Kiyoshi Tanimoto Peace Prize goes to theater group

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

The Hiroshima Peace Center Foundation, chaired by Mamoru Tsuru, has announced that "Natsu no Kai" ("Summer Gathering") will receive the 22nd Kiyoshi Tanimoto Peace Award. "Natsu no Kai" is a theater group of 16 actresses led by Tatsu Nakamura which performs recitation plays based on A-bomb experiences across Japan.

"Natsu no Kai" was established by member actresses of "Chijin Kai" in March 2008. "Chijin Kai" is a theater group that creates plays and performed the recitation play entitled "The Children's Summer" for a long time.

"Natsu no Kai" has been performing the recitation play entitled "Natsu no Kumo wa Wasurenai Hiroshima・Nagasaki 1945" ("The Summer Cloud Won't Forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki of 1945"). The group has performed the play with local students at a total of 79 locations nationwide.

Mamoru Tsuru said that the group is spreading a circle of peace throughout Japan by promoting exchanges with local children at each location. He cited wider efforts of the group to hand down A-bomb experiences, not limited to their work on the stage, as the basis for the award. Tatsu Nakamura, 82, said "I'm very pleased with this honor. Viewing the award as encouragement, we will continue our efforts."

The award ceremony will be held at the Hiroshima Institute of Technology on November 7. The award was established in 1987 to preserve the legacy of the late Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto of Hiroshima Nagarekawa Church, who devoted himself to providing support to children whose parents perished in the atomic bombing. To date, such people as Kaneto Shindo, a film director who is originally from Saeki Ward, Hiroshima, have received the award.

(Originally published on October 8, 2010)