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Peace and Disarmament

Back to listAug 5, 2007

Hiroshima Women's Peace Committee Sponsors A-Bomb Experience Rally

Soka Gakkai members in Hiroshima have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to creating a network of peace and communicating "the heart of Hiroshima." On August 5, 2007, the Soka Gakkai Hiroshima Women's Peace Committee sponsored a hibakusha experience rally at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Hall.

Ayako Kozuka, an A-bomb survivor, shared her experience of the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945, at Ujina Port in Hiroshima three kilometers from the blast center. She miraculously escaped injury and three days later went home to a joyful reunion with her mother. Several months later, however, her mother succumbed to atomic bomb radiation poisoning and died at 43. Ayako herself suffered after-effects, including black spots all over her body and an abnormally low white blood cell count. Even after marriage and four children, she continued to be obsessed with fear of dying.

Encountering Soka Gakkai members and Nichiren Buddhism transformed her life. The more she dedicated herself to caring for others, the more courageous she felt. In the course of such altruistic activities that empowered both herself and others, the black spots on her skin disappeared and her white blood count normalized. Through her Buddhist practice, Ayako came to realize that her mission as an A-bomb survivor is to convey the tragedy of the atomic bomb. She is committed to sharing her experience with others and says, "The horror of the atomic bomb is that human beings are not allowed the dignity of living or dying like a normal human being."

The Soka Gakkai in Hiroshima has scheduled other peace-related events: a youth rally and public lecture on Hiroshima studies on August 8, a student division survey on citizen's awareness of peace issues and an exhibition on human rights from September 7-16, 2007.

[Adapted from an article in the August 7, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]