomb Dome before the museum tour. Although I often pass by the dome, I rarely stop in front of it and take a close look. Today, I could take time watching it and thinking about it. I have not been to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum since I was at junior high school, when we took a class tour. Today, our group had only four members, and we had a very meaningful time, guided by a peace volunteer. One of the most impressive displays was a burnt out lunchbox. I broke into tears when I discovered that a child's body was found holding the lunchbox that had been prepared by the child’s mother. Although I had been to the museum several times before, this was the first time to have such a close study tour. I had also known that the bomb was dropped for the purpose of ending the war, and that it was originally targeted at Aioi Bridge, but I could understand better what really happened through observation of the model reproduction and other displays. At the exit, the phrase "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" was displayed. This was mentioned by Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, when he visited Hiroshima for the G8 Speakers' Meeting. Today, Ms. Abe told us in a straightforward way what she may not have wanted to recall. Now it is our turn to pass on her experience to future generations. As she said, I would like to thank my parents, care for my friends and other people, and formulate and enhance a small ring of peace.

I have been to the museum several times, but this was my first tour guided by a volunteer. It enabled me to take a different look at the exhibits. We subsequently listened to an A-bomb survivor’s story. It was particularly impressive that her father’s caring words soothed her when she suffered from burns. Based on this experience, she emphasized that we should care about our parents. Although my grandmother often tells me the same thing, I have not really taken much notice. I think I can now understand what she means through listening to today’s story. My grandmother is also an A-bomb survivor. I felt that the messages of the two women overlapped in me. I will call my grandmother soon.

I have not been to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum for a long time. Today’s tour was guided by a volunteer, and I could take a different look at the exhibits. I also recalled what I learned long ago, and obtained some completely new knowledge. It is a shame that there are so many things that I did not know, even though I have always lived in Hiroshima and have had many peace classes. I was astonished to hear that the time, 8:15 in the morning, was selected because it was the time when most citizens were outdoors and active. It is significant that a survey had been conducted for the purpose of experimenting with an atomic bomb. Survivors must have felt both happy for being alive and sad for not having died. Sadness may have outweighed happiness in those days. I had known that atomic bombs are radioactive and extremely harmful, but it was brought home to me that we must continue communicating the fear of the A-bomb. Otherwise, the world may head toward more wars. I hope that the number of days from the last nuclear test on the peace clock would not be reset again.

It was my first visit to the museum since elementary school. As a child, I almost only felt fear. After growing up, I had a totally different feeling, which was an indescribable mix of sadness, anger and desperation. We subsequently listened to an A-bomb survivor’s story. Despite her calm tone, I was close to tears many times. It was brought home to me how precious and important our peaceful life of today is. We must think and feel the meaning of her recollections and for sharing with us those really hard, painful memories that she does not want to relive. Although we are only capable of very small things, there are many things for those of us who were brought up in Hiroshima to do. Today, I learned many new things that I would like to share with my friends and family. I am grateful for being here on this day.

Through today's experience, the importance of peace was brought home to me yet again. I have been to the museum twice before, but this was my first guided tour. There were many points that I could have missed in an unguided tour. It was also the first time for me to listen to a war survivor's experience. I felt like covering my ears at some points, but I decided to listen the whole way through and understand what she told us. I learned that today's peace is extremely precious. "To enable peace, be good to your friends," she said, and it was very impressive. I would like to do what I can, however small, to help peace grow in the world. Thank you very much.


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