Daughter of woman who helped draft Japanese Constitution visits Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

by Keita Izumi, Staff Writer

Nicole Gordon, 58, the daughter of the late Beate Sirota Gordon, paid her first visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on March 26. As a member of the General Headquarters of the Allied Occupation Forces (GHQ), Beate Sirota Gordon was involved in drafting Japan’s Constitution after the war.

Nicole Gordon, a lawyer, toured the museum for about one hour with her husband, Roger Bernstein, 60. They lingered for some time at a panoramic model which shows the cityscape of Hiroshima in the aftermath of the atomic bombing as well as photographs of the destruction. “My mother would tell me that Hiroshima was a special place to her,” Nicole Gordon recalled. “I was able to grasp what she meant, as I now understand the horror brought about by the atomic bombing.”

Beate Sirota Gordon began her work on the new Constitution in 1946, drafting such articles on human rights as article 24, concerning the equality of men and women. In her later years, she gave lectures in Japan, making her last visit to Hiroshima in 2003.

Nicole Gordon is visiting Japan to take part in a gathering in Tokyo on March 30 that will pay honor to Beate Sirota Gordon. To follow in the footsteps of her mother, who continued to appeal for the importance of Japan’s “peace constitution” until her death last December at the age of 89, she included Hiroshima in her itinerary.

(Originally published on March 27, 2013)