Recitation play to share A-bomb accounts performed in Hiroshima

by Sakiko Masuda, Staff Writer

On July 14, “Natsu no Kai” (“Summer Gathering”), a group of actresses from Tokyo who perform recitation plays based on A-bomb accounts around the nation, performed a play at the Hiroshima Institute of Technology in Saeki Ward, Hiroshima. The performance “Natsu no Kumo wa Wasurenai: Hiroshima/Nagasaki 1945” (“The Summer Cloud Won’t Forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki of 1945”) was part of a peace education event held by Hiroshima Nagisa Junior High School, also located in Saeki Ward. This was the group’s first performance in Hiroshima Prefecture since 2010, when they were awarded the Kiyoshi Tanimoto Peace Prize and performed at that time.

Among the six actresses of the group, Toshie Takada, Tomoe Hiiro, and Misako Watanabe took the stage at the Hiroshima Institute of Technology. Reciting such words as “Dad, why did you have to die, leaving me behind?” and “I hate the atomic bomb,” they conveyed the sorrow and anger of those who lost loved ones in the bombing and the hopes for peace held by the survivors.

A poem written by a mother who lost her son, wishing that the world would join together in peace, was also read aloud: “May His Ideal Come True As Soon As Possible.” Together with other poems, including “Umashimenkana” (“We Shall Bring Forth New Life”) by Sadako Kurihara and “Chiisai Ko” (“Little Child”) by Sankichi Toge, photographs and drawings from around the time of the bombing were projected on stage to convey the devastation of the attack.

Five students from the high school joined in the performance. Yoshiko Kato, 15, a third-year student, said, “I was able to speak for those who were killed in the atomic bombing. I felt how important it is to continue handing down their experiences.”

About 400 people, including second- and third-year students of the school and their parents, listened to the recitation play.

(Originally published on July 23, 2012)