Peace and Disarmament
Hiroshima Soka Gakkai Students and Women Hold Peace Events; Women Peace Plaza Held in Hyogo
On July 31, 2005, Hiroshima Soka Gakkai Student Division hosted a students' peace rally in Hiroshima City. International students from China, Korea, Thailand, Australia and Iran, who are currently studying in Hiroshima, attended together with local Japanese students. Guests included Minoru Tamaki, executive director of the Japan-Korea Friendship Association of Hiroshima; Hirokazu Tabuchi, board director of the Japan-China Friendship Association of Hiroshima; and Professor Yulia Mikhailova at Hiroshima City University. Soka Gakkai Hiroshima Student Division's Peace Committee Chief Shoshi Kumada reported on the results of a survey they recently conducted among students in the Chugoku area about their awareness of peace issues.
On the same day, the Soka Gakkai Hiroshima Women's Peace Committee sponsored an atomic bomb experience rally at the Hiroshima Ikeda Peace Hall in Hiroshima City. Atomic bomb survivor Emiko Okimoto, who was exposed to radiation at age 19 during the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, gave her testimonial. It was Ms. Okimoto's first time sharing her personal war experience in front of a large group. On August 6, 1945, Ms. Okimoto and her friends were working in a factory in Hiroshima City 1.8 km from the blast center when the bomb was dropped. In an instant, she found her whole body burnt and was rushed to a hospital where many lay writhing in pain. More died than recovered. Ms. Okimoto says she still suffers pain from the burns she received that day nearly 60 years ago. Deeply moved by Ms. Okimoto's firsthand account of the tragedy, participants felt a renewed responsibility for passing on these atomic bomb experiences to future generations.
On July 31 in Hyogo Prefecture, Soka Gakkai women and young women cohosted the "Women's Peace Plaza" at the Kansai International Culture Center in Kobe City. Kumi Morioka, a high school student, shared her experience of overcoming bullying leading to her dream of becoming an international lawyer for peace. Young women's division member Kazuyo Sakota shared her experience as a teacher, while Kinue Kashiwamori, a women's division member and the child of an atomic bomb victim reported on her grassroots efforts to pass on her mother's bitter war experiences to younger generations. Osaka College of Music students, local Soka Gakkai chorus groups and the local Soka Gakkai Fuji Fife-and-Drum Corps performed.