Field Trip from Hiroshima Shudo University and Comments from the Students
Some 50 students who are taking the “Hiroshima Studies” course at Hiroshima Shudo University, took a tour of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force 1st Service School in Etajima, Hiroshima Prefecture to learn more about peace issues. The students were divided into two groups that come on Saturday, May 7, and on Saturday, May 21 respectively.
After the visit to the museum, each group listened to an atomic bomb survivor.
Group A (Tour on May 7)
Tour of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
A-bomb survivor gives a talk
Group B (Tour on May 21)
Tour to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
A-bomb survivor gives a talk
2.Excerpt from the students' comments following the field trip
Today I thought anew about myself “as a human being.” I am from Hiroshima, and since my childhood, my grandmother has told me about the war and the A-bombing. After entering university, I made many friends from other prefectures. Their perspective of the A-bomb, however, was slightly different from that of us from Hiroshima. I thought that what was important for us, born and raised in Hiroshima, was to inspire the people around us. From today I will value the words, “Hatred will not cultivate peace.”
The words, “No peace exists where there is suffering. To understand pain of other human beings is peace” struck my heart. It might be impossible to think from the same standpoint as the A-bomb survivors. However, I will never forget that today’s peaceful Japan and the history to achieve it is derived from the hibakusha’s wish toward peace based on their painful experiences.
Listening to the A-bomb survivor's testimony, what I saw and learned today at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum made me feel much more real. Though the lecture, I realized once again that the terror of the atomic bomb which took lives of many people. And I almost cried when I just imagined if we were there at that time. Many innocent children were lost by the war and I believe that there must have been many people who felt difficulty in life itself, even though they lived through that experience. It is impossible to understand survivors feelings and their pain completely. However, there is a need to teach the next generation and as many people as possible about the real picture of war. I feel strongly that that is our role.
Thank you very much for devoting your precious time and telling your story to us. Listening to her story was far more realistic than looking around the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. To be honest, I felt like I wanted to close my ears, but I thought that it is a story that I need to listen to. I have listened to many survivors’ experiences, and every single time I felt the same way as this time. I realized that the pain of survivors is too difficult to express in words. At the same time I understood how blessed we were now. I believe we should never forget the story I heard today. And now, I will keep this fact in my memory as one of the citizens of Hiroshima. Thank you so much again for this opportunity.
The first lecture by the volunteer was very comprehensive and I leaned a lot on the truth of the atomic bombing which I had never known before. The most impressing one was the story about the stone step stained with a human figure. From the stone step, I was able to see the visible imprint of war and I felt as if I could hear of the cruelty and sadness of the war and the tragedy of the atomic bomb. The impression I got this time was much different from what I felt in my elementary school days. I appreciate that I had an opportunity to see it. In the second lecture, I could hear her voice, her actual experiences, so I could imagine the cruelty of the atomic bomb. The words, “Give me some water” were not easy for me to listen to. I felt their pain and that remains in my heart. Each detailed piece of information told me of the brutality of the atomic bomb, and the simple picture she drew showed me the vividness of her experiences. She described the condition as a “Hell”, and I believe it should be described as such. It is hard for me to imagine that people cannot recognize the victims as human beings. I deeply appreciate that I was able to attend such a lecture today. It changed my awareness of the atomic bomb big time. In the future, I would like to try to eliminate war and seek peace, and value the preciousness of life and continue to have a zest for living.
Hearing about Kajiyama-san’s actual experiences today, I paused to realize how heinous and inhuman war can be. One part of her story that stayed with me was how even while suffering wounds from glass and wood, the pain reminded her that she was alive. For me, I feel alive by feeling joy and happiness. In my opinion war only generates sorrow. From now on, I will not to take this peace for granted. Instead, I will live my life with the understanding that this peace has been at the price of the sacrifices at the past.