Illustrated book about Sadako to be published on August 6

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

Satomi Nakamura, 46, a Tokyo resident and singer-songwriter who pursues a theme of peace in her work, will publish an illustrated book on Sadako Sasaki and paper cranes on August 6. Ms. Nakamura, one of the first peace ambassadors of the Never Again Campaign (NAC), traveled around the United States to convey the message of A-bomb survivors (hibakusha) 24 years ago. Ms. Nakamura is also planning regular gatherings with hibakusha, seeking to broaden the means of expressing the idea of peace.

The illustrated book is titled "Orizuru ni Notte," or "Trusting the Paper Crane" in English. The story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who experienced the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and later died of leukemia, and the Children's Peace Monument, for which Sadako served as the inspiration, is written in compact sentences. An English translation is also provided in the book, and the publication of the book with translation into other foreign languages is also being considered. The book consists of 32 pages. A picture-story show with original pictures by Shinko Yoshida, an illustrator, was created as well.

To date, Ms. Nakamura has released four CDs of her music. She began her "Peace Live" concerts on August 6, 2008, and aims to hold a thousand peace concerts. A gathering with hibakusha that she has held irregularly in Tokyo since July of last year will be held once every two months from September of this year. The situation with regard to nuclear weapons will also be discussed at the gatherings.

The origin of her activities is her experience with NAC. For about a year, from 1986, she visited 280 venues in the United States, including schools and churches, and conveyed the wish that she had learned from hibakusha: "We do not want anyone to suffer the same experience we did." Ms. Nakamura found that the children at these venues listened attentively to the story of Sadako.

After returning to Japan, Ms. Nakamura worked as the chief editor of a magazine for cross-cultural exchange for eight years, and started her own business. In the summer of 2008, she formed a company involved in event planning and editing. The illustrated book will be the first publication by her company. "I cannot speak like the hibakusha, but I want to continue to convey, in my simple language, the impressions and teachings I have received from them," she said.

Further information can be found at the website of "Muse no Sato" at http://musevoice.com.

(Originally published on July 27, 2010)