Topics 2012

Field Trip from Hiroshima Shudo University and Comments from the Students

1.Field Trip

Some 70 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 19, and on Saturday, June 2 respectively.

After the visit to the museum, each group listened to an atomic bomb survivor.


Tour of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum


A-bomb survivor gives a talk

2.Excerpt from the students' comments following the field trip

Through today’s field trip, I re-realized the reason why I am in Hiroshima and our mission of sending out a message of peace. Because we are alive now and can listen to a survivor’s testimony face-to-face, we have to pass on the value of peace to the future generations. I have been thinking that I want to get involved in activities related to Hiroshima, and today the desire became stronger. While I have time to spare as a student, which will end in less than one year, I will consider what I can do for sending out a message of peace from Hiroshima and will take action.

After hearing about a survivor’s testimony, I felt that war is really horrible. The pictures displayed in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum made me very sad. Normally, I do not think about war and peace, but today’s field trip changed me. I will appreciate being alive and live valuing peace more than ever. I am full of desire to eliminate nuclear weapons from the world. I would like to let people know about the awfulness of nuclear weapons and to make a peaceful world without wars. I will do what I can do to realize a peaceful world.

For the first time in a long while, I visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. As I walk around the museum, I came to feel sorrow. Lives of 140,000 people, who had been enjoying their daily life or who had been excited about their future, were taken by the only 3-meter-long nuclear weapon. Growing up and being educated in Hiroshima, I feel the children of today's generation have less knowledge on the atomic bomb than us. As long as we grow up in Hiroshima, we have the obligation to spread the importance of peace and the frightfulness of nuclear weapons, and I will pursue that. The tragedy that happened 67 yeas ago should never happen again. Today’s peaceful life is founded on the ultimate sacrifices of 140,000 people’s lives. If the war is forgotten, it will be repeated again. Therefore, I would like to hand down the tragedy to posterity.

Though this was the second visit to the museum for me, it was my first time to look around properly while having an explained one by one. That made me feel and think a lot. I was close to tears when I was looking at victims’ belongings and reading their explanations. Listening to the survivor’s story after the museum, I felt distress and thought strongly once again that it should never happen again. I heard that, in the world, there are still many such awful bombs with hundreds times more power than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and that fact terrified me. We have to start what we can do now. As the first step, I will talk about what I learned today.

Today’s visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was the first time for me since my first visit when I was in the sixth grade of elementary school. Seeing materials and victims’ belongings after growing up made me think more about peace, the atomic bomb and today’s Japan than the last time. What happened in Hiroshima had been someone else's problem for me until yesterday, but it turns out to be close to me and real by looking around the museum and listening to Mr. Arai’s story today. Especially, Mr. Arai’s testimony in front of us made me rediscover that he, the same age as my grandfather, suffered in the same space as my grandfather was in. As time goes by, we cannot learn the real experience directly from the victims. I have realized the value that, at present, I can learn firsthand about the A-bombing directly from hibakushas.

It was the first time for me to look around the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum since I was in primary school. At that time, I only felt “fear” or “sick,” but today I could learn, for the first time, about the protest against nuclear test by mayors of Hiroshima and how Hiroshima was chosen as the target of the A-bombing by visiting the museum. Although I am a citizen of Hiroshima, I did not know about them and felt ashamed of my lack of knowledge. This was good motivation for me to have my own opinion on the A-bombing in Hiroshima and explain it when I visit foreign countries and am asked about it. Listening to Mr. Arai’s firsthand experience directory from him, the situation after the bombing, which I thought scary when I was small, became reality for me as if hibakusha’s feeling entered within my mind. I was terrified by that and also thought that it should never happen again.


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