A-bomb survivors share their experiences at mosque in Tokyo

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

An A-bomb exhibition opened at Tokyo Camii, a mosque in Tokyo, on July 2. It is the first such exhibition to be held at a mosque in Japan. The exhibition will run through July 11 to convey the horrific devastation of the atomic bombings to the Muslim people.

About 50 items, including photos and drawings, are displayed on the first floor of the mosque, in the lobby and in the meeting hall. They depict the appearance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki before and after the bombings as well as injured A-bomb survivors.

In the Prayer Hall, Michimasa Hirata, 76, a resident of Tokyo who was exposed to the blast in Hiroshima, and Chiyono Yoneda, 84, a resident of Yokohama and an A-bomb survivor from Nagasaki, shared their experiences of the bombings and their life afterwards, including the discrimination faced by the survivors.

Serdar Basara, 36, originally from Turkey and now a resident of Tokyo and a company president, commented that nuclear weapons should not exist on the earth. He added that the A-bomb tragedies must be conveyed to all, regardless of religion. Students of a junior high school located near the mosque, listened closely to the A-bomb accounts, taking notes.

The exhibition is organized by a religious body that administers the mosque and other organizations, including ANT-Hiroshima, an NPO in Hiroshima.

(Originally published on July 3, 2010)