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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Program Feedback from Participants

In September 13, Peace Philosophy Centre hosted a sharing event of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Exchange Tour 2008. For the description of the program please see here. For this event we conducted a survey among the U.S. participants of the 2008 tour.

The questions were:
1) What did you personally find was the highlight of this program and why?
2) How did you find the program changed your views on the issue?
3) How do you see what you`ve learnt through this program affecting your participation in nuclear non-proliferation and the Peace movement in the future?
4) Any other general comments about the program...

Some of the respondents agreed publish their views on this website.

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Emily K.
1) The highlight of this program was getting to hear and speak with several hibakusha. I believe that speaking with the survivors brought an emotional response to the seminar that wouldn't have otherwise existed. It sone thing to read about an event, but it is a whole other experience entirely to talk to those who were physical and emotional impacted. If I had never heard their stories, I don't think I would have ever comprehended the destruction brought by the nuclear bombs.

2) My perspective has changed after attending the program. I had alwaysopposed the use of bombs because I'm a pacifist and hate any aspect of war, but I didn't understand the emotional aspect of the weapons until visiting Japan. After learning about the situations in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, I now firmly protest nuclear weapons and have a firmer reason for opposing them than merely being a pacifist.

3) This program definitely helped her become aware of nuclear abolition. I had not thought much about the subject before traveling to Japan and did not view it as a realistic goal. Now, after hearing the stories of the hibakusha and learning about Mayors for Peace, I am committed to helping achieve nuclear abolition in any way I can.

4) This was an amazing experience and I came home understanding so much more about the events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nuclear weapons play such a huge role in foreign policy and international relations, and it was very beneficial to me as an international studies major to understand the perspectives and history behind this issue.

Ben
1) For me, the highlight of the trip was hearing the testimonies of the hibakusha. The seminars, museums, and monuments were all enlightening, but nothing did more to convey the pure tragedy and devastation of the bombings more than the hibakusha testimonies. Hearing their stories, seeing their scars (both physical and emotional), and feeling their presence really did a lot to communicate how much of a terrible tragedy the atomic bombings were. It gave me a sense of how much the bombings affected people not just on August 6 and 9, 1945, but for years afterward and still today.

2) The program helped me to gain an understanding of just how long lasting the effects of the atomic bombings were. In America, we tend to overlook the fact that these cities were in shambles for so long, and people are still dying from the radiation effects today. And not only were the physical effects horrible, the psychological effects were probably even worse. I had no idea that hibakusha were treated as virtually second-class citizens sometimes. I didn't comprehend before the trip the fact that people had to deal with the death of family members from the bomb's radiation for years and years after the actual bombings.
Now that I understand more about how truly devastating atomic and nuclear weapons are, I find myself adamantly against not only their use, but their very presence.

3) What I have learned through this program has definitely motivated me to get involved in the anti-nuclear movement. When I returned to the U.S., one of the first things that I did was to email Professor Kuznick and ask him how I should go about getting involved. That we should not have nuclear weapons upon this earth, is something that I'm deeply convinced of now, and I want to do my part to teach others this.

4)We also had a blast!! It was great meeting everyone from Japan and Vancouver, and because we spent so much time together, we really all got to know each other very well in a relatively short period.
Singing Karaoke with everyone was probably only barely behind the testimony from hibakusha in the running for highlight of the trip!

Bethany Power
1) For me the highlight of the program was getting to learn the information,see the sites, and ask questions with the Japanese and Canadian Students. There was definatley some cultural exchanging going on between the "histories" we had all grown up with in our countries.

2) On August 8th we went to Oka Masaharu Nagasaki Peace Museum. The focus of the museum was on the Japanese atrocities in Asia during the war period. The museum was so graphic and emotional, even though it was very small and not as funded as the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb museum. The museum told the story of the Japanese occupation of Asian countries like Korea, China, the Philippines,Vietnam, etc. There were pictures of starved prisoners, starved civilians, and dead children. There was a large section devoted to the comfort women of the war period. There was a large section devoted to the Rape of Nanking. What struck me the most was the section on textbooks. The exhibited how the Japanese textbooks had become more censored over the years. They displayed certain sayings form the textbooks in 1997 and then from 2002 to show how the history was changing and certain parts of history, such as the validity of the story of the comfort women, were changing. I thought this was an important message. The story of the Japanese atrocities during the war couldn't get lost behind the atrocity of the nuclear bomb because then students get an imbalanced perspective and the future could be dangerous. It is important to let students know the whole story so they can make their own decisions about how they want to proceed in the future. Before the trip I had never really connected the atroicities the Japanese were inflicting and the A-Bomb.
Also, I had never thought about victims of the A-bomb that were not Japanese, such as the large amount of Koreans in Japan at the time. I was really interested in exploring more about this topic.

3) The ball started rolling in my head as I listened to Steve Leeper. As a future high school teacher my goal is not only to teach students the value and importance of history, but also to create a community that is helpful and concerned with the world around them. The Mayors for Peace organization would work well as an organization like "Teachers for Peace" or "Classrooms for peace" where we start a national, or international organization, which promotes peace studies to ensure that students understand the choices governments can take other than war.

I was also surprised by the amount of cover-up the government was doing before, during and after the war to preserve the stability. For example, at the Tokyo air raid museum I learned that the Japanese government downplayed the bombings of Tokyo because if the people were aware of the level of destruction and devastation almost 6 months before the atomic bombs were dropped they would ask, "Why didn't the government stop the war after theTokyo air raids?" She said there would be more resentment toward the government and more anger for the destruction. The truth of what happened inTokyo makes the government look bad in the eyes of the people.

4) Any other general comments about the program...During the program I met good friends, learned a lot about Japan and learned lessons about Nuclear warfare that I would never get out of a textbook. I feared that the program would be very one-sided, takng a very"villian" approach to the US dropping of the bomb. Instead I felt like there was more of a focus on the future.

S. Matthews
1) The tour and program helped me to personally experience another historical perspective from inside another countries point of view. I hope to share with students and others the lessons I learned, things I saw, and people's stories I heard. Perhaps one of the most stimulating things for me, as a teacher, was the consideration of student text books in different musuems showing their development, censorship, and curriculum changes. I was also struck by the relatively open manner the musuems discussed Japanese atrocities, rather than silence them from the historical record. I really enjoyed visiting an ailing Hibakusha with Satoko and sharing our differentideas and stories. I am currently learning how to conduct, interview and use oral history in historical research. I really hope to apply these skills perhaps to the people I met on the tour sometime in the future.

2) I had never understood, read or learned from a human centered historical point of view. I would never dismiss anouther mode of remembering or learning but was unsure how a human-victim centered focus would blend with my prior knowledge. Using multiple perpsectives helps put global issues in a correct perspective. Perhaps trans-national points of view cloud a single story line but becuase of the trip, I feel more prepared to answer students questions and write intellegently and hopefully persuasively on nuclear topics.

3) I am not quite sure what level of involment I may pursue. Yet now I readthe news differently, subscribe to mayors for peace, and will attend demonstrations when possible.

4) I really encourage everyone who9 is able, unwilling or perhaps reticent about dealing with war issues, atomic history to attend as well as people who already believe in nuclear abolition. Especially teachers who can then share and bring their experiences into their classrooms.

Wilmer Gutierrez
1) Meeting new people: American, Canadian and Japanese students. Also, hearing from the Hibakusha personally, the karaoke nights

2) I didn't have a lot of opinions over the nuclear issue. It as it was impose to me that nuclear weapons were necessary to defend ourselves. I didn't really question that before until this trip. It completely change my opinion/made me have an opinion that nuclear weapons are not really necessary, but they endangered our lives and endangered the future as a civilization. Also, I was thought in high school that the US warned Japan of a powerful new weapon before dropping the two atomic bombs. Because they didn't surrender, the US HAD to drop the weapon in to make them to surrender. By attending this trip and from the evidence, I know this is not true at all. So, this program completely change my attitude, opinion, and taught me something completely different from the "view" that I was taught in high school in America.

3) I definitely think that I will join the non-proliferation and peace movement somehow. At this point I don't know how, but some ideas that have run through my head is pushing my college, Goucher College, to start a project similar to Rits University: building a Peace Museum. That is in the long run, but I'd like to start now by putting the idea on the table. Also, I would like to encourage other Goucher students to attend this program, especially Political Science students.

4) Great program! If I can, I want to do it again !!

Jenn Englekirk
1) The highlight of the trip was meeting and spending time with Koko. I also enjoyed getting to know people and spending time with people that I normally would not even meet on campus.

2) When I departed from Washington D.C. on July 30th, I viewed the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan as justified and brilliant. I read Hershey's book Hiroshima during the first 3 hours of the flight and was a little upset by his point of view. I even approached Professor Kuznick, during that flight, and grilled him on a couple of issues. In particular, I grilled him in the area of the responsibility of the government to protect it's own citizens and soldiers first, when it comes to war. He patiently answered some questions and then told me to wait for his lecture in a couple of days.
When he gave his lecture, 3 days later, I was given information I had never heard before. I am not one who will automatically believe everything I am told, especially from a liberal professor. So, following his lecture, I launched into my own research and low and behold, I discovered that Kuznick was not lying; the facts Kuznick gave us were correct. This began to change my view.
By the time we took off from Tokyo on August 11th, my views on Atomic warfare had changed 180 degrees. Truman and his advisors should have been charged with war crimes for what took place on August 6 and August 9, 1945. In addition, they should be charged with war crimes for the Tokyo bombings as well. There is no way to excuse what occurred on those dates. Winners or not, the United States should be held accountable for their role in the attacks.

3) My life has been changed due to this trip. My senior thesis topic went from something about the rules and traditions of baseball to the affects of atomic testing on United States civilians (still trying to narrow down that topic). Before this class, I was not sure whether I wanted to get a masters in education or history or even what I wanted to concentrate on or do with my life. Because of Japan, I have found my calling. I know now that I want to earn my Ph.D. in history with a concentration in nuclear studies. I hope to one day become a professor and be able to show my own students the horrible affects of an ill decision and how that decision affect our lives, even 60 years after the affects.

4) I strongly believe that trips like these should be required for every college professor to take (in any department) and strongly recommended for any college student, especially those who wish to become history majors. You can read about these things in books and you can watch it on film but nothing, and I mean nothing, can replace the experience of being there, seeing and hearing first hand from the Hibakusha, what they went through.

********************************************************

Comments are welcome.

Happy Holidays!

Satoko

Review of Play "NABI/Comfort Women" (by Chungmi Kim)

From despair to hope: “NABI/Comfort Women”(written by Chungmi Kim) and making an emotional connection with the victims

Satoko Norimatsu
Peace Philosophy Centre


How do you go on living, when you have experienced suffering and humiliation beyond description? Should you abandon your past and live in the present? Or perhaps cut yourself off from the present and live in the past? Or confront the past in the present and live from moment to moment? Most women who were made sex slaves of the old Imperial Japanese army chose a way to go on living, and have embarked on new journeys.

On November 21, 2008, I went to see the Korean production of NABI/Comfort Women (originally COMFORT WOMEN written in English) by Chungmi Kim, which was directed by Eunmi Bang and performed by the members of her Nabi Theatre Company from Seoul, Korea. It was presented at Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam, a suburb of Vancouver on Canada's West Coast. I attended the opening performance. The 260-seat theatre was full. The Korean title of the play was "Nabi," which means “butterfly” in Korean. The butterfly has symbolic meaning in the play. The way butterflies take flight is a metaphor for the way victimized women regain dignity and freedom by talking about their experiences.

The story takes place in 1994 in New York City. Yuni Kim lives a quiet life with her daughter and her daughter’s family. One day, Yuni's granddaughter Jina, a student at New York University, returns home in high spirits. Jina explains that two victims of the Japanese Army's sex slavery during WWII are in New York to provide testimony at the United Nations. Yuni tells Jina to avoid contact with these women, but Jina replies, "Actually, I brought these halmonis home with me.” The two halmonis (“halmoni” means “grandmother” in Korean) enter and approach an agitated Yuni. These two tough women are able to tell of their painful past and still sing and laugh out loud. They find Yuni’s cold and unsympathetic manner annoying.

Yet the two halmonis sense something odd about Yuni's reactions. They notice scars on Yuni's fingertips, and what look like tattoo marks on her back. Bokhi, one of the halmonis, taking a long look at Yuni, suspects she has seen her before. Bokhi asks Yuni whether she was "Hanako," the “comfort woman” kept by a Japanese Army officer for his exclusive use. Yuni denies this fiercely. All she can hear in her heart is her late mother's voice telling her, "That was a nightmare, no more than a nightmare. Just forget about it!" And then all the formidable memories of old are brought back to her. Yuni cannot bear to confront the past she once buried away, and attempts to take her own life. Jina rushes to grandmother’s side, embraces her, and tells her how much she loves her. When Yuni later revives, she asks Jina to open the window. Sunlight and a breeze from outside fill the room.

During the last scene, the entire audience was in tears - even those like my Peace Center colleague from China and myself who were well informed about the "comfort women" issue. In July 2007, I travelled to Seoul to attend a demonstration in front of the Japanese Embassy. (This protest has been held by former victims of sex slavery and their supporters every Wednesday for the last 17 years.) I also visited the “Sharing House," where (at that time) nine former victims lived together. I have also been a member of Women's Active Museum (WAM) in Tokyo, which specializes in addressing wartime violence against women, particularly the sex slavery perpetrated by the Imperial Japanese Army. I realized I could never truly understand the anguish and suffering of these women, but I believed I understood this to a certain extent. Seeing this play, however, made me realize that my understanding had remained at an intellectual level.

In this play, we learn that Yuni was given the Japanese name "Hanako," when she was taken away at the age of 15 and made into a sex slave for the exclusive use of a single officer because of her beauty. Some envied her, saying, "At least you only have one officer to deal with, so you won't have to suffer from syphilis." At the end, however, Yuni was treated violently by this officer and transferred to another "comfort station," where she was raped by many soldiers. Following the war, Yuni's mother told her to treat the experience as a nightmare and forget about it. Yuni eventually married, but after having a baby her husband beat her when he learned that Yuni had been a sex slave.

Many scenes in this play made vivid the stories of these victims of sex slavery that I had read in books and heard in their testimonials, speaking directly to the hearts of the audience. Thekla Lit, President of BC ALPHA, a sponsor of this production, often speaks of the importance of our making emotional connections with the victims of war. This play certainly served that purpose for me, enabling me to nurture empathy with these women on a deeper level, as I believe the play did for many other members of the audience.

I was also moved by the way Yuni's despair was transformed into hope. Yuni had been married and was leading a seemingly happy life with her daughter and family until she was forced to confront a past that she had hidden away for over 50 years. Now she was left to face all the unbearable emotions of the past ? her childhood trauma, as a young and innocent girl who had been deeply wounded and never healed, her guilt over receiving ”better” treatment by the lone officer, her remorse over the fact that she had to abandon a friend with whom she had initially planned to make an escape, and her inner turmoil over believing she could never tell her family the truth even though she knew she bore no responsibility for her suffering.

I could relate to the anguish that led Yuni to choose her own death, though there was absolutely no need for her to die. As I was watching the scene, I found myself mentally screaming out and begging Yuni not to die. In this play, Jina and the young Yuni were played by the same actress. When Yuni came to, after her life had been hanging in the balance, she found Jina holding her. At that moment, Yuni must have seen her young and innocent self in Jina, and must have found hope for the future in her granddaughter. Jina's love and her words that she was proud of Yuni provided Yuni with the courage to live on.

Yuni's situation reminded me of Sakue Shimohira, a survivor of the Nagasaki atomic-bombing who was only 10-years old when she and her little sister became orphans. Amidst deteriorating health, poverty and despair, she had to "choose between the courage to die and the courage to live." She chose the courage to live. Even though these two women confronted different circumstances, the love they and all survivors received from family, friends and supporters plays a crucial role when they pass through the tunnel of pain and despair to find courage and hope. Yuni had her granddaughter Jina, but many victims of sex slavery don't have any surviving family members, as was the case for the two halmonis in this play. Who can love these halmonis, as Jina loves Yuni? The answer is each of us -- each of us who has seen the play, and each of us who chooses to face the issue of military sex slavery. Yuni decided to live on by a single thread of trust in humanity. Responsibility lies in each of us human beings to respond to Yuni's trust, irrespective of our nationality, gender or point of view.

According to the playwright Chungmi Kim, "Comfort Women" was first staged at an Off-Broadway theatre in New York in the fall of 2004. The play was included in the book "New Playwrights: The Best Plays of 2005" by Smith and Kraus. In May 2005, a Korean version of the play, titled "NABI," was presented at the Seoul Theatre Festival. Director Eunmi Bang established her own Nabi Theatre Company in the fall of 2005. The company has since performed the play about 200 times in Korea before being invited to perform it in Toronto and Vancouver this past fall. Hanuree Drama Club, a Greater Vancouver local theatre group, produced the performances in Coquitlam. According to Marketing Director Kevin Sung, the Club has 19 years of history and its members are primarily Korean Canadians. For this production, over 20 members of Hanuree Drama Club worked with 7 cast and 4 staff members of the Nabi Theatre Company. In the audience were not only Korean Canadians but also Canadians of European, Chinese, Japanese and other descent. It was significant that multicultural Vancouver hosted this production, which will raise awareness about the unresolved issue of the military sex slavery throughout the world. I would like to see more performances held outside of Korea, especially in Japan.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Peace Quilting, and a Poem on Happiness

Kyoko Hara attended Bonekai last week and kindly presented her Peace Quilting project. Kyoko Hara is one of the members of White Rock Group, a friend organization of Peace Philosophy Centre.

Scroll down to under Kyoko's Japanese message. It is a poem by John Trudell shared by Mariko Kage at Bonenkai party last week.

クリスマスも近づき、皆さんお忙しく過ごされていることと思います。 12月6日(土)に、ピースフィロソフィー・センターの乗松聡子さん宅で忘年会があり、ホワイトロックの会代表(?)で、参加してきました。 それぞれの活動報告あり、歌あり、楽器演奏あり、ポエムあり、ダンスあり、、、、のとても楽しく元気の出る集いでした。 ホワイトロックの会からは、現在進行中の「平和をつなぐキルト」の企画の途中経過報告とパッチワーク募集の宣伝をさせていただきました。 励ましをいただくと共に、この場に作られたパッチワークを持ってきてくださった方々もおられました。 感謝します。 参加者の一人、鹿毛真理子さんが朗読してくださった詩が、とてもすてきなものだったので、クリスマスプレゼントとして皆さんにも是非ご紹介させていただきたいと思います。

"One of the colors"

Happiness is how we feel about ourselves
the good we think
the good we feel
the good we do
we are part of the dreamtime
happiness is one of the colors
there are shadow casters who trick us about happiness
we are taught to wish for things to make us happy
we are not taught to dream for happiness itself
we can't buy happiness
we can't sell it
we can't steal it
we can't borrow it
and we can't capture it

but we can create it
love can't bring us happiness
but happiness can bring us to love
power can't bring us happiness
but happiness can show us power
on the line of what is real and what really isn't
dream for happiness
somewhere between heart and mind
the spirit of life can be seen
happiness comes and awaits dream

John Trudell, poet

「平和をつなぐキルト」に、どうぞご協力をお願いいたします。 日本の日高桂子さん(キルトで九条を作る会)のグループからも、協力の申し出をしていただきました。 布を切って、直線縫いをするだけの簡単な作業です。 わからない方は、出張・ご指導いたしますので、どうぞご連絡ください。(whiterock@peacephilosophy.com) 私たちにできる、小さな平和のためのアピールをしていきましょう。 それでは、皆さん素敵なクリスマスをお過ごしください。 原 京子

If you are interested in participating Kyoko's Peace Quilting project, contact whiterock@peacephilosophy.com.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Bonenkai was a huge success!

Dear friends and colleagues,

It was a magical evening. Thank you so much for coming. For those who couldn't make it, we still felt your presence.

I just mentally counted and figured we actually had 60 people! We had downsized but somehow everyone looked comfortable and the house didn't look small at all. Thanks for the great food and drinks! Somebody left a ceramic plate with brown rings on it. Let me know if it's yours.

The 'peace sharing' time was so inspiring and fun. Thanks for all your contributions of music, stories and presentations - Mike, Minoru,Lorraine, Mihoko, Susan, Clover group, Kyoko and White Rock group,Chihiro and Kay, Sayuri and Dunc, Norman, Mariko and her amazing kids,Tomo, Katsuko and Eiichiro Ochiai, Thekla, Kozue, Arc, and all the other informal sharing and mingling throughout the evening, which empowered and filled each of our heart with love and renewed determination for our work for peace.


The day before our event Dr. Shuichi Kato, who was among the nine intellectuals and authors who started the Article 9 Association in 2004,died at age 89. Kato spoke at Vancouver Save Article 9's launching event in May 2005. Kato's group successfully networked more than 7,000citizens' organizations working for preserving the peace constitution. Japan gained the constitution which included Article 9, the war-renouncing clause after the wars of Asia-Pacific in which Japan caused deaths and suffering to millions of people in Asia and beyond. It was very special to be able to give tribute to Kato during our event. Thank you Mihoko for sharing your memory of him.


I look forward to your comments and feedback (English or Japanese please) on last night and above all I wish you a restful and loving holiday time to you all. I look forward to more sharing in the new year.



Lots of love,


Satoko

Thursday, November 27, 2008

(Japanese) Play "NABI/Comfort Women" (Written by Chungmi Kim)

(This article is about the play "NABI/Comfort Women," (written by Chungmi Kim) performed on November 21, 2008 at Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam, BC, Canada. See here for the English version.)


被害者と心でつながること、そして絶望から希望へ

―演劇「ナビ/コンフォート・ウィメン」(キム・チョンミ作)を鑑賞して―


ピース・フィロソフィー・センター
乗松聡子

筆舌に尽くしがたい苦難と屈辱の経験を背負いながら人間はどうやって現在を生きていくのか。過去を捨てて現在に生きていくのか、それとも現在から自らを遮断して過去の中に生きてくのか、あるいは現在の中の過去を見つめながら一瞬一瞬を生きていくのか。旧日本軍に性奴隷とされた女性たちはそれぞれの選択を生きつつ、今新たな道を歩み始める―。

2008年11月21日、カナダ西海岸・バンクーバー近郊の町コクィットラムにあるエバーグリーン文化センターの劇場で日本軍「慰安婦」をテーマにした演劇「ナビ/コンフォート・ウィメン」(原作キム・チョンミ、演出バン・ウンミ)を鑑賞した。この劇はもともと「コンフォート・ウィメン(Comfort Women)」という題で英語で書かれたものであるが、このバンクーバー公演は韓国語(英語、中国語の字幕付き)で上演された。3日間、のべ6回に渡る公演の第2回目に行ったのだが、定員260余りの劇場は満席であった。「ナビ」は韓国語で「蝶」の意味である。私の理解では、蝶はこの作品で象徴的な意味を持っており、被害者の女性たちが証言を通じて尊厳と自由を取りもどす過程を、蝶が羽ばたく姿に重ねている。

あらすじはこうである。舞台は1994年のニューヨーク。キム・ユニは娘家族と共にひっそりとした生活を送っていた。ある日、ニューヨーク大学の学生である孫のジナが勇んで帰ってくる。今度、第二次世界大戦中に旧日本軍に「慰安婦」とされた被害者たちが国連に招かれ証言をするためにニューヨークに来ているのだという。ユニは、そういった人たちと関わるのはやめなさいとジナをたしなめるが、ジナは言う。「実は二人のハルモニを今家に連れてきているの。」動揺するユニの前に二人のハルモニ(おばあちゃん)が現れた。過去の辛い体験を話しつつ豪快に笑い歌うタフなハルモニたちは、ユニの冷たい態度が気に入らない。しかし話しているうちにハルモニたちはユニのおかしな様子に気づく。爪先の傷跡、そして背中に入れ墨の跡らしきものが・・・ハルモニの一人ボキは、ユニを良く見て思い出した。昔、日本軍将校付の「慰安婦」であった「花子」ではないかと問いかけられ、ユニは激しく否定する。ユニの心の中に死んだ母の声―「あれは悪夢だったのよ。悪夢に過ぎなかったのよ。忘れなさい。」―と共に恐ろしい記憶が次々とよみがえってくる。封印した過去と直面したユニは耐えられずに自ら死を選ぶ。そこに孫のジナが駆けつけユニを抱きしめる。「ハルモニ、私はおばあちゃんを心から誇りに思う。」息を吹き返したユニはジナに「窓を開けて」と頼む。ジナが開けた窓からは、部屋全体を照らす陽光とさわやかな風が吹き込んでくる。

最後のシーンでは会場全体から涙を抑えきれない様子が伝わってきた。何を隠そうこの私も、そして一緒に行った中国人の平和活動仲間であるハン・アーク君も泣いていた。日本軍「慰安婦」問題はもちろん知っていたし昨年はソウルで日本大使館前の抗議デモ(毎週水曜日に元「慰安婦」とその支援者が行うデモで、17年間続いている)にも参加し、ハルモニたちが共同生活を送る「ナヌムの家」にも行ってきた。この問題を専門に扱う東京の博物館「女たちの戦争と平和資料館」(WAM)の会員にもなって関心を持ってきた。女性たちの悲惨な体験とその後の苦悩を、本当に理解するなどできないことは承知しつつ自分なりにわかろうとしていた。しかしこの劇を見て、いかに自分の理解がまだまだ知的理解に留まっていたかを思い知った。この劇に出てくる「花子」という日本名を与えられたユニは15歳のときに連行され、器量が良いので将校専用の「慰安婦」にさせられる。他の「慰安婦」からは「あなたは一人しか相手にしないから梅毒にならなくてすむ」などと妬まれたりした上、最終的には将校にも暴力を振るわれ、別の慰安所に移送されて多くの「慰安婦」と同じようにたくさんの兵士から強姦を受けることになる。戦後は母親から全てを悪夢だと思って忘れるように言われ、結婚し子どもを産むが、夫に「慰安婦」であったことが知れ、そこでまた暴力を受ける。この劇に出てくる数々のリアルな回想シーンが、本や証言で聞いた話を生々しく再現させ、観る人の心に迫る。後援団体であるBCアルファのテクラ・リット代表は「被害者との心情的なつながりを育んでほしい」と語っているが、 まさしくこの劇によって、私はハルモニたちとの心のつながりを深めることができたと思う。また、世界では今も進行中の戦争や内紛で、多くの市民、特に子どもや女性が犠牲となり、また性暴力という犯罪は紛争地域だけではなく一般社会でもいまだに多発している。この劇が提示するテーマは、旧日本軍「慰安婦」問題に限らず、そして決して過去のことではなく人類が直面する現在の問題として捉えていく必要がある。

この劇を観てもう一つ感銘を受けたのが、主人公ユニの絶望から希望への転換である。「慰安婦」であった過去を隠して結婚し、何も知らない娘夫婦や孫と一見幸せに暮らしているが、突然目の前に現れた二人の被害者を前に隠し続けることができなくなり、50年近く封印をしていた過去と対峙することになる。それは自分の中に今も住む、傷ついて癒されないままでいる少女時代の自分だけでなく、将校の専属として他の女性たちよりも「ましな」待遇を受けた経験や、一緒に逃亡を試みた友人を見捨てなければいけなかった体験への深い罪悪感や、自分が悪いのではないとわかりつつ家族に真実を打ち明けられなかった葛藤といった全ての耐え難い感情と向き合うことになる。ユニが死を選ばなければいけない理由など一つもないのに、そうするに至ったユニの苦悩が痛いほどわかった。しかしここで死なないで欲しい。お願いだから死なないでと心の中で叫んでいる自分がいた。この劇で孫のジナ役の女優は「慰安婦」時代のユニも演じている。死の淵をさまよい目覚めたときに自分を抱きしめていた孫のジナを見て、苦しみを知らなかった少女の自分と重なっただろう。そして未来の世代を担うジナに希望を見出したであろう。そしてそのジナの愛情を受け、「誇りに思う」と言われたことで、生き続ける勇気を得ていく。長崎の被爆者である下平作江さんを思い出す。戦後、病気と貧困と絶望の中「死ぬ勇気と生きる勇気のどちらかを選択しなければいけなかった」状況で、生きる勇気を選んだ人だ。状況は違うとはいえ、戦争を生き延びた人たちがその苦悩や絶望の先に勇気や希望を見出していく過程には、家族や友人、支援者たちの愛情が重要な役割を果たすことは間違いないと思う。この劇のユニには孫という存在があったが、多くの性奴隷の被害者たちは、この劇の二人のハルモニのように、頼れる家族はいない。そうすると一体誰がハルモニたちにジナのような愛情を注ぐことができるのか。それは、この劇を見た一人一人、そしてこの性奴隷の問題を直視し、ハルモニたちを支援していく私たち一人一人に託されているのではないだろうか。ユニは人間性というものへの一縷の信頼を頼りに生き延びる決心をした。その信頼に応える責任は、国境や性別、立場を超えて、私たち人間の一人一人にあるものだと固く信じる。
劇作家キム・チョンミ氏によると、「コンフォート・ウィメン」は2004年秋にニューヨークのオフ・ブロードウェイで初めて上演された。この戯曲は『ニュー・プレイライト:2005年のベスト戯曲』(スミス&クラウス出版)に収録された。2005年の5月には、韓国語版の戯曲「ナビ」として、ソウル・シアター・フェスティバルで上演された。演出家のバン・ウンミは、2005年の秋に自らの劇団「ナビ・シアター・カンパニー」を立ち上げた。この劇団はそれ以来韓国で200回に上る公演を行い、この秋のトロントとバンクーバーでの初の海外公演に至った。このコキットラム市での上演は、劇団ハヌリという、バンクーバー地元の劇団がプロデュースした。劇団ハヌリのマーケティング・ディレクターのケヴィン・ソン氏によると、ハヌリは19年の歴史を持つ劇団で、メンバーはおもにコリアン系カナダ人だという。今回はキャスト7人全員とスタッフ4人が韓国から来加した他は、劇団ハヌリの20人余の地元スタッフが協力し、この公演を実現させた。会場にはコリアン系だけではなく、ヨーロッパ系、中華系、日系等のさまざまなカナダ人の顔ぶれがあった。世界にこの問題への認識を広めるという意味で、多文化社会バンクーバーでの公演には大きな意味があったであろう。これをきっかけに韓国外での公演が広まり、特に日本での公演が実現することを願っている。

(Japanese) Reporting the Peace Museum Conference in White Rock

11月の会報告 11月8日(土) に、11月の'ホワイトロックの会がありましたので、ご報告いたします。

参加者は6名とちょっと少なめでしたが、学生さんから人生の先輩まで幅広い層からの方々が参加してくださり、質問や意見交換を交えながらの活発な会となりました。今回は、乗松聡子さんが参加された「第6回国際平和博物館会議」(10月6日~10日@京都・広島)の報告をしていただきました。

国際平和博物館会議は3年毎に開かれており、第六回目の今回は立命館大学国際平和ミュージアム、京都造形美術大学、広島平和記念資料館等の共催で行われました。海外23カ国からの参加者(70名)を含めて、約3000名が参加されたそうです。

日本には、平和博物館が多くある!これはあまり知られていないことだと思いますが、世界に約150ある平和博物館のうち60(約40%)は日本にあると言われているそうです。それだけ日本が戦争による痛みを覚えているということなのかもしれませんね。

平和博物館とは?Interbational Network of Museum for Peace の定義によると、「平和博物館」とは”平和の文化を気づくための場所である”ということです。

「平和博物館」と言っても、様々な形・考え・展示の方法などがあることを、今回教えていただきました。日本の博物館は戦争の悲惨さを訴えたものが多いそうですが、中には戦争の被害者としての立場からの展示だけでなく、加害者側の立場からの展示をおこなっている平和博物館もあるということです。残念なのは、それらのあえて加害展示に取り組んでいる博物館に対する攻撃が今も続いているということです。私たちは、戦争とか平和を考えるときに様々な角度から事実を検証して判断する'必要があると思うのですが、困難も多いようです。

日本にある平和博物館今回、乗松聡子さんに日本にある平和博物館を紹介していただきました。広島の平和記念資料館、長崎の原爆資料館は有名ですが、他にもたくさんの平和のための取り組みをしている博物館があります。機会があれば、ぜひ立ち寄ってみてください。
・女たちの戦争と平和資料館(WAM: Women's Active Museum on World Peace)   2005年~。松井やより氏の寄付により設立。従軍慰安婦問題などを扱っている。東京。  
 
・岡まさはる平和記念館  (長崎)
・立命館国際平和博物館
・大阪国際平和センター
・草の家    (高知)
・中帰連・平和記念館  (埼玉)  日本の侵略戦争についての蔵書多数。

これらは、加害展示に取り組んでいる博物館だということです。小さな博物館が、過去の事実を伝えるために信念をもって展示を続けているのは、すごいことだと思いました。

平和市長会議 「平和博物館会議」の最後に秋葉広島市長の講演があり、核廃絶運動「2020ビジョン」(2020年までに、核兵器を完全に廃絶する)が打ち出されたそうです。また、秋葉市長は、「市民の安全に本当に責任を持てるのは、国ではなくて市である」という考えのもとに「平和市長会議」(国ではなく市を中心とした平和組織)を軸に、これらの活動を進められているそうです。この会議には、カナダの市も多数加盟しています。

以下は 聡子さんのpeace philosophyのサイトでの会議の報告です。詳しい報告はこちらにされていますので、どうぞご覧ください。 http://peacephilosophy.blogspot.com/2008/10/japanese-report-of-6th-international.html

「平和」と一言に言っても、そこにはいろいろな考え方や思想があるのだということを改めて思わされた「11月の会」でした。

戦争の写真等の展示の仕方により、「平和」よりもかえって憎しみをあおることになってしまったり、残虐・悲惨な写真等の展示をするべきかどうか、などは今回の「平和博物館会議」でも、論議になったということです。

でも、このような事実を伝えてくれる「平和博物館」の資料によって、「2度とこのような悲惨なことを繰り返してはならない」と、実際に戦争を体験していない私たちが強く思わされるという点で、その存在は重要だと思います。「平和博物館」を守っておられる多くの方々に、感謝したいと思います。

聡子さん、どうもありがとうございました。今回も、聡子さんを通して、まだ行ったことのない、いつ行けるかわからないたくさんの博物館のことを知ることができました。「知る」ということは、すべての第一歩になるのだと思います。

さて、私たちが身近にできる平和活動、「平和をつなぐキルト」の募集は12月末までです。どうぞ皆さん、お友達も誘って是非ご参加ください。説明書がわかりにくい場合には、どうぞご連絡ください。簡単な作業ですので、直線縫いができればどなたでもできます!

京子

Sunday, November 23, 2008

韩国话剧《'NABI/Comfort Women'》于近期在大温地区上演


A drama “'NABI/Comfort Women'”, which tells a story of three “comfert women” who were conscripted during the WWII, was presented at the Everygreen Culture Centre of Coquilam on last Thursday, November 20th, 2008. Being invited by BC Alpha, this play has been introduced by several local majot Chinese Media. More information can be find on those local newspapers.
We were invited to the first show of this play, and were seriously impressed by the physical and psychological suffering of the confert women. During the Q & A time, we expressed our thanks to the stuff members and invited them to show this play in Japan in the future.

韩国话剧'NABI/Comfort Women'是由韩裔剧作家Jungmi Kim创作关于二战慰安妇苦难经历的新话剧。在北美抗日战争史实维护会的邀请和组织之下于近日来到大温地区演出。周四晚上我们有幸收到邀请观看了首场演出。

本地的中文媒体对此演出有集中报道,故事梗概也可以在相关中文媒体上查阅到。作为我个人的感受,此剧通过现代化的戏剧表现手法,富有冲击力地再现了60年前被强征得慰安妇们遭受的苦难。在战争期间被强暴,被虐待的惨痛回忆为她们的一生打上了悲惨的烙印,她们中的许多人直到今天仍然无法摆脱噩梦的侵袭。她们所承受的伤痛不应当为年轻一代所遗忘,这不光是为了少许补偿她们的悲惨命运,也是为了让这样的悲剧在将来不再发生。

北美抗日战争史实维护会,日裔加拿大人人权委员会,九条维护会,和平哲学中心,其他数个韩裔社民团体,以及韩国驻温哥华公使观看了首场演出。在演出结束后的提问时间,我们向演员们表示了敬意,并邀请他们在适当的时候将此剧带到日本演出。

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Reporting International Peace Museum Conference

I will be reporting the 6th Internatinal Conference of Museums for Peace

from 1:30 PM on Saturday November 8th

in White Rock. Please contact whiterock@peacephilosophy.com for details.

You can call us at 604-619-5627 as well.

This presentation will be in Japanese.

Satoko Norimatsu

第六回国際平和博物館会議の日本語による報告を

11月8日(土)1時半から ホワイトロックにて行います。関心のある方は whiterock@peacephilosoiphy.com までお問い合わせ下さい。電話の方は604-619-5627 までどうぞ。

乗松聡子

Friday, October 31, 2008

(Japanese) A Report of the 6th International Conference of Museums for Peace

平和のための空間を世界中に創る



―第六回国際平和博物館会議の報告―

ピース・フィロソフィー・センター
乗松聡子

10月6日から10日まで、京都と広島で開催された『第6回国際平和博物館会議―平和創造のための空間としての平和博物館』(立命館大学国際平和ミュージアム、京都造形芸術大学、広島平和記念資料館等共催)に参加してきた。この会議は1992年以来イギリス、スペイン等でほぼ3年に1回開かれ、日本での開催は1998年以来2回目となる。今回は23カ国を代表する70人ほどの日本外からの参加者を含む約3,000人が参加した。世界には150余の平和博物館があり、そのうちの40%は日本にあるということから、日本で開催するときは大規模になるということだ。海外から参加した博物館の例としては、英国の「ブラッドフォード平和博物館」、スペインの「ゲルニカ平和博物館」、韓国の「平和博物館建立推進委員会」、中国の「中国人民抗日戦争記念館」、インドの「ノーモア広島・ノーモア長崎平和博物館」、カンボジアの「カンボジア史料センター博物館」、等があった。 (写真は立命館大学平和ミュージアムで撮った全体写真)

6日初日の開会式の後は、「平和のための博物館国際ネットワーク」総括コーディネーターのピーター・ヴァン・デン・デュンゲン氏(英国ブラッドフォード大学教授)が「平和のための博物館―その過去・現在・未来」と題する基調講演を行った。その中で、「平和博物館」という呼び方を「平和のための博物館」と変更したことに触れた。それは定義として「平和博物館」と名乗っていない博物館でも、民俗資料館、美術館、図書館等で平和創造を念頭に置いて活動をしている機関と幅広くネットワークし協同関係を築くためだ。立命館平和ミュージアム名誉館長の安斎育郎氏は、この例として、東京大空襲を展示している江戸東京博物館、高知市立自由民権記念館を挙げていた。この会議には今回はカナダからの参加は自分を含めて2団体であったが、例えば、ウィニペグに建設予定の「カナダ人権博物館(The Canadian Museum for Human Rights)」 は今後この世界ネットワークに参加するには最適といえよう。 (写真は中国からの参加者と)

平和博物館というと、何を展示する場所なのか、思う人もいるだろう。日本で多くの人になじみのある平和博物館といえば、広島にある平和記念資料館や長崎の原爆資料館がある。また今回の会議の開催地の一つでもあり、日本では唯一大学が運営する平和博物館である立命館大学国際平和ミュージアムも、日本を代表する平和博物館の一つといえる。平和博物館とは、過去の戦争の悲惨さを展示し、それを繰り返さないための教訓とするという考え方をとっているところが多い。大会の趣旨説明によると、「個人の体験は時とともに失われがち」だが、「それを社会的記憶として世代を越えて伝え、平和を創造するために積極的に役立てる」ために、平和のための博物館活動は効果的な方法であると定義している。10日7日に記念講演「平和・平和博物館・平和のための博物館の定義」を行った安斎育郎氏によると、「平和」とは単なる「戦争の不在」ではない。ノルウェーの平和学者ヨハン・ガルトゥングを引用し、平和とは「人間がその可能性を十分に発揮できなくするような暴力の不在」である。その「暴力」とは、戦争に代表される「直接的暴力」だけでなく、貧困や差別、地球上の少数の人間が大半の資源を独占しているといった要因による「構造的暴力」、平和憲法により直接的暴力の少ない日本でも精神的に追い詰められる人が多く自殺率が高いといった現象に代表される「文化的暴力」がある。それら全ての暴力の不在を目指し、人の能力を最大限に花開かせることができるようにするための空間としての平和博物館がある。

この会議は10月6日から8日は立命館大学、9日が京都造形芸術大学、10日は広島の平和記念資料館で開催された。6日と7日は基調講演の他、19の分科会に分かれ、約70団体が「平和博物館の開設運動」「平和教育の拠点としての平和ミュージアム」といったテーマで発表を行った。この中で私のピース・フィロソフィー・センターは、「市民でつくろう『平和のための空間』」というテーマの分科会で、自宅を拠点とした小さな平和センターのネットワークを拡げる提案をした。また、「ピースサイトとピースツアー」という分科会で、立命館大学教授の藤岡惇氏と学生たちと共に、1995年から続く日米(08年からはカナダも)学生の広島長崎への旅についての報告をした。 (写真は同分科会で発表したきくちゆみさんと)

今回は全国の日本の平和博物館・資料館の参加があったが、分科会「虐殺・捕虜・戦犯たちの経験を伝える博物館」「日本の戦争・平和展示の現在」等では加害の展示についての真剣な討論があったことが印象に残っている。日本には平和博物館が60近くあるが、空襲や原爆等日本側の被害についてのものが多く、アジア太平洋戦争における日本軍の加害行為について率直に展示しているところは少ない。これらの分科会では、千葉の「国立歴史民俗博物館」、大阪の「ピースおおさか」、埼玉の「中帰連平和記念館」、日本軍慰安婦問題を扱う東京の「女たちの戦争と平和資料館」等の発表者や参加者たちが、加害展示の方法、右翼の攻撃や政治との関係について多様な意見を交わした。また、基調講演やいくつかの分科会の中では、虐殺の残酷な写真等をどこまで展示すべきかという議論もされた。西ミシガン大学の吉田俊准教授(写真)が基調報告で、「愛国心や憎しみをあおる博物館は平和博物館とはいえない」と論じたことを受け、日本の加害展示に重点を置く長崎の「岡まさはる記念平和資料館」の高實康稔館長は、「まず真実を知ることから始めることが大事だ」と訴え、私が個人的に話した中国の参加者は、「加害側と被害側の愛国心は別個に扱わなければいけない」と語っていた。

9日の京都造形芸術大学でのプログラムでは、千住博学長が基調講演や対談で、平和のための芸術の大切さを訴えた。学生による平和をテーマにしたアート展示が並ぶキャンパスで、千住氏は、「自分の傷や痛みを直視し解決していく学生の『平和』にリアリティーのある創作が見られる。身近なことに世界平和との関連を見出していくことが大切だ」と伝えた。講演のほかに、狂言や和太鼓の上演、茶会の実演など、京都にある芸術大学ならではの多彩なプログラムであった。

会議の最終日10日は場所を変えて広島の平和資料館主催のプログラムで締めくくった。資料館や平和公園の見学のあと、秋葉広島市長が講演で国ではなく市を中心とした平和組織「平和市長会議」を中心とした核廃絶運動「2020ビジョン」について語った。2010年までに核兵器禁止条約を締結し、2020年までに完全な核廃絶を目指す計画だ。「姉妹都市というのはよくあるが姉妹国ということは聞いたことがない。国同士は軍事同盟を結び、『姉妹』といった女性的な言葉は絶対使わない。市民の安全に本当に責任があるのは市であり、国がつけるような嘘はつけない。」という秋葉市長の発言に会場の多くの人は大きくうなずいていた。 (写真は広島平和資料館でガイドの説明をうける日本国外からの参加者)

カナダには、前述のように広義における「平和のための博物館」と言えるものは存在するが、本格的な「平和博物館」は私の知る限りでは存在しない。会議関係者間では、次回の平和博物館会議は北米で行うのが理想であるが、アメリカは911事件以降外国人のビザが取りにくくなっているので、カナダはどうかという声も出た。今後カナダでも平和博物館が各地にできることを期待する。平和博物館運動に参加することに興味のある人はinfo@peacephilosophy.com まで連絡をいただければと思う。


(この記事の短縮版が日系ヴォイスの11月号に掲載されます。)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

2008 Event List

Here are 2008 events related to topics of interest - peace, sustainability, and education. These are events that I either organize, co-organize, participate, or am involved with in some capacity, either as an individual or representing Peace Philosophy Centre. Details of these events are subject to change. The newest event is at the top of the list. Please email info@peacephilosophy.com for more information.

Saturday, December 6th
Peace Philosophy Centre Event
- Bonenkai: A Year-End Gathering -
A Celebration to Mark the 2nd Anniversary of Peace Philosophy Centre
Time: 4:30 PM -
Place: Peace Philosophy Centre (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
We will invite series of mini-presentations (5-10 minutes each) of local and global peace initiatives. Presentations, demonstrations, music and art performances are most welcome. Please bring a dish to share. Children are welcome.
Email info@peacephilosophy.com for more information.

Saturday, November 8th
Sunday, November 9th
Tuesday, November 11th
World Peace Forum Teach-In
* Vancouver Save Article 9 is hosting a workshop on November 9th. Satoko will be one of the panelists.

Saturday, November 8th
Peace Philosophy Centre Event
Reporting the 6th International Conference of Museums for Peace
By Satoko Norimatsu
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Place: White Rock (contact whiterock@peacephilosophy.com details)

Saturday, November 1st
Satoko will present her experience of working with progressive Japanese people and organizations in supporting victims of Japanese atrocities in Asia, with a group of teachers and BC ALPHA volunteers.

October 6 - 11
6th International Conference of Museums for Peace
Kyoto and Hiroshima
Organized by:
Kyoto Museum for World Peace, Ritsumeikan University
Kyoto University of Art and Design
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
* Satoko will be presenting a paper at a special interest session "Citizens Creating Spaces for Peace," and also speaking at the presentation of Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Tour by Ritsumeikan University and American University.

Saturday September 20th at Vancouver Public Library
and Sunday September 21st at SFU Harbour Centre
WILPF (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom) Conference
* Satoko is presenting on Article 9 of Japanese Constitution in the afternoon session of September 21st.

Saturday, September 13th
Peace Philosophy Centre Event
Reporting Hiroshima/Nagasaki Tour
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Place: Peace Philosophy Centre
Email info@peacephilosophy.com for details

Wednesday, August 6th
Hiroshima Day - Lantern Festival
* Peace Philosophy Centre is a supporting organization.

Saturday, August 2nd and Sunday, August 3rd
A-Bomb Exhibit
Organized by: Vancouver Save Article 9

July 31 - August 10
Ritsumeikan University and American University
Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Exchange Tour
Kyoto/Hiroshima/Nagasaki
Email info@peacephilosophy.com for the special invitation for UBC students to join this tour.

Tuesday June 17 , July 5
Peace Philosophy Centre Event
Documentary Film "Rokkashomura Rhapsody" (English Version)
Times :
Tuesday June 17th - 10:00AM, 2:00PM, 8:00PM
Saturday July 5th - 2:00 PM
Place: Peace Philosophy Centre
Organized by: Peace Philosophy Centre

Saturday, June 14th
Peace Philosophy Centre Event in White Rock
Documentary Film "Rokkashomura Rhapsody" (English Version)
Time: 1:30 PM -
Place: White Rock
Details: email whiterock@peacephilosophy.com

Wednesday, May 28th
Vancouver Save Article 9
Post-Conference Reporting by Delegates to the Global Article 9 Conference
Time: 7 - 9 PM
Place: Vancouver Unitarian Church
Organized by: Vancouver Save Article 9

May 4 - 6
Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War
Makuhari, Japan
* Peace Philosophy Centre is a supporting organization for the Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War.

Sunday, May 4
A Vancouver Save Article 9 Event
A Simultaneous Event with the Global Article 9 Conference
Also Children's Day Special
In Vancouver, Canada!
Time: 5 - 8 PM
Place: TBA

Saturday, April 12
Peace Philosophy Centre Event in White Rock
How Japanese Constitution was Born
Time: 1:30 PM -
Place: White Rock. For details, contact whiterock@peacephilosophy.com
Language: Japanese

Friday, March 21
The Face of Jizo
By Futarikko
Time: 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Place: Metro Studio (1411 Quadra Sreet at Johnson, Victoria)
* "A-Boms and Humaniry" panels will be displayed at the theatre, with cooperation by Vancouver Save Article 9.

Saturday, March 8
Peace Philosophy Centre Event
Misako Iwashita's Peace Education Class
"Be a Participant in History, Not a Bystander"
Time: 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Place: Multimedia Room, Roundhouse Community Centre (in Yaletown, on Davie and Pacific)
Free Admission. Donation to cover the cost of rental and photocopying will be accepted.

Friday, February 29
World Without Wars: an Dinner Event
Organized by Vancouver Save Article 9
Peace Philosophy Centre is a partner organization

Sunday, February 24th
Peace Philosophy Centre Event
Yumi Kikuchi and Morita Gen present
Harmonics Life

Time 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Place: Vancouver Japanese Language School
Co-sponsors: Tama Organic Life, Organic Life Circle
Language: Japanese

Saturday, February 23rd
Yumi Kikuchi - Creating Peace: What One Person Can Do To Make A Difference
Time: 2 - 4 PM
Place: Unitarian Church in Vancouver
Language: English

Friday, February 22nd
Welcome Party for Japanese Peace and Environment Activists Yumi Kikuchi and Morita Gen
Time: 6 PM
Place: Samosa Garden Restaurant, 3502 Kingsway, Vancouver
Cost: $20 for adults, $10 for children age 4 - 10, free for children 3 and under
RSVP to info@peacephilosophy.com by Feb 19th

Saturday, February 9
Peace Philosophy Centre Event in White Rock
Satoko reports her visit to Nanjing
Time: 1:30 -
Language: Japanese
Details: Contact whiterock@peacephilosophy.com

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Peace Museum Conference

The 6th International Conference of Museums for Peace was held at Kyoto and Hiroshima from October 6th to 11th, 2008, with the involvement of more than 3,000 people. Here is a group photo with most of the international delegates.



The regions represented in this photo included Viet Nam, Italy, China, the United States, Spain, Guatemala, Pakistan, India, Korea, Cambodia, Canada, Rwanda, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, U.K., and Japan.

A detailed report is on the way. Today I just wanted to share with you this photo of the peaceful and friendly international community.

Lots of love,

Satoko

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The 6th International Conference of Museums for Peace Starting This Weekend in Japan

Hi colleagues and friends in Vancouver and around the world,

From October 6th to 11th, I will be attending the 6th International Conference of Museums for Peace held in Kyoto and Hiroshima, hosted by three organizations - Kyoto Museums for World Peace, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto University of Art and Design, and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The Conference website is:http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/mng/er/wp-museum/conference/index.html

Here are the conference schedule and special interest group sessions,for your information. I will be presenting in two sessions, Session1-2-C 'Citizens Creating "Spaces for Peace,"' in which I will be sharing a panel with Yumi Kikuchi, and Session 1-3-C Peace Sites and Peace Tours,in which a Ritsumeikan Univ. group and I will be presenting on joint US/Japan/Canada trip to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Peace Boat's Shinsaku Nohira will be presenting in the same session.

I would also like to draw your attention to a presentation by Misako Iwashita, who gave a moving presentation on her peace education curriculum in March this year in Vancouver, in the Session 1-2-A, and also one by Yeonghwan Kim of Centre for Peace Museum in Korea, who gave several talks in Vancouver in April 2007. There will also be a session2-1-B with a focus on the Japanese war-time aggression in Asia, such as one by Norio Serizawa of Chukiren Peace Museum and another by YasunoriTakazane of Oka Masaharu Memorial Peace Museum in Nagasaki. Chukiren is an association that promotes awareness and education on the peace work by the former Japanese soldiers who committed war crimes in China. You must be familiar with their work if you have attended the Miracle of Fushun workshop by Tatsuo Kage and his colleagues at the 2006 World Peace Forum and the VSA9 event with the same title in November 2006. The sex slavery issue will be covered in the Session 2-3-B by Women's Active Museum in Japan and the House of Sharing in Korea.

In Hiroshima, we will visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and willbe welcomed by Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, the director of Hiroshima Peace and Culture Foundation Steve Leeper, and will hear a testimony of a hibakusha Akihiro Takahashi.

These are just a glimpse of the wide range of speakers and activities of this Conference and I did not even get to mention any of the keynote speeches or the participation of like-minded colleagues from peace museums all over the world. I will organize a report-back event back in Vancouver some time in November or December. If you have any questions or any information you would like to share, please email/phone me.

Lots of love, and peace for all,

Satoko

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The 6th International Conference of Museums for Peace



The 6th International Conference of Museums for Peace will be held in Kyoto and Hiroshima, Japan, from October 6th to 11th.
It is organized by Kyoto Museums for World Peace, Ritsumeikan University,
Kyoto University of Art and Design
and
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
The main theme is:
Peace Museums as Spaces for Creating Peace
- Building "Peace Literaby" for Global Problem-Solving
Please go to the conference website for a detailed program.
I will be presenting in the following two sessions:
"Peace Philosophy Centre as a Home-based Peace Centre"
15:20 - 16:50, Monday October 6th
"What did students from Japan, US, Canada learn at Hiroshima and Nagasaki Museums?"
17:00 - 18:30 , Monday October 6th
Two other sessions that I will be likely involved with will be one by Peace Boat, and another by my colleague Misako Iwashita on peace education.
This conference is held every three years. Do not miss this opportunity if you are interested in hearing the cutting-edge practices of peace museum movements around the world!
Love,
Satoko


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

ヒロシマ平和ツアーに参加して 大久野島毒ガス資料館 

This is a report by Mami Nakano, a school teacher in Osaka who visited Iwakuni, Hiroshima, and Okunoshima in August 2008 to learn about the effects of war, including her visit to Okunoshima Poison Gas Museum.



ヒロシマ平和ツアーに参加して        中野真美

私はこの夏、JTU主催のヒロシマ平和ツアーに参加してきました。8月7日から9日で、岩国、広島、大久野島を回り、戦争の加害、被害そして、現在も苦しむ人々について考えてきました。1日目の岩国では前市長の井原勝介さんからの聞き取りを行い、厚木から岩国へ移駐し、また普天間から岩国への移駐で、航空機数や人員がかなり増やされたことを知りました。市長選の際には、誹謗中傷、圧力や締め付けなどで、公平な選挙活動ができず、僅差で敗れた。ただそんな中でも、政治に興味を持ってもらおうと、若い人たちに草の根で活動をしていることも知ることができ、地道に活動を続ける難しさと、大切さを学んだ気がしました。


3日目には、大久野島でのフィールドワークと聞き取りを行いました。15年間、大久野島で毒ガスを作り続け、国際条約に違反するため、世間に知らされることもなく亡くなっていった人々、保障さえ受けられず、今もなお慢性気管支炎、癌等で苦しんでいる人々のことを私は今まで知りませんでした。また中国では戦争時、使用しなかった毒ガスを地下に埋めてきたため、地下を掘り起こすたびに、そのガスで亡くなっていった方もいると聞き、「毒ガスは過去形ではない。」と言っておられた言葉はまさにその通りだと実感したと同時に恐ろしくもなりました。目を閉じると大久野島全体から戦争で犠牲になった人々の思いが聞こえてくるようで、こんな悲惨な事実を何も知らない日本人が多いことにやはり疑問を感じます。しかし、アメリカが日本の毒ガス使用についての裁判を避け、公にならなかったことでますます事実が伝わらずにいる状況もよくわかりました。そして何より、学徒動員等で子どもたちは自国の人間による被害者でもありました。


毒ガス資料館建設に国は寄付を断り、隣にある大久野島ビジターセンターには環境省が多額のお金をかけ、建てられたと知り、やりきれない思いでいっぱいでした。この国のあるべき姿がこんなところにも大きく反映されていました。またフィールドワークでは今も現存している毒ガス貯蔵庫跡や多くの遺跡を回り、たくさんの黒く焼けた壁面も見ることができました。また毒ガスを作り続ける中、敗戦をむかえたため、残った毒ガスを海底に埋め、今もあることをやはり今を生きる私たちがきっちりと知っておくべきことだと思います。小学生を使って、大久野島を忠海からじっと見ている人、写真を撮っている人、絵を描いている人を見つけさせ報告したら表彰していたことも、和紙をはり合わせて風船爆弾を作らせていたことも、今聞くとばかばかしいと思うけれど、戦争をいうのは人の心を奪い、誰もが正しい判断が正しいと言えない状況にあるのだと、改めて思い知らされた気がします。


今の教育現場でもますます国が一定の方向を向きつつある中、間違っていることを間違っていると言えない場所になりつつあります。戦争時に犯した日本の罪は、国内でも保障せず、海外の人々をも苦しめ、またその人たちが亡くなっていくのを待っている雰囲気さえ感じます。経験していない私たちができることを、人として自由に生きる道を子どもたちに託すためにも今回学んだ多くのことを、伝え、また関わっていただいた方とつながりを持っていきたいと思います。

Monday, August 11, 2008

Report: A-Bomb Exhibition at Powel Street Festival and Lantern Ceremony of the Hiroshima day

This year is the sixty-three years anniversary of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-bombing. Peacephlosophy centre co-host two events to mourn the victims of the A-bombing and pray for the future peace. Here are some photoes from these two events.

David Lasky is talking to Sam Sullivan, the Mayor of Vancouver City in front of the a quilt of the Article 9. Sam came to the A-bomb exhibition of the last year as well.

The quilt is made by a Japanese Article 9 group from the Osaka City. They sewed the article on quilts in several langauages. In this year's echibition, we displayed the Japanese, English and the Chinese version. The Mayor stopped in front of the Japanese and Chinese version, read carefully of each sentence and asked us the meaning of certain Chinese characters. He appreciated the idea of peace and non-violence behind the Article 9. He also expressed his appreciation to the artistic quilts.

Our visitors are folding paper cranes. Paper cranes are the symbol of peace. The visitors are from various communities and have very different cultural background. Therefore, we have volunteers here to teach the visitors how to fold the paper crane, and to tell the meaning of folding paper cranes.


Children are watching anime "On a Paper Crane", which tells the story of a girl named Sadako. She was a victim of the Hiroshima A-bomb, and she suffered leukaemia when she was 11 years old. But she didn't give up and folded one thousand paper cranes because it is said that paper crane can bring her wish to the god. She passed away in the same year, but her wishes were carried on by generation and generations. That is, there should be no war and each child can grow up happily.

A group picture of VSA9 members and the volunteers of this event, in front of the Japanese Version Article 9 quilt.
Personally, I'm happy to contribute in this event. Over 400 visitors came to this event, including travelors from Japan, Taiwan, China, and international students from Korea, Columbia, China. I'm happy to see the visitors were almost all strongly agree with the idea of not using military forces to solve international disputes.


This is a picture from the Lantern Ceremony on the Hiroshima day. David Lasky explains what the floating lantern mean in oriental culture. The Burnaby City council declared the August 6 as the Hiroshima day. David Lasky also introduced the Hiroshima day to the audience.


People are putting the lantern into the Lower Pond of the Central Park. Many of the audiences being their whole family to the event. When people were putting lantern into the water, kids were sit at the table and write their wishes to the Hiroshima day on the paper which is used to make lantern.

Jousha, one of our youth delegate to the Global Article 9 Conference, is holding a lantern. Jousha also gave a short speech at this event. He talked about his experience in the Global Article 9 Conference and called everyone of us to think about the non-violence in wolrd community.
Lanterns were floating in the warter.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hiroshima Memorial Event: Peace Lantern Ceremony




PeacePhilosophy Centre is going to support Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, Lantern For Peace and Vancouver Save Article 9 to present the Hiroshima Memorial event--Peace Lanter Ceremony on August 6th at the South Pond of Central Park, Burnaby city. Speakers, including the Mayor of Burnaby city will give short speach on peace and the memorial of Hiroshima. There will be volunteers to teach people to make lantern, and the lanterns, carring the hope of peace, will be sent on water at the end of the ceremony. The event is free and open to everyone. Please jion us to memorize the 63 years anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima and express our wishes for future peace.

Please see the following information for more details. If you have any question, please contact Arc Han by Arc@peacephilosophy.com or phone (778-855-5344) for more details.


和平哲学中心将在广岛核爆纪念日与Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, Lantern For Peace和VSA9共同举办制作灯笼纪念核爆死者的活动。包括本拿比市市长在内的数位演讲者将就纪念广岛核爆和祈求未来和平作专门演讲。志愿者会在现场指导参与者制作传统灯笼,在活动的最后,灯笼将被点亮,放飘于中央公园South Pond内。此次活动是完全免费并对所有公众开放的。我们郑重邀请您和您的家庭一起来参加iroshima Memorial Event: Peace Lantern Ceremony。让我们一起为世界未来的和平而祈祷。

请仔细阅读下面关于活动时间和地点的信息。如果你有任何问题,请致电(778)-855-5344火电邮Arc@ peacephilosophy.com 获得更多信息。


HIROSHIMA MEMORIAL: PEACE LANTERN CEREMONY

Free Family event with Music Speakers and Floating Lanterns

Time: Wednesday August 6th. 7:30 to 9:30 PM
Venue: South Pond, Central Park, Bunarby.
How to get there: Parking North side of Imperial, Just E side of Boundary Road. The South Pond is about 30 meters north from Imperial St.
Presented by Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, Lantern for Peace and Vancouver Save Article 9.
For information, call (604) -325-8824 or email Lanterns@shaw.ca

ATOMIC BOMB AND ARTICLE 9 QUILT EXHIBITION

PeacePhilosophy Centre is going to support Vancouver Save Article 9 to host an Atomic bomb and Article 9 quilt exhibition in this year's Power Street Festival. A hand-made quilt with Article 9 sewed on it will be presented in this exhibition. And there will be more than 40 boards to present the tragic events happend in August 6 and 9, 1945. Children are also welcome to come to the exhibition to watch some animes. The exhibition is free and everyone is welcome. Please see the attached information below for the venue and time. If you have any question, please contact Arc Han by Arc@peacephilosophy.com or (778)-855-5344 for more detail.

和平哲学中心将在今年的Power Street Festival中和VSA9共同举办核爆与九条棉被展览。温哥华九条会将在此次展览中展出自日本寄来的一套绣有宪法九条全文的棉被,以及超过40多张详细记录了广岛和长崎核爆的展览版。此外我们也有专门为孩子们准备有趣的动画片。
展览对所有公众免费开放,请仔细阅读下面关于展览开放时间和地点的信息。如果你有任何疑问,请致电(778)-855-5344或电邮Arc@peacephilosophy.com 以获得更多信息。

ATOMIC BOMB AND ARTICLE 9 QUILT EXHIBITION


Date: Aug. 2 (Sat) and Aug. 3 (Sun)

Time: 10:00-16:00

Place: 3rd floor, Japanese Language School, 487 Alexander Street, Vancouver

What’s on:
(1) Hand-made Quilts with Article 9 of the Japanese constitution stitched in
three different languages: Japanese, Chinese and English

(2) approximately 40 Panels of pictures and photographs depicting the
horrors of Atomic Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945

(3) An anime: “Board on A Crane” (for children)

Presented by Vancouver Save Article 9

Supported by Association to make Article 9 patchworks (Yokohama, Japan),
Canada Friendship Association and
Peace Philosophy Center (Vancouver)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Center of the Tokyo Raid and War Damages ~ visiting Kototoi Bridge ~

            Peace Journalist Yumiko Kikuno

    You may have some knowledge about tragic events done by nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, but have you heard about the Tokyo Raid in 1945? Even Japanese have not been informed much about it. This spring, I watched its documentary stories on TV and the dramas urged me to visit the Center of the Tokyo Raid and War Damages to learn what exactly happened in the downtown of Tokyo.



   About 300 American B-29 bombers carried out their air-raid on downtown of Tokyo early on March 10th 1945. They dropped over 320 thousands of their incendiaries and towns were covered with furious fire and people burned to death. After the air-raid, there were tons of bodies piled up all over the towns: death by fire, drowning and carbon monoxide poisoning. Some of them were already carbonized. It was estimated that the 2-hours air-raid destroyed a quarter of Tokyo and killed over a hundred thousand people and this atrocious indiscriminate air strike was previously unseen in the history of war. In addition, most victims were women, children and the elderly who were helping each other to keep their lives while most men were being conscripted into the war.


Statue of mother and child by Shin Kohno "In Time of War"

   To tell the truth of the Tokyo Raid to present and future generations, Katsumoto Saotome, the director of the center, has started to collect artifacts and documents about the Tokyo Raid with many supporters since 1970. Although public plans for a Memorial Hall of Peace were canceled, Mr. Saotome and many members of the Institute of Politics and Economy launched the grass-roots campaign for collecting donations to build the centre. As a result, with about one hundred million yen (one million fifty thousand dollar) from over 4000 donors, the Center of the Tokyo Raid and War Damages was built in 2002 March 9th. Furthermore, in March 2007, the building was extended to have more spaces for providing lectures and displaying exhibit.


"Children's World Peace Statue"

   This center was a three-story building made of bricks and located in one of the worst affected areas by the air-raid. On the first floor, I saw its reception, study rooms and documents. Then, I went up to the second floor and watched documentary film, “The Tokyo Raid” made in 1978. The film showed incendiary bombs falling like rain and the towns being covered with floods of fire. One of survivors said, “Even though I pulled up many bodies from the river, I saw another many bodies at high tide next day. I was wondering where so many bodies came from….” In addition, the documentary explained the strategies of the indiscriminate bombing campaign done by the US Army. Air-raids had targeted only on military facilities, but indiscriminate air strikes started when General Curtis E.Lemay was appointed to be a commander. According to the documentary, he rejected to be interviewed by the film makers, because he wanted to forget the war. He, however, allowed Japanese staff to shoot his medal awarded in 1964 by the Japanese Government for his contribution to trainings of Japan Air Self- Defense Force.



After I finished watching the film, I saw many pictures, drawings and a damaged area map showing cruel scenes during and aftermath of the air-strikes. Some of pictures were taken by Koyo Ishikawa, who was a photographer of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. Putting in his life in danger, he kept rejecting demand of GHQ to give the pictures to them.



On the third floor, many kinds of artifacts were displayed, such as broken peaces of incendiary bombs, victim’s belongings and wartime documents. In addition, I learned about wartime education in the “Children and War” room. In 1941, the Kokumin Gakko ( National School) started, and students were demanded to support the imperial family and to be a loyal subject. To brainwash students, even cards for playing game were designed to enhance their nationalism.




The next room, which was my favorite section, contained many children’s books for peace, books written by Katsumoto Saotome and his approaches for peace. I also enjoyed reading many messages for peace from famous people: Sayuri Yoshinaga( Japanese actor), Osamu Tezuka( creator of an animation, Astro Boy) and Chihiro Iwasaki( painter for children). This section played a great role for me not to drag fear, angry and grief that I felt in the process of learning about the Tokyo Raid and made my feelings change into quiet to think about peace.



    The next day, I went to the Kototoi Bridge, which was about a five-minute walk from Tokyo Asakusa Kaminarimon Gate and one of symbolic places of the Tokyo Raid. During the indiscriminate air attacks, a massive amount of people ran to the bridge from both east side and west side at the same time to escape from furious fire, so they could not move anywhere on the bridge. Some of people were covered with fire and others jumped into the Sumida River. Then, a large number of bodies were left not only on the bridge but also in the river and on the banks.




    The current banks of Sumida River were surrounded by many trees which provided comfortable shades for people who enjoyed walking, jogging and cycling.
I also saw many homeless people gathering on the banks. When I arrived at Kototoi Bridge, I prayed for victims, “I’m sorry, please rest in peace,” but I could still not believe the tragic events happened around here. On the way back where I came from, I found the memorial for the Tokyo Raid victims, which said, “Ahh...the Tokyo Raid…Please rest in peace….” I suddenly had feelings that I could not explain and dashed back to the Kototoi Brigde and I prayed for victims again from the bottom of my heart.

東京大空襲・戦災資料センターと言問橋を訪ねて

Peace Journalist 菊野由美子

隅田川に架かる言問橋の上で、見つめ合い手をつないだ恋人たちが川へと飛び込む。お母さんとはぐれた少年がおもちゃを手にしたまま川へ飛び込む。しかし、後から後から川へと飛び込む人達に、その恋人たちの手は引き離され、少年は溺れて息絶え、握っていたおもちゃが手から離れて川底へと沈んでいく。そして、西へ逃れようとする人、東へ逃れようとする人たちが溢れかえっている言問橋を一瞬で猛火が襲う。まるで、草原の草が燃えているようだ。しかし、燃えているのは草ではない、人間だ。
   今年3月に東京大空襲の様子を再現したテレビドラマが2本放送された。そのうちの1本のワンシーンである。広島・長崎や、沖縄地上戦の惨劇のドラマはよく作られていたが、東京大空襲を描いた作品を観たのは初めてだった。そしてこのドラマが、私をある場所へ行かなくてはという強い思いを呼び起こした。それは、東京都江東区にある東京大空襲・戦災資料センターである。



1945年(昭和20年)3月10日未明、約300機のアメリカ軍爆撃機B29が東京下町を集中無差別空爆した。降り注いだ焼夷弾32万発は町を猛火の海とし、その灼熱は逃げ惑う人々の衣服や髪もわしずかみにし、息ながら火だるまとなる。この一晩で東京の4分の1が焦土と化し、10万人もの命を奪った。その廃墟の町には、焼死、溺死、一酸化炭素中毒死の他、炭化して原形を留めていない遺体がおびただしく積み上げられていた。2時間あまりの爆撃で、10万人もの人が死んだという記録はそれまでの戦争史にない。さらに、犠牲になった人々のほとんどが、徴兵男性の留守を守る女性、子供、お年寄りだった。                 

母子像「戦火の下で」河野新さん作

この惨劇を後世に残すために建てられたのがこの資料館である。だが、完成までの道のりは長かった。1970年、このセンターの館長であり作家の早乙女勝元氏が「東京空襲を記録する会」を呼びかけた。しかし、1999年に東京都の「平和祈念館」建設計画が凍結された。それまでに集めた膨大で貴重な資料をこのままにはしておけないと「政治経済研究所」のグループと共に草の根の民間募金運動に奔走した。そして約4000人からの募金で目標額の1億に達して、2002年3月9日に「東京大空襲・戦災資料センター」が完成した。さらに、2007年3月には増築し内容がより充実された。


「世界の子供の平和像」


このセンターはレンガ造りの3階建てで、一番被害が大きかった江東区北砂にひっそりと建っていた。1階は受付、研究室、資料などが陳列されている。2階に上がり、1978年3月に放送されたNHK特集「東京大空襲」の縮小版(25分)を観た。 それによると、それまでの爆撃は軍事施設だけであったが、カーチス・E・ルメー少佐が指揮官になってから、一般民間人も巻き込む無差別爆撃作戦がはじまったなどのアメリカ軍の戦術の解説がされた。そして、暗闇の東京下町が白い炎に包まれていく様子が時間を刻みながら映し出される。遺体収集作業にあたった男性が言う。「川の死体を引き上げたら、次の日の朝の満潮時にまた死体があふれている。いったいこれだけの遺体がどこからくるのか・・・。」そして、取材当時72歳になっていた東京大空襲を指揮したカーチス・E・ルメー将軍のインタビューを試みた場面がある。彼は、遠い昔のことだから忘れたい、とインタービューを拒否したが、日本から送られた勲一等の勲章の撮影だけは許してくれた。これは、戦後19年経ってから、航空自衛隊の訓練に貢献したとして贈られたものだった。


2階はその他に、空襲を描いたさまざまな絵画、写真や被災地図が飾られている。当時、警視庁警務課写真係だった石川光陽氏が撮影した空襲後の無残な町の様子などの写真が見られる。これらの写真は戦後、石川氏がGHQからのネガの引渡し要請を命をかけて断り続け守られたものである。また、私は被災地図に記してある仮埋葬地を見て、錦糸公園に1万人以上の遺体が仮埋葬されていたことを知り足がすくんでしまった。ちょうど2,3日ほど前、次の約束までに時間があったので、お弁当を買って昼食を取った公園だった。新緑が美しい木々に包まれながら、乳母車で散歩するお母さんと赤ちゃん、お孫さんと遊ぶおじいさん、お弁当を広げて談笑するOLさんを眺めながら、「平和だなぁ。いいなぁ。」と自分の心を休ませていた場所だ。しかしその場所は当時、1万人以上の犠牲者の魂が安らぐ場所ではなかった。




3階は、実際に投下された焼夷弾や被災品が展示されている。そして「戦争と子供たち」と題するコーナーでは、戦時中の教育の様子を学ぶことができる。1941年に国民学校がスタートし、皇室を支え、天皇の忠実なる臣民となることを求められていた。愛国イロハカルタやメンコで遊んでいた当時の子供たちを思うと心が痛い。




   この資料館で私が気に入っているコーナーが次に来る。そこには、平和の絵本や早乙女勝元館長の著作、平和への取り組みが展示されている。また、吉永小百合氏、手塚治虫氏、童画家のいわさきちひろ氏などの著名人よる平和へのメッセージを見ることができる。東京大空襲の惨劇を知り、恐怖、憤り、悲しみだけを心に残したまま資料館を去るのではなく、そんな気持ちを超越させてくれるやさしさを感じる空間だった。

東京大空襲資料館を訪ねた次の日、私はドラマの舞台にもなった言問橋に来た。浅草雷門から歩いて5分ほどの場所にあり、隅田川は穏やかに流れていた。川岸は木々の緑あふれる遊歩道になっており、ウォーキング、ジョギング、散歩を楽しむ人たちにやさしい日かげを作ってくれていた。また一方、ホームレスの人たちがたくさん集まっているのを見た。そして、言問橋のたもとで「ごめんなさい。安らかに。」と手を合わせた。それでもまだ私は、この場所であのような惨劇が起こったのが信じられない気持ちでいっぱいだった。しかしその後少し遊歩道を歩くと、引き寄せられるようにあるものを見つけた。それは東京大空襲で亡くなられた方々のための慰霊碑だった。それには、「あぁ、東京大空襲 朋よ安らかに」と刻まれていた。その碑を前にして、言葉で言い表せない気持ちがあふれてきた。そしてもう一度言問橋に駆け寄って、手を合わせて心から祈った。



Thursday, June 26, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Documentary Film "Rokkashomura Rhapsody" in Vancouver

Peace Philosophy Centre Presents:

A Documentary Film

"Rokkashomura Rhapsody"

Directed by Hitomi Kamanaka

Produced by Group Gendai

2006

102 minutes

English Version (Narration in English by Director Kamanaka, and Japanese parts with English subtitles)

Dates and Times:

Tuesday June 17th - 10:00 AM 2:00 PM 8:00 PM

Thursday June 19th - 10:00 AM (CANCELLED) 2:00 PM (CANCELLED)

Saturday July 5th - 2:00 PM

(Door opens 15 minutes prior to each screening time.)

Location: Peace Philosophy Centre (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
* Exact location will be provided by email to those who reserved.

Admission: $5 General; $3 Students

Reservation Required: Email info@peacephilosophy.com or call604-619-5627 with your name, number of people coming, and which day and time you would like to attend.

Children are welcome. Please give the number and ages of children at the time of reservation. Please bring children's activities e.g. snacks,drawing, crafts, to keep them busy during the film. It is caregiver's responsibility to ensure children's safety during the event. Please note that 8 PM screening on June 16th is for over 12 years old only.

Synopsis:
Japan imports 28% of its uranium from Canada. Much of that is used in the more than 50 nuclear reactors throughout Japan. This film is about how local citizens are coping with the construction of a giant nuclear reprocessing plant in Rokkashomura, a remote village in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. Japan, while its self-sufficiency rate of energy is only 4%, boasts only 50% reliance on oil as energy source, but this film asks - at what cost?

For more information about the film, here is Yumiko Kikuno's report of the recent screening of Rokkashomura Rhapsody in Yokohama.

Here is the event information in Japanese.

We hope to see many of you there!

Peace Philosophy Centre

Friday, June 20, 2008

Talk by a Gulf War veteran, Dennis Kyne in Tokyo

Peace Journalist Yumiko Kikuno

On May 9th 2008, I attended a talk event,”Truth of Depleted Uranium Weapon” by a Gulf War veteran, Dennis Kyne in Tokyo. He had served as a medic for the US Army since 1987 and joined Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield during the Gulf War in 1991. After the Operations, he saw a horrible sight on the way from Kuwait to Baghdad, which was called “Highway of Death.” The highway was destroyed and radioactively contaminated by 340 tons of depleted uranium weapons (DU) by American air strikes. Dennis started to wonder what happened to many returned soldiers from the Gulf War who suffered from illness or died. And then, he could no longer believe a policy of US forces and discharged from it in 2003. Dennis, who claims that depleted uranium weapons has to be regarded as nuclear armaments, has currently worked on movements for abolition of DU and nuclear arms or anti-war campaigns.


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   Depleted uranium weapons are made of nuclear wastes emitted from nuclear power plants. Its characteristics, such as heavy and solid, make it possible to penetrate a heavy tank. When DU weapons go through a target, they burn at a high temperature and become more like gas. As a result, air, water and soil would be contaminated by those radioactive particles, and soldiers and people in the battlefields would suffer from internal radioactive exposure caused by inhaling DU dust. The rate of cancer, leukemia or deformed baby in Iraq and Kosovo, where DU weapons have been used, has drastically increased.




   Dennis showed the participants many photographs that he took in the battlefields. These pictures could support Dennis’s comment that this weapon destroyed living things, but it did not effect on substances. For example, one soldier’s body was carbonized, but the jeep’s tire beside the body was not destroyed. Although the other body melted, its boots kept their original forms. There was not any bombshell trails around a corpse that was severely damaged. Although I already knew internal radioactive exposure due to DU weapons would give severe damages to people, I was really shocked again by new information about devastated battlefields.

The Gulf War veteran said, “The US government has reported that DU will not be harmful to the environment and people because radiation from DU is much lower than that of the natural backgrounds levels of uranium in the environment. However, it is not true. We have to inform across the world that it is dangerous for people to be exposed to even low does once they are internally contaminated by radiation.” He continued his speech, “When I was a child, I believed mission of an army was to keep peace. However, now I think American policy has destroyed peace. It is impossible to export democracy with war and the forces are not capable to create peace. In addition, capitalism ruins democracy. Moreover, chronic fear is necessary to keep war culture. Sadly, American citizens tend to believe wrong information that the US government gives to justify war.” In addition, Dennis explained some schools in the US set Junior Officer Training Cadet to recruit students aged between 14 to 17. The course is supposed to provide students with an opportunity to learn manner or discipline, but what they will actually learn is marching or fighting strategy.  The government gives subsidy to schools that adopt the program. Students, who complete the course, will be able to get promoted fast when they join the army.




    We sometimes find out the truth that is the last thing that we would want to know. However, I think we should consider that the shocking truth is not the thing to bring fear or hopelessness to our society, but a chance to raise issues. It might be a message to make us realize what has happened in our world and I want to believe the reason why horrifying truth surfaces is that it could be possible to solve the problems. Dennis Kyne, who has witnessed lots of scenes from hell, wrapped up his talk, saying,” Peace is possible!”

「俺は劣化ウランを見てしまった。」-湾岸戦争帰還兵 デニス・カインさんの講演

                        Peace Journalist  菊野由美子


   自分が今まで強く信じていたことが実は偽りであったとわかった時、人は心のバランスを失ってしまうこともあるだろう。そしてその真実を話す決心をするまでに、人はどれほどの葛藤を乗り越えなければならないのであろう。そんなことを思わせる人に出会った。

   5月9日、東京水道橋にある東京学院で、「俺は劣化ウランを見てしまった」と題した湾岸戦争帰還兵、デニス・カイン氏の講演が開かれた。この講演会はグローバルピースネットワーク、たんぽぽ舎、東京反核医師の会の共催で開かれ、会場は満員だった。その他多くの支援団体の書籍、写真集、DVDなどが会場の後方で販売されており、右側には劣化ウラン兵器の被害を長年取材しているフォトジャーナリスト豊田直巳さんの写真が展示されていた。

   デニスさんは、1987年からアメリカ軍医療専門兵として従軍し、1991年の湾岸戦争で「砂漠の盾」「砂漠の嵐」作戦にも加わっていた。その時、クウェートからバクダッドをつなぐ「死のハイウェイ」と呼ばれる国道でこの世の光景とは思えない惨状を目撃した。そのハイウェイは、アメリカ軍による340トンもの劣化ウラン兵器による空爆で放射能汚染されていたのだ。
その後、多くの兵士が次々に体調不良を訴え亡くなっていく状況に不信を抱き、米軍が掲げる任務に対しても疑問を持ち始め、2003年に米軍を除隊した。「劣化ウラン兵器は核兵器である」と断言するデニスさんは、現在は劣化ウラン兵器を含む核兵器廃絶運動や反戦活動に取り組んでいる。
劣化ウラン兵器とは、原子力発電所で出る核廃棄物で作られ、その性質が重くて硬いため、弾丸や爆弾の先に取り付けられ、戦車さえも打ち抜く威力を持っている兵器である。その打ち抜く際に、劣化ウランが高温で燃焼しガス状になり拡散し、放射能を放ちながら空気、水、土を汚染する。戦場の兵士や市民はこの放射性微粒子を吸うことにより体内被曝する。劣化ウラン兵器が使われたイラクやコソボではガンや白血病、奇形児の発生数が激増している。

   デニスさんが戦地で撮影した数々の写真は、まさしく異様であった。兵士の死体は炭化しているが、すぐ傍のジープのタイヤは損傷していない。半分溶けているような死体のブーツは原形を留めている。そして、砲弾の跡がないのに人間だけが激しく損傷を受けて死んでいる。「この兵器は生命体は破壊するが、物には影響を与えない。」と説明するデニスさんの言葉を裏付けるのに十分だった。私は劣化ウラン兵器での体内被曝による被害の深刻さは以前から知っていたが、爆心地の惨状を見たのは初めてでショックだった。
「米国政府は、劣化ウランの放射能は自然界に存在する放射性物質より低いから安全と報告しているがこれはまやかしで、体内被曝したら低レベルでも危険であることを世界に知らせる必要がある。」とデニスさんは主張した。
そして、「子供のころは軍隊は平和のために働くと信じていた。しかし今私は、アメリカはその平和と反対側にいると思っています。」と話す。「戦争で民主主義は輸出できないし、軍は民主主義を作れない。そして、資本主義は民主主義を破壊している。さらに、戦争文化は恐怖心を常に抱かせることによって維持されていくのである。アメリカは戦争を正当化させるためにウソの広報活動をする。そしてそれを国民は信じてしまう。」と続けた。
またデニスさんは、アメリカでの兵士勧誘の方法として、学校に「学生軍事教練隊」を設置し、14歳から17歳の生徒を募集していることを話した。ここではしつけやマナーを学べるとされているが、実際は軍隊行進や戦術である。このコースを取り入れた学校は米政府から補助金が受け取れ、この訓練を卒業し正式にアメリカ軍へ入隊した生徒は早く昇進できるシステムになっている。


<デニスさんの本の紹介をしているのは、2月にカナダ、バンクーバーで講演されたきくちゆみさん>

知らなければよかったと思う真実もある。だが、ショックな真実は我々に恐怖や絶望をもたらすものではなく、問題提起に過ぎないのではないだろうか?今、我々はこのような社会に住んでいるというメッセージで、それは解決可能だから表面化されたと受け取りたい。デニスさんは講演をこう締めくくった。“Peace is Possible!”様々な地獄絵を見てきた彼の言葉である。