Virtual Remembrance

stream live without a Facebook account at: www.facebook.com/nichibei/live

75 Years After the Atomic Bombings

Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, 4 p.m.

To be streamed online at www.nichibei.org/virtual-remembrance and www.facebook.com/nichibei/live

SAN FRANCISCO — To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, the first nuclear destruction of a civilian population in the world, the Nichi Bei Foundation and Friends of Hibakusha will present “A Virtual Remembrance: 75 Years After the Atomic Bombings” on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, 4 p.m., on the Nichi Bei Foundation YouTube and Facebook channels. The event is in collaboration with the Japanese American Religious Federation of San Francisco.

The world’s first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and another on Nagasaki three days later resulted in the deaths of an estimated 214,000 people by the end of that year, including 140,000 in Hiroshima and 74,000 in Nagasaki.

“This year may mark the last major milestone many hibakusha, or atomic bomb survivors, share with the world, emphasizing their urgent calls for peace,” said Kenji G. Taguma, president of the Nichi Bei Foundation. “This event is dedicated to their lifelong struggle to persevere out of the ashes of nuclear destruction, and their commitment to teach the world about the evils of such weapons of mass devastation.”

The event will include an Interfaith Ceremony led by the Japanese American Religious Federation of San Francisco, a Litany of Water Ceremony, and a virtual exhibit curated by the National Japanese American Historical Society in collaboration with the Asian American Jazz Orchestra.

Central to the event are three exclusive interviews with atomic bomb survivors: Jack Dairiki (Hiroshima), Seiko Fujimoto (Hiroshima) and Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka (Nagasaki).

The Virtual Remembrance will also feature three short films about the atomic bombings, capturing the story of the atomic bombings from different lenses:

“Witness to Hiroshima” by Kathy Sloane

“Takashi TanemoriThe World I Want to Live In” by Jason Cordis

“Ashes of Nagasaki,” world premiere, by Emiko Omori

A closing message will be given by Rev. Michael Yoshii, a retired United Methodist Church minister.

“We thought it was important to give our beloved hibakusha a voice,” said Geri Handa, of the Friends of Hibakusha. “It is our hope that their stories of painful loss and grief will help to remind the world of the urgent need for peace, particularly in these tense times.”

The event will also include the participation of descendants of hibakusha.

Presented by the Nichi Bei Foundation and Friends of Hibakusha in collaboration with the Japanese American Religious Federation of San Francisco, the event is supported by the Committee of Atomic Bomb Survivors in the U.S.A., National Japanese American Historical Society, Tsuru for Solidarity and Asian American Orchestra.

Media Sponsor: Nichi Bei Weekly

The event will be streamed live on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, 4 p.m., at www.nichibei.org/virtual-remembrance and www.facebook.com/nichibei.


Program:

Interfaith Ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings — Japanese American Religious Federation of San Francisco

Interview with Seiko Fujimoto, a hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) from Hiroshima, who was only three years old when the atomic bomb took the lives of her relatives, leaving her and her one-year-old brother alone in the immediate aftermath.

“Witness to Hiroshima” (2008, 16 min.), a film by Kathy Sloane. In “Witness to Hiroshima,” Japanese citizen Keiji Tsuchiya, using 12 watercolors he painted in 2001, recounts his experiences in Hiroshima as a 17-year-old soldier, hours after the atom bomb blast. Through the use of animated still photographs and Mr. Tsuchiya’s narrative, the film depicts the horrors Tsuchiya witnessed, and the aid he and others offered to the burned and dying victims they encountered. Out of such horror the film segues into the beautiful story of how and why Mr. Tsuchiya came to devote his life to preserving the life of the horseshoe crab.

Interview with Jack Dairiki, a hibakusha from Hiroshima, who was 14 years old when a delayed train helped to save him from entering the epicenter, sparing his life.

“Takashi Tanemori ‑— The World I Want To Live In” (2016, 3:38 min.) by Jason Cordis. “Takashi Tanemori — The World I Want to Live In” explores the 40-year struggle of Takashi Tanemori — a Hiroshima bombing survivor and Baptist preacher — to forgive Americans for the atomic bombing that flattened Hiroshima and killed tens of thousands of people, including six members of his family. The film by Jason Cordis, then a student at Salesian College Preparatory high school in Richmond, Calif., was one of 15 finalists of the White House Student Film Festival.

“No More Hiroshimas and Nagasakis,” a virtual exhibit by the National Japanese American Historical Society set to the song “1945” by the Asian American Orchestra

Interview with Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka, a retired United Methodist minister and hibakusha from Nagasaki, who was only eight months old when the atomic bomb hit. The effects of the bomb would go on to claim the lives of three immediate family members, including his mother, and inspire a life-long commitment to speak against nuclear proliferation.

The World Premiere of “Ashes of Nagasaki” (2020, 15) by Emiko Omori. “Ashes of Nagasaki,” by acclaimed Bay Area filmmaker Emiko Omori — winner of a Sundance Award and National Emmy for “Rabbit in the Moon” — follows Jan Chozen Bays of the Great Vow Zen Monastery in Oregon as she leads a group of Americans on a pilgrimage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings in 2005. The group offered some 500,000 Jizo prayer flags to honor those who perished in the atomic bombings, and survivors.

The story of Sadako — Nancy Ukai of Tsuru for Solidarity with Takeno, Kota and Yuta Suzuki in Sendai, Japan — daughter and grandsons of hibakusha Seiko Fujimoto of San Francisco

Interfaith Statement read by hibakusha and hibakusha descendants

Rev. Michael and Suzanne Yoshii

Mariko Lindsey, hibakusha, Committee of Atomic Bomb Survivors in the U.S.A.

Lincoln Johe, grandson of hibakusha Rev. Fumiko Matsui

Suzanne, Sachi and Michi Yoshii, descendants of hibakusha Michiko Tatsuguchi

Closing remarks by Rev. Michael Yoshii, retired minister, California Nevada Annual Conference United Methodist Church

Litany of Water Ceremony for the victims of the atomic bombings — led by Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka, a hibakusha from Nagasaki, and Japanese American Religious Federation clergy

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