> Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Commemorative Experience
Updated April 28, 2009
Paper cranes from MSU and Bozeman shipped to Hiroshima
Members of the MSU and Bozeman communities folded a thousand paper cranes as
an expression of their wish for peace. They made the cranes as part of the
Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Commemorative Experience, a series of events
in Fall 2008 recalling the effects of nuclear weopons on humankind. Assistant
Professor Tomomi Yamaguchi, Department of Sociology and Anthropology at MSU,
sent the cranes on April 25 to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima,
Japan to be displayed in the Peace Park. Learn more.
At 8:15 am on August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an A-bomb onto Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, on August 9, another A-bomb was dropped onto Nagasaki.
|A-Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial
Park, Hiroshima, Japan
It is extremely difficult to know the exact number of casualties of the bombings. Approximately 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 70,000 people in Nagasaki died in 1945, but due to the long-term effects of A-bomb, especially so-called “a-bomb disease” (ie cancer and leukemia), there are many more casualties of the bomb than those who died in the first few months. Moreover, the victims are not just Japanese. There are many Koreans, Chinese, Taiwanese, and other people taken--sometimes forcibly--from former colonies of Japan during WWII. The victims also include American soldiers who were taken as hostages in Japan at the time of the bombing.
This fall, members of the Montana State University community and the general
public can learn and discuss more about the bombing of Japan and the effects
of nuclear weapons at the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Commemorative Experience.
MSU Professor Tomomi Yamaguchi from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology
is bringing the series from the Hiroshima
Peace Memorial Museum in Japan to Bozeman. The series includes films,
a photo exhibition, a paper-crane making peace activity,
and talks by the Chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and
an A-bomb survivor.
The Commemorative Experience is brought to MSU in cooperation with the Cities
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Nagasaki
Atomic Bomb Museum.
See the contributors to this project.
|Watch Prof. Yamaguchi introduce the Commemorative Experience.|
to music by oto composed
for the MSU Commemorative Experience.
(Photo: Tobey Thorn)
|Download the Commemorative Experience poster (PDF, 864 KB)
Talks by an A-bomb Survivor and the Chairperson
of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation
Shigeko Sasamori, an A-bomb survivor, and Steven
Leeper, Chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Culture
Foundation, spoke to a standing-room-only audience in the Community Room of the
Bozeman Public Library on Saturday, September 13. Sasamori
was severely burned when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6,
1945. She told her story of disfigurement, survival, and healing. Leeper urged the audience to take political action towards nuclear disarmament, such as signing the Cities Are Not Targets (CANT) petition.
See the video | Hear the podcast
Sasamori was born in Hiroshima, Japan on June 16, 1932.
She was thirteen years old and in Hiroshima when the atomic
bomb was dropped. She miraculously survived, although she was
seriously injured and sustained over twenty surgeries. In 1955,
when she was 23 years old, she came to New York as one of the
so-called “Hiroshima Maidens.” She had numerous plastic surgeries
during her one-year stay, went back to Japan, and then came
back to the U.S. to be trained as a nurse. She has spoken about
her experience and nuclear weapons numerous times at various
citizens group gatherings, schools and universities in the U.S.
and Japan. She is one of the survivors featured in Steven Okazaki’s
2007 film, White Light/Black Rain. Sasamori currently
lives in Los Angeles.
Steven Leeper is the first foreign Chairperson of the Hiroshima
Peace Culture Foundation, who oversees and directs the management of the Hiroshima
Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima, Japan. A longtime businessman, he is an
advocate for nuclear disarmament who brings hibakusha, or survivors
of atomic explosions, to talk to civic, religious, and educational groups outside
of Japan. Together
with his wife, Elizabeth Baldwin, he has translated Masamoto Nasu’s Children
of the Paper Crane: The Story of Sadako Sasaki and Her Struggle with the A-Bomb
Disease from Japanese into English. Leeper has an MA in clinical psychology
from West Georgia University. He has lived in both the United States and Japan.
Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-bomb Photo Exhibition
|Free and open to the public
- Bozeman Public Library, Community Room: Fri September 12-Mon September 15
- MSU's Renne Library: Wed September 17-Tue September 30
See the collection of thirty posters developed by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum concerning the damage wreaked by the nuclear bombs in Japan, including the mushroom clouds, the decimated cities, and medical effects. The collection intends to pass on the reality of the A-bombings and to heighten the awareness of the need for peace. See thumbnails.
Film Series “Scars and Legacies: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Apocalypse”
Thursdays at 7 pm|
Roberts Hall 101
Includes screenings of White Light/Black Rain (September 11); Barefoot Gen (September 18); Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms (September 25); Pica-Don (October 2); Drawing A-Bomb Memories (October 2); Kuroi Ame (Black Rain) (October 9); Godzilla (October 16); Atomic Café (October 23); and Radiation—A Slow Death: A New Generation of Hibakusha (October 30) Learn more
Organized by Peter Tillack (Assistant Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures) and Tomomi Yamaguchi (Assistant Professor, Sociology and Anthropology)
|Download the Film Series poster (PDF, 259 KB)|
Paper Crane Folding
In the mid-1950s, eleven-year-old Sadako Sasaki contracted leukemia from exposure to radiation. She was eating breakfast with her family on August 6, 1945 when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Following a Japanese tradition, she attempted to save her life by folding a thousand paper cranes. Although Sadako died, the act of folding a paper crane has come to symbolize a wish for peace. If the Bozeman community makes a thousand paper cranes, Yamaguchi will send them to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan. Learn more|