Korean students visit Hiroshima to learn reality of atomic bombing

by Masaki Kadowaki, Staff Writer

On July 17, 21 students who are majoring in Japanese at Korean universities paid a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park as part of their peace education activities.

The students attend Keimyung University (in Daegu), Sookmyung Women's University (in Seoul), and Incheon National University (in Incheon). At the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, they listened to the account of A-bomb survivor Emiko Okada, 76, a resident of Higashi Ward. Ms. Okada shared the story of how her sister, who was 12 at the time and was mobilized to help dismantle buildings to create a fire lane, never returned home after the blast. Some of the Korean students shed tears as they listened.

The group also offered a silent prayer at the Monument in Memory of the Korean Victims of the A-bomb and toured Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Nam Huiran, 22, a junior majoring in Japanese studies at Keimyung University, said, “Understanding the sorrow of the A-bomb survivors has made me want to learn more about nuclear weapons.”

The students arrived in Japan on July 1 to take part in the Japanese Language and Culture program at Hiroshima Shudo University, which maintains academic exchanges with these Korean universities. During their stay in Japan, until August 2, the students will visit Shimokamagari Island (in Kure), which holds a historical connection to the Korean Missions to Japan that took place during the Edo period.

(Originally published on July 18, 2013)