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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Invitation to Canadian Students to Join Hiroshima/Nagasaki Tour 2009

* We have now closed applications for the 2009 program. For 2010 program, please contact
Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Exchange Tour

July 31 – August 10, 2009

A Special Invitation to Canadian Students

Professor Atsushi Fujioka of Ritsumeikan University is pleased to extend a special invitation to up to three Canadian students (students enrolled in a full-time program at a Canadian university or college) to participate in The Peace Exchange Tour. The Tour has been run successfully for the past 15 years, bringing together Japanese and North American students to learn from the history of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Professor Fujioka offers a scholarship of 30,000 yen (approx. $300) to up to three Canadian students.

Program Themes: Canadian participants visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, join students from Japan and the U.S., and work together to:
  • gain first-hand knowledge of the human, historical, and environmental impact of the atomic bombings;

  • learn about past and current international initiatives undertaken to eliminate nuclear weapons;

  • build close ties with one another to work collaboratively for a peaceful future.

Dates: July 31 (Fri.) – August 10 (Mon.), 2009

Destinations: Kyoto – Hiroshima – Nagasaki

Accompanying Faculty and Staff:

Professor Atsushi Fujioka, Ritsumeikan University, Department of Economics
Professor Peter Kuznick, American University, Nuclear Studies Institute
Koko Kondo, Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor, and graduate of American University
Satoko Norimatsu, Director of Peace Philosophy Centre and instructor at UBC Centre for Intercultural Communication

Program Description:

The world was shaken by the attack on World Trade Centers in New York, and by the U.S.-led war against Iraq. Tensions remain high in the Middle East and on the Korean Peninsula around the issue of nuclear development, and global military competition has expanded into Space. How can we straighten the tangled strings of hate and revenge, and find a way out from the vicious circle of violence and war?

Nobody can give an easy answer. Hiroshima and Nagasaki can, however, provide fertile starting points for thinking about these issues and can give us courage and wisdom for dealing with the challenges they pose. The objective of this program is to place ourselves squarely in these world-historically important places, commemorate the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombings, and join with students from around the world to explore what means we have to seek reconciliation among foes, the creation of peace, and the survival of humankind.

The debate over the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and its historical significance as the dawning of the “Nuclear Age,” remains contentious. Wide gaps appear to remain among the understandings of American, Japanese and other Asian peoples. Ritsumeikan University and the American University in Washington, D.C. jointly developed and run this exchange program in order to fill these gaps. In 1995, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum cancelled its planned A-bomb exhibit. This incident motivated the American University to hold its own A-bomb exhibit and extend invitations to the Mayor of Hiroshima as well as many survivors. This event inspired the birth of this program, which this year marks its 15th anniversary.

The Peace Exchange Tour Program remains student-led: its past participants are actively involved with its planning and coordination. Key concerns for research and discussion include: 1) What happened under the mushroom clouds of the A-bombs? 2) Was A-bombing a ‘necessary evil,’ or a ‘malicious war crime’? 3) Is it possible to abolish nuclear weapons, or are they useful for security? 4) What can we do to overcome the vicious circle of hate and war, and to promote international understanding and cooperation?

There will be 10 to 15 U.S. participants who will apply through the American University. The main text for discussion will be John Hersey’s classic reportage “Hiroshima,” which first informed Americans of the horrific conditions in Hiroshima following the A-bombing. Accompanying this year’s participants will be Koko Kondo, who appears in Hersey’s book as the youngest baby hibakusha. Ms Kondo is the first daughter of Rev. Kiyoshi Tanimoto, leader of the Hiroshima Maiden Project which brought young female hibakusha to the U.S. for treatment of facial scarring caused by a-bombing.

Program participants are expected to be engaged in peace studies, open to an experiential style of learning, and interested in learning more about the language and culture of Japan. The primary language of the tour will be English. Some Japanese participants will have beginner’s level English skills. North American students are requested to join their Japanese peers and communicate with respect and mutual understanding.

Program Itinerary (subject to change):

July 31(Fri.) - Program start in Kyoto
August 1(Sat) - Sightseeing in Kyoto, and Welcome Party

August 2(Sun) - Visit Ritsumeikan International Peace Museum, Workshop/Lecture

August 3(Mon) - Visit the War Exhibit at Ritsumeikan International Peace Museum, Workshop/ Lecture, and a field trip in Kyoto

August 4(Tue) - Leave for Hiroshima/visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

August 5(Wed) - Visit sites referred to in John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” / mid-term debriefing

August 6(Thu) - Attend the Hiroshima Memorial Ceremony, and visit with hibakusha and related organizations

August 7(Fri) - Discussion with the Mayor of Hiroshima / leave for Nagasaki / visit the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

August 8 (Sat) - Visit hibakusha / field trips to war-related sites in Nagasaki

August 9 (Sun) - Memorial Ceremony at Shiroyama Elementary School / Attend Nagasaki City’s Memorial Ceremony / visit Gunkan Island (optional)/Farewell Party

August 10 (Mon) - Wrap-up workshop / program ends in Nagasaki around noon / AU students take train to Tokyo / overnight in Tokyo (it is optional for Canadian participants to join AU’s trip to Tokyo)

August 11(Tue) - Optional program in Tokyo / AU students leave Japan

* For July 31st, program staff are able upon request to make meet-and-greet arrangements at Itami (Osaka) International Airport. Following the end of the program around noon on August 10th participants will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements, though program staff will be available to give basic travel advice.

Required Reading: “Hiroshima” by John Hersey (1946, 1985), Random House

Program Fee: 46,000 yen (approx. 460 Canadian dollars; will fluctuate according to changes in current exchange rates)

(*) Students who qualify for the Ritsumeikan subsidy of 30,000 yen (approx. $300) will be informed by program staff at the time of registration confirmation. Program fees for students receiving the subsidy will be 16,000 yen (approx. $160).

Program fee includes:

  • 10-night accommodation from the night of July 31st to August 9 (4 nights in Kyoto, 3 nights in Hiroshima, 3 nights in Nagasaki)
  • Costs associated with all group activities such as museum admission, local transportation, welcome and farewell parties, honoraria to guest speakers and staff, and all administrative and coordination costs.

Participating students are responsible for arranging and paying for the following:

  • Return airfare to and from Japan
  • Transportation within Japan from the point of arrival to Kyoto, and from Nagasaki to the point of departure
  • Overseas Travel Insurance (mandatory - check your insurance coverage with your university or college)
  • One-week Japan Rail Pass valid from August 4 to 10 (2-week one may be more convenient depending on your travel schedule before and after the program)
    *The pass can only be purchased OUTSIDE of Japan. Canadian participants must make their purchase PRIOR to departure.
    * The cost to participants of the Pass may vary according to Japan Rail price changes and current exchange rates. As of April 18, 2009, the Japan Rail price for a one-week pass is 28,300 yen, or approximately C$283. For information on Japan Rail Pass, go to:
  • Accommodation costs other than the 10 nights included in the Program
  • Meals, other than meals for the Welcome Party and Farewell Party
  • All costs associated with activities such as sightseeing, small group field trips, and the optional visit to Gunkan Island in Nagasaki.
  • All other personal expenses

Eligibility: full-time students (undergraduate or graduate) at a Canadian university or college, who are not originally from Japan – up to three students. Priority will be given to students who are coming back to Canada after the program ends to participate in the special reporting event to take place in September or October 2009. * Participants must hold a valid passport and visa necessary to enter and stay in Japan for the duration of the program. It is the responsibility of participants to check if visa is required to enter Japan with the passport that they hold.

Registration Procedure: Submit your CV (not more than 2 pages) and a cover letter describing why you would like to participate in this program and what you expect to gain from the experience. Send by email to Satoko Norimatsu Due to the limited space, we will conduct an interview either by phone or in person.

Program Inquiries:
Satoko Norimatsu
Peace Philosophy Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Email: Phone: 604-619-5627

Additional Information:

American University's Nuclear Studies Institute

Comments from Participants of the 2008 Program

Program Information of 2008 with Photos

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Japan's Sanctions Against North Korea Are Unfairly Targeted at Korean People in Japan

This article was written by Dr. Yasunori Takazane, Director of Oka Masaharu Memorial Peace Museum in Nagasaki, to criticize the Japanese Government's sanctions against DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) saying many of those are targeted against Koreans living in Japan who are not responsible for the nuclear and missile program or the abduction of Japanese citizens.

高 實 康 稔

① これまで半年ごとに延長してきた現行制裁の期間を1年に延ばす
② 北朝鮮への送金報告義務額を現行の3千万円超から1千万円超に引き下げ
③ 北朝鮮への渡航者が持ち出す際の届出額を現在の百万円超から30万円超に引き下げ





Friday, April 17, 2009

Report on Eiji Yoshikawa's Public Lecture

On the last day of the easter weekend, the 13th of April, I participated in Eiji-san's public lecture held at Pearson college in Victoria.

I totally agree with Satoko-san's description about him as "selfless charisma". He is greatly passionate, dedicated, and warm-hearted person who can bring changes and shifts in our consciousness that Earth needs.

At the public lecture, he mainly talked about his experience as a boxing trainer of Iwao Otomo. The story of how Eiji-san and Otomo walked together the path toward the "world championship" was so uplifting and persuasive, which taught me(and all the people who were there, I believe) how beautiful our life can be if we hold on to our beliefs and dreams, no matter what happens and no matter how it seems to be impossible and difficult to achieve.

One of the most inspirational and moving scenes he depicted was when Otomo had a fight in Australia, the local people from Australia who were watching the game started to cheering him up even though Otomo is not from Australia. (I am not quite sure where it was, but if it's not Australia, please correct me.) He told us that he was very impressed and moved at the moment when he saw Australian people going beyond their identity/nationality and rooting for Otomo, a "Japanese" boxer. They saw Otomo simply as a boxer, a man, a person, instead of seeing him "Japanese" boxer or "Japanese".

Personally, whenever I come across the notion of identity politics, I have strong belief in the importance of "Going beyond our identity" to transform ourselves into more universal, loving, and caring beings. This is because, as we all know, it is impossible to create a "peaceful world" as long as we remain within the concept of identity, which is politically and socially imagined, created, and perpetuated based on our nationality,cultural and ethnic background, and so on. We must keep reminding us of that identity is just boundaries and borders that separate us from one another as "'the-we-who-want-to-change-the-world' cannot be defined" (Holloway, 2005: p62)

"Be the change you want to see in the world" (Gandhi aphorism)- it starts with people changing their individual behaviour. It is very important to speak out, extremely important, but if you are not doing what you are saying, but you're telling others to do it, there's a big disconnect. Therefore, what I and you, or "we", need to work on is "to be the change we want to see", as Eiji san and Satoko san are doing and showing to us.

"The important thing is not how long we live, but how we live it", Eiji-san urged us.

His powerful and inspirational speech has brought such a big and everlasting hope to us. Instead of wondering or doubting how much our power-to is influential, we should believe in our unlimited creativity and potential to change ourselves, society, and the world.

Love and Peace,


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Great food, engaged discussion and lasting friendship

Thank you everyone for making the last salon such a success! Special thanks to Eiji Yoshikawa. Eiji, I would call you a "selfless charisma." You are so inspiring, loving, engaged, determined, tough and gentle at the same time, and an amazingly down-to-earth, and humorous speaker! We were all inspired. Your stories and examples were convincing, especially those related to boxing, because you lived them, not just pulled them out of a book or something. I hope you will come back soon. Next time I will plan a bigger event with you. There were so many words that stood out for me, but if I say one thing.

"To help other people achieve their dream helps you achieve yours. That itself should not be a purpose, but that's the truth of life. "

What I loved about Saturday's salon is that the reflection of the salons were very nicely tied in with and segued into Eiji's talk. Everything was connected and integrated. The three students who came for the first time and Eiji, whom I even met for the first time that day seemed like they had been with us for the whole time!
We started the evening with a potluck party, with Arc's turkey as its highlight. Thanks all for bringing food and drinks! Then we had a discussion to reflect on the past salons - on Japan's Constitution, Senji Yamamoto, Hiroshima/Nagasaki, and Nanjing Massacre. We divided into small groups, each of which focused on one of the topics. The last but not the least event of the evening was Shoko's special coconut cheesecake (I don't know if it's the right name but I loved the coconuts in it!)
Thanks so much,

Here are participants' comments:



"Thank your for the special guest, Eiji Yoshikawa. His personality, words, and activities are all inspiring (he is interesting and funny, too;) I am lucky to meet him.

After the session was finished, we were eating and chatting in a small group. Eiji and I were talking about his experience.And another person joined us. Some people eventually came close to him. And then, all participants surrounded him. It embodied the salon: no exam, no homework - study spontaneously. It was a wonderful moment.

Once again, thank you very much for your dedicated work and positive energy. I am thinking of what is important in my life and what I can do in the rest of my life. "


"I want to say thank you to Eiji san. Your talking is very inspiring and interesting. I hope I could have a chance to talk to you more, unfortunately the evil exams occupied me. I felt I used t have big problems with confidence. I remember Satoko san once told me that “you use the word ‘worry’ too much, you should have more confidence.”, then I said, “But I worry that people will think me as an arrogant guy.” Thanks to the help of these friends, now I’m learning how to find the good balance between being modest and being confident. Talking about being courageous and confident, I think my practice of Kendo also helped me a lot. Eiji san, next time let’s talk some about martial arts!

The next is a message to Rits friends (and also might be a late response to Hiroshi’s comment): I remember on Saturday we talked about this: politics is too complicated. We often get overwhelmed by huge amount of information--maybe we could never know the truth. I totally agree--but there is one truth does exist. I might not sure about what are the politicians are doing, but I’m sure about my own will--it is a will that wishes our friendship could last forever, a will of future peace and love. At least I’m sure this part is true. Based on this truth I have, I can pickup certain information I think works with this truth and drop certain information I think will not help this thinking. Thus I think the complexity of “facts” actually is not a problem.

Sorry, looks like I’m still in the discussion mode. It is too sad to say good bye, but I’m sure that we are chasing our dreams, moving to a beautiful future, thus a temporaryseparation is fine. And this is not a farewell, we will see each other, I mean, not only this summer Hiroshima Program but also in a further future, we will see each other in a big big stage. Please don’t forget to tap my shoulder at that time!

次のメッセージは立命館の友たちのために:土曜日に、私たちは、政治の事はとても複雑だから,たぶん本当の真実が分かることはできませんと言いました。私はこれを同意する、でも、私も、本当の真実はひとつあると思います。政治のこと、私は知りません、でも、自分のことはわかります。私は本当の友情がほしい、平和な未来がほしい、これは確認できるの真実だとおもいます。この真実のよって、役に立つ情報を聞きで、役に立たない情報は捨てて、問題がありませんとおもいます。 すみません、私はまだディスカッション・モードにいます。 みんながもうすぐ日本へ帰ります、それを思った時は少し悲しくなった。でも、みんなは美しい未来や、明るい夢を追って、いまの別れは大丈夫だと思います。これがさよならじゃない、未来で再会があると信じます。この夏の広島プログラムに、そして、長い後の未来で、とっても大きい舞台の中に、再会をします。私はそう信じます。"
Taro Whitred:

"Yesterday's salon was so excited and I don't know where to start my report of it, but first of all I want to thank everyone, including Satoko-san, Mr.Eiji, and of course all of the participants. We could make this wonderful event not only because of one person's effort, but because of everyone's.

サロン参加者の夢はそれぞれなんだけれど、皆のなにかここで得よ うと一緒になって真剣に取り組む姿には大きな勇気とエネルギーを もらいました。ディスカッションの場を設けられると、既に一度 やったことのあるトピックにもかかわらず、みんなが本気で問題点 や解決策を考え合います。いつも参加していて素晴らしいなと思う ことは、全員が自分の意見をまっすぐに言うこと。でもそれ以上に 人の意見にもしっかり耳を傾け、もし自分の意見に見直すところが あれば改善していくという柔軟性を持っているところです。ただ違 う意見同士ぶつかり合っていては何も生まれないし、話を前に進め ることも大変です。このサロンの仲間達はきっと"平 和"という共通の思いや願いがあるために、お互いを尊重し合 うやりとりが出来るのだなと心から感じました。

特に今回は、英治さんという特別ゲストを迎えてのサロンでした。 ガンディーの格言に"Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever"というものがあります。これは常に自分に言 い聞かせている言葉なのですが、英治さんはまるでこの言葉のとお り生きている人間だと感じました。「リングの上の3分も人生の1 00年も同じ、いつもベストを尽くさなくてはいけない」と英治さ んは言います。本当にその通りです。ただそれを分かっていても実 際に行動できない人がほとんどで、だからこそ英治さんは輝いて見 えました。歴史をみると、いつも正義が叩かれている。今もまだそ んな世の中だと思います。だけれど、最後の最後に勝つのはやはり 正義であると私は信じています。一人一人が協力し合い少しずつ大 きなものにしていけば、ひと一人はもちろん、世界だって変えてい けるはずです。英治さんにもらったパワーを決して無駄なものにせ ず、世の為になる力へと変えて行きましょう!英治さん、昨日は本 当にありがとうございました!” ウイットレッド太朗

Walter M.:


Junghoon Kim:



Wataru K. :

"I was glad to experience such a great debate with members. To me, it's the first time but we, three new members could share our opinions with original members easily and freely. The debate in the last salon was composed of every participants' serious and sincere thoughts. We expressed constructive opinions with each other, and the debate grew bigger and wider, including a variety of topics like politics, history, media, or education.

The special guest, Eiji-san is, I think, a very "isagiyoi" person (manly,coherent person who does right things straightforwardly every time.). The coherence of what he thinks and does made me think that he is like a"Bushi", or Japanese "Samurai". And I was surprised that everyone was impressed by his remarks very much like me."

Tatsu Y.
このサロンでのディスカッションや勉強は、私の留学生活の中で1番勉強になったといえるくらい大きなものでした。「平和」という大きくて実現することが難しいテーマについて、こんなに現実的に考えられたことがとても良かったです。そして、カナダに住んでいる皆さんの、日本を客観的に見る姿勢がとても印象的で、なんて自分の視野は狭かったんだろうと思うことができました。また、最後のサロンで英治さんという素晴らしい方に出会えて本当に良かったです。特に私は「人生は長さではなく、どう生きたかが重要」というのと、「Don't think, Just do it!!」という言葉が印象に残っています。この言葉を胸に、日本に帰ってもぶれることなく頑張ろうと思います。8月の広島長崎でまた勉強できるといいです。
Thank you very much everyone. I look forward to your comments.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Frontline For Peace Vancouver Presents Film "Travelling for Gratitude"

Frontline for Peace Vancouver


Chikyu no Stage – Arigato no Monogatari
(Frontline for Peace – Traveling for Gratitude)

100-Minute documentary Film, Directed by Iichiro Sato
English Subtitles

Sunday, May 24, 2009, 1:00-3:00 PM
Doors Open at 12:30 p.m.
Nikkei Heritage Centre
6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby, BC

Frontline for Peace Vancouver will host the showing of the documentary on Sunday, May 24, 2009, at the Nikkei Heritage Centre, 6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby, BC. The film tells the story of Dr. Norihiko Kuwayama, founder of international non-profit organization, Frontline for Peace, which provides medical relief in areas of conflict and poverty around the world. Former director for NHK Iichiro Sato traveled with Dr. Kuwayama to film his work and provide a vivid account of the effects of war and poverty on men, women and children. Parental guidance is recommended for young children. The film has been well received in Japan.

Chikyu no Stage – Arigato no Monogatari seeks to foster mutual understanding and to help inform audiences of ways to actively support the relief work of Dr. Kuwayama. The film challenges viewers to ponder the true meaning of happiness.

Frontline for Peace Vancouver has organized to support Dr. Kuwayama’s activities and to fundraise for future live performances in Canada.

In Advance Adults $10.00 Children $5.00
Via email:
Via telephone: 604-723-1649 (10:00 AM-5:00 PM)

At the Entrance Adults $12.00 Children $6.00
* Peace Philosophy Centre is a supporting organization for this event.
* See here for Japanese version.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Quilting, Love, and Forgiveness

Look at this beautiful collection of 9-patches. The White Rock Group of Peace Philosophy
Centre took the initiative in this Quilting for Peace project, and Kyoko-san is going to put together all these pieces for us. The number "9" symbolizes Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which renounces war and prohibits possession of armed forces. Many of these pieces were contributed by members of Vancouver Save Article 9, Clover Group, and exchange students from Ritsumeikan University. Thank you so much to all who made this happen for us and we really look forward to the final product... again, thank you Kyoko-san.

Last Saturday we watched the documentary film "The Power of Forgiveness." It was an inspiring film that provoked many emotions and thoughts in all who watched it. How do we forgive the unforgivable? How do we accept the most unacceptable? How do we forgive ourselves? Can we achieve justice and forgiveness at the same time? Is forgiveness a proactive decision, or something that just happens when the right timing comes? Elie Wiesel, the author and a Holocaust survivor talks about the Jewish way of forgiving. There are two ways of forgiveness - one that God can give, and one that humans give. When you hurt someone, you can only be forgiven by that person. You ask forgiveness for three times, and if forgiveness is not granted, then the blame will be on the other person. Too often we try to make up for the damage that we cause, but we don't actually ask for forgiveness. Elie Wiesel suggests that it is about time that Germany asked Jewish people for forgiveness. Asking forgiveness takes a lot of courage, maybe more courage than admitting and compensating for the damage itself. It makes you vulnerable. It is a total surrender. You surrender yourself to the person you have hurt. Yet it can potentially empower and heal the both sides.

I am sorry. Please forgive me.

What would the world look like if these words are said without hesitation, and with utmost sincerity where they are most needed?

And it all starts with me.

Love and peace, beyond all understanding,


Peace Philosophy Salon Spring Wrap-up and Social

Peace Philosophy Salon - Spring Wrap-up and Social

6 PM - 9PM, Saturday April 11th

At Peace Philosophy Centre (email for direction)

***Please bring food, snacks, and/or drinks to share***

With special guest Mr. Eiji Yoshikawa, a boxer and peace educator from Japan

RSVP by Friday, April 10th

This Salon will be the last one for Ritsumeikan students, as they will be leaving mid to late April.

This Salon will take a different format from the past ones.

The purposes of this time are:
1) To reflect and debrief on the series of the past Salons this winter
2) To wish a loving farewell to Ritsumeikan students
3) To welcome our special guest Eiji, who is visiting from Japan to give talks at schools in Canada 4) Above all, to get together and have fun!

* We chose not to introduce a new material for this last Salon of the spring, because we have covered some heavy materials and this is a good opportunity to reflect on them and summarize, and share what we have learnt and got out of the past salons.

* Please think about these questions before you come.
A) Do you have any specific reflections, comments, and questions from the past salons that you attended - Japanese Constitution, Senji Yamamoto, Hiroshima/Nagasaki, and Nanjing Massacre?

B) If you have attended more than one session, what do you think are the connections between the different topics that we covered?

C) How do you see the connection between these salons and your future activities - school, work, personal life, etc?

Please don't miss this last opportunity to get together before everyone leaves for their summer activities.

I look forward to seeing many of you!!!


Satoko and Arc
Peace Philosophy Centre