Hiroshima Jogakuin University opens collection of poet Sadako Kurihara

by Yuji Yamamoto, Staff Writer

A collection of poetry and handwritten manuscripts by Sadako Kurihara (1913-2005), a well-known writer of A-bomb-related works, was opened to the public on September 7 at the Hiroshima Jogakuin University library. The collection, organized as a tribute to the author who persistently opposed nuclear weapons and war, contains some 5,000 items formerly in Ms. Kurihara’s possession.

To date, about 4,500 of the 5,000 items have been made available to the public. Among the valuable materials are 18 volumes of the “Chugoku Bunka” (“Chugoku Culture”), a literary magazine for which Ms. Kurihara was the editor. And displayed in a glass case is the handwritten manuscript of the writer’s best-known poem “Umashimenkana” (“We Shall Bring Forth New Life”). Eight people, including Ms. Kurihara’s daughter, Mariko, 73, and Hiroshi Imada, president of the university, were present at a ceremony held on September 7 to commemorate the opening of the collection.

In July of this year, Mariko offered to donate her mother’s materials to Hiroshima Jogakuin University. She chose this university because of its dedication to peace education and its close proximity to the city center. The university then promptly set up the memorial collection.

In August, 102 more handwritten poems were found in Ms. Kurihara’s home and they were then added to the collection. These poems have apparently not yet appeared in print and may be unpublished works.

After cataloguing the materials, the university made the majority of them available to the public. Admission to the library, which is closed on Sundays and holidays, is free.

(Originally published on October 8, 2008.)