A-bomb survivor reports on A-bomb exhibitions in U.S.

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

Toshiko Kajimoto, 77, who recently shared her experience of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima at several A-bomb exhibition sites in the United States, held a press conference with Steven Leeper, chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, who had accompanied her during the trip. They spoke at Hiroshima City Hall on October 1. The exhibitions have been part of the city of Hiroshima’s effort to hold A-bomb exhibitions nationwide in the United States in every state. Ms. Kajimoto, looking back on her trip, commented, “I feel I was able to convey to people my message of abolishing nuclear weapons as soon as possible.”

Ms. Kajimoto was exposed to the atomic bombing 2.3 kilometers from the hypocenter, while working at a factory as a mobilized student. On her trip to the United States, from September 3 to 12, she visited five cities in Missouri and Iowa and shared her experience of the atomic bombing a total of nine times at such exhibition venues as universities and churches. She remarked, “Though America is a nuclear-weapons state, the people who came to the exhibitions were peace-loving citizens with kind hearts.”

Mr. Leeper visited three additional cities in Montana and Nevada with another A-bomb survivor who lives in the United States. Mr. Leeper emphasized the impact that the exhibitions have had on U.S. residents, commenting, “People’s feelings change when they listen to these appeals from survivors who have overcome their bitterness. On this trip, the power of the survivors to influence others was reaffirmed for me.”

Thus far, the A-bomb exhibitions in the United States have been held in 75 cities in 34 states as well as the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C., with nine A-bomb survivors from Hiroshima and four survivors residing in the U.S. relating their experiences. Mr. Leeper announced that, thanks to the efforts of survivors living in the U.S., exhibitions will now also be held in Virginia and West Virginia, both of which were among the eight states where no exhibitions had been planned.

(Originally published on October 2, 2008)

Related articles
A-bomb exhibitions in U.S. wrap up their first year (Sept. 26, 2008)
An Oregon choir sings a song of Hiroshima (Sept. 25, 2008)
A-bomb survivor Itsuki Munakata to play taiko drum for peace in the U.S. (July 23, 2008)