Recitation play on A-bombed middle school students to be performed by volunteers

by Yoko Kinomoto, Staff Writer

All of the first-year students at Hiroshima Second Middle School (now, Hiroshima Kanon High School), who were engaged in the dismantling of buildings to create fire lanes on the day of the atomic bombing, lost their lives in the blast. A recitation play based on this tragedy, called "Stone Monument Story" ("Ishibumi Sho"), will be performed at the Hiroshima City Women's Education Center at 2 p.m. on November 28. Admission is free.

The play is about one hour long and consists mainly of personal notes written by the parents of the students who fell victim to the atomic bomb. From the perspective of the parents, it relates how the students died by describing various scenes such as the parents finding their children around the hypocenter, the children dying in their parents' arms, and the children's last words.

The recitation play is being presented by members of the "Forest Society" ("Mori-no-kai"), a group of recitation volunteers at Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims. Ten women have rehearsed over a period of one year for this performance, their first. Takahiro Ito, 71, one of the volunteers at Peace Memorial Hall and a former advisor of the drama club at Funairi High School, directed the play.

Mr. Ito reorganized the recitation play which was created based on a documentary TV program "Stone Monument" ("Ishibumi") produced by Hiroshima Telecasting Co., Ltd. and performed by citizens of Fukuyama City last year. He commented, "I hope this recitation play will provide an opportunity for parents and children to think about peace together."

(Originally published on November 27, 2009)