Topics 2013

Field Trip from Hiroshima Shudo University and Comments from the Students

1.Field Trip

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 came on Saturday, May 11, and on Saturday, May 18 respectively.

After the visit to the museum, each group listened to an atomic bomb survivor's testimony. They deepen their knowledge about the reality of the A-bombings.


Tour of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum


A-bomb survivor's testimony

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

The museum visit and Mr. Hosokawa's testimony today had a strong impact on me. Although it is not a happy place, it was a meaningful experience to visit here again while I am in college. In response to Mr. Hosokawa'a testimony, I am determined to convey the fear and how an A-bomb would deprive of so many lives from now on continuously. I do not know how I can convey it, but I am sure I will tell my children first when I have one. I will do what I can do toward a world without nuclear weapons.

Through listing to the testimony, I realized that I had known too little. I am from outside of Hiroshima Prefecture and I had never visited this museum before. I had a really narrow view on it. I think those from Hiroshima are more interested in this topic than I am. There are A-bomb survivors still alive. For them, was it wonderful after the war? Was it really peaceful society? What they have suffered were too severe and should never been forgotten. I believe that nuclear weapons and wars would never make anyone happy. I felt anger when I visited the museum. This should have never happened. Now, I am studying to become an elementary school teacher. I need to properly understand the reality to properly convey it to my students. The guidance of the museum and Mr. Hosokawa's testimony were very informative. Thank you very much.

This was my third visit to the museum and every time I felt bad. When I listen to the explanation by the volunteer guide and look at the exhibits, my heart were filled with the hatred against the worst atrocity in human history inflicted by human beings. I strongly feel a message from every exhibit and explanation that it should never be repeated and we should never allow anyone to repeat it. I hope soldiers and people from the nuclear-weapon states would visit here. Officials of the governments planning to have nuclear weapons as well as Japanese who believe that Japan should be nuclear-armed should visit here as well.

Last week, we visited the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force 1st Service School in Etajima, and today we learned about peace at the Peace Memorial Museum. Last time, I learned about the toughness of the people during the war and how people coped with the war. This time, I felt the misery of the war and fear of nuclear weapons. Although I have visited this museum several times, they were when I was in elementary school. It feels different when I look at the pictures and exhibits after growing up. the destructive power of the A-bomb is beyond explanation with words and it is really frightening. It is an absolutely big deal that 20,000 of such nuclear weapons exist in the world. When I visited the museum this time, I noticed many visitors from overseas. Although I did not have a chance to know their feelings personally, I hope they would understand Hiroshima's efforts doing every possible measures for peace. We also learn about it again. We are very fortunate to be able to listen to A-bomb survivors who have really experienced the suffering. As opportunities to listen to an A-bomb survivor's testimony will be less and less in the future, we should take the lead to convey their messages.

I strongly felt that this issue should not be limited within Hiroshima. The elementary school children 68 years ago are now in their 70s or 80s. Unless we, the younger generation, inherit their messages and convey them to the next generation, their memory will lose substance. Japanese people should take the lead to convey them. We should act for it not only in Japan but also around the world. As we can see from the Fukushima accident, human beings should not deal with nuclear power. I hope we can realize a world without war, not only a world without nuclear weapons. We should establish a world where children will never be victimized. When I have a child in the future, I would like to convey all of what I learned to my child(ren) including the sad, cruel reality.

I have visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum for the first time since my school trip in elementary school. When I visited the museum, what I felt when I was 12 years old and what I feel now as a 19-year old are very different. Youth who were younger than my current age went to the battle fields, small children evacuated without knowing why... those things penetrated my heart. it must have been difficult for the survivor who shared her testimony because it must remind her of her sad experience. I also have a sister. I was listening to her story in her shoes. How sad, lonely it must have been. It was beyond imagination... It is really tough if we lose family members when we are still young. Even after the war, in the midst of food shortage, they could not really trust others at that time. How many people have been hurt by that. I cannot express my feelings by words. I felt from the bottom of my heart many times how we are blessed in current Japan. I hope the nuclear-weapon states should eliminate their nuclear weapons as soon as possible. I want them to understand how precious and wonderful peace is.


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