Past Initiatives

In May of 2014, we:

  • Collaborated with the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum and the Harry S. Truman Little White House to present the first ever Truman Legacy Symposium addressing Truman’s decision to deploy nuclear weapons against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Presenters included Nagasaki hibakusha Yasuaki Yamashita, Hiroshima hibakusha Setsuko Thurlow, disarmament educator, filmmaker and author Dr. Kathleen Sullivan and Clifton Truman Daniel, eldest grandson of U.S. President Harry S. Truman. We held a seminar with 14 students from the Honors College of Florida International University; facilitated the keynote speeches at the Truman Legacy Symposium with Yasuaki Yamashita, Clifton Daniel & Setsuko Thurlow for 100 attendees; held a public event at the Little White House with Yasuaki Yamashita, Kathleen Sullivan, Clifton Daniel & Setsuko Thurlow for 50 people and conducted a workshop for 20 students and faculty at Florida Keys Community College with Kathleen Sullivan, Clifton Daniel & Yasuaki Yamashita.

In April/May of 2014, we:

  • Sponsored 22 programs featuring hibakusha testimony and disarmament education, serving approximately 35 middle and high schools. We collaborated Peace Boat to bring Hiroshima hibakusha Shigeko Sasamori, Reiko Yamada and Nobuko Sugino; Nagasaki hibakusha Michio Hakariya; Clifton Truman Daniel, and Kristen Iversen, author of Full Body Burden: Growing up in the Shadows of Rocky Flats to New York for the programming.
  • Distributed paper cranes donated by The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and Kamishibai donated by Nagasaki City to each participating school.
  • Organized a program at the Japan Society for over 200 students from six New York City high schools. The event was streamed live over the internet by Cinema Forum Fukushima and will be archived on the Hibakusha Stories website.
  • Organized a day for 50 foreign-born students from Flushing and Brooklyn International high schools with Shigeko Sasamori and Reiko Yamada at Hunter College and Urasenke Chanoyu Tea Center where students listened to testimonies and learned about the principles of tea.
  • Developed a theater workshop at Theater for the New City in Manhattan in which 20 students developed one-act plays based on the testimony of hibakusha Reiko Yamada and led by director Sophia Skiles.
  • Sponsored a visit by hibakusha to the United Nations where they presented their testimony to UN interns and guides and were given a tour of the UN disarmament exhibit.
  • Arranged for Reiko Yamada to give opening remarks at the Civil Society Presentations to the Delegates of the NPT Prep Com.
  • Organized a UN Side Event with RECNA (Nagasaki University students), the Permanent Mission of El Salvador to the United Nations and Peace Boat featuring hibakusha testimony, a talk by Nagasaki Mayor Tomohisa Taue and interactive disarmament instruction by Dr. Kathleen Sullivan.
  • Hosted an afternoon disarmament session with university students from Darmstadt, Germany.
  • Hosted an “Evening of Music and Friendship to benefit Hibakusha Stories” at Dupuy’s Landing Guest House in Chelsea.
  • Facilitated filmed interviews with hibakusha by East River Films to be archived on the Hibakusha Stories website.
  • Participated in the filming of our programs to become part of a series on the history of nuclear weapons to be aired in Fall, 2014 on Channel One, reaching 3 to 5 million students.
  • Distributed paper cranes donated by The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and Kamishibai donated by Nagasaki City to each participating school.
  • Cooperated with a Vienna-based organization to film hibakusha testimony to be viewed by approximately one million viewers.
  • Brought three students from the NYC i-School to the United Nations to perform a rap they wrote in response to hearing the testimony of Hiroshima hibakusha Yasuaki Yamashita. The rap was part of a book launch hosted of Action for Disarmament: 10 Things You Can Do!, a UN publication written by Hibakusha Stories Program Director Kathleen Sullivan and Peter Lucas. The event also featured UNODA’s High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane and UN Messenger for Peace Michael Douglas.

In January, 2014 we:

  • Organized a Skype conversation between 80 students, faculty and parents at the Calhoun School and two evacuated children from Fukushima province of Japan as part of a semester-long “Radiation Detective” project initiated at three schools – Brooklyn International High School, the NYC iSchool and The Calhoun School.

In December, 2013, we:

  • Arranged for artist and atomic bomb survivor Toshiko Tanaka and atomic bomb survivor and Hiroshima Maiden Shigeko Sasamori to visit two universities, one community college and two high schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma as part of an oral history and disarmament education project. The programs were facilitated by Kathleen Sullivan, PhD, Hibakusha Stories Program Director.
  • Spoke at a general assembly at Holland Hall. We then met with a small group of students in the library, were treated to a tour of the campus and to lunch and then met with the art teacher and his class to plan the kamishibai project.
  • Presented a three-hour seminar with students from Rogers State University freshman leadership team and a class on World War II.
  • Presented a general assembly at Booker T. Washington High School and met with an art class for 90 minutes to work on a kamishibai, or Japanese storyboook project based on the testimony of Toshiko Tanaka. Later we visited a civics class where we discussed civic participation in creating a peaceful world.
  • Hosted a reception honoring the hibakusha for 50 students, teachers, professors and community members at the home of board member Sandra W. Parker.
  • Visited Tulsa Community College where we met with approximately 200 students and community members.
  • Distributed paper cranes donated by The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and kamishibai donated by Nagasaki City to each participating school.
  • In all, we reached over 1,000 students, far more than we had projected. The student artwork of Ms. Tanaka’s story will be published as a physical book and available for download on the Hibakusha Stories website.

In November, 2013 we:

  • Youth Arts New York conducted a teacher training workshop, Teaching Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for educators with the New York City Department of Education in collaboration with the Information and Outreach Branch and the Nuclear Section of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. That the Workshop had the United Nations as its venue helped to attract a full complement of 35 high school teachers from four New York City boroughs who teach, among other subjects, global and current affairs and history at the high school level. Teachers who attended received priority booking for the Spring programs.

In October, 2013, we:

  • Organized visits of Yasuaki Yamashita, an atomic bomb survivor from Nagasaki, Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor from Hiroshima, and Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of United States President Harry S. Truman to 11 educational complexes, both public and private, in all five boroughs, reaching thousands of students.
  • Distributed paper cranes donated by The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and kamishibai donated by Nagasaki City to each participating school.
  • Gave a seminar featuring Ms. Thurlow, Mr. Yamanshia & Mr. Daniel in collaboration with Japanese Studies Department and The Cold War History Project at New York University, co-facilitated by Professor Yukiko Hanawa.
  • Filmed extensive interviews with Yasuaki Yamashita and Setsuko Thurlow by New York based filmmakers Colleen Fitzgibbon and Kosaku Horikawa.
  • Co-sponsored a side event in conjunction with the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly collaborating with Peace Boat, The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation featuring an intergenerational dialogue among youth and Setsuko Thurlow, Yasuaki Yamashita and Clifton Truman Daniel.
  • Hosted an “Evening of Music and Friendship to benefit Hibakusha Stories” at Dupuy’s Landing Guest House in Chelsea.

In April/May of 2013 we:

  • Sponsored the visits of Hiroshima hibakusha Shigeko Sasamori, Reiko Yamada and Jong-keun Lee, a Korean resident of Japan, Dr. Cynthia Miller, daughter of D.C. Van Dyne of the Manhattan Project and Clifton Truman Daniel to 17 educational complexes, both public and private. We served close to 3,000 students.
  • Distributed paper cranes donated by The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and Kamishibai donated by Nagasaki City to each participating school.
  • Organized a program at the Japan Society for 240 students from six New York City high schools featuring Shigeko Sasamori, Jong-keun Lee, Clifton Truman Daniel and Dr. Cynthia Miller.  The event was streamed live over the internet by Cinema Forum Fukushima.
  • Organized a day for 50 foreign-born students from Flushing and Brooklyn International high schools with Shigeko Sasamori, Clifton Truman Daniel and Jong-keun Lee at Hunter College and Urasenke Chanoyu Tea Center where they listened to testimonies and learned about the principles of tea.
  • Developed a theater workshop at Theater for the New City in Manhattan in which 20 students created one-act plays based on conversations with hibakusha Reiko Yamada and led by playwright Chiori Miyagawa and director Sophia Skiles.
  • Sponsored a visit by hibakusha to the United Nations where they presented their testimony to UN interns and guides, were given a tour of the UN by Randy Rydell, Senior Political Affairs Officer, UN Office of the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, and rang the Peace Bell that was forged in Hiroshima.
  • Hosted an “Evening of Music and Friendship to benefit Hibakusha Stories” at Dupuy’s Landing Guest House in Chelsea.

On November 6, 2012 we:

  • Co-sponsored with the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs a professional development workshop at the UN for 25 New York City public high school teachers.

In October, 2012, we:

  • Organized visits of Yasuaki Yamashita, an atomic bomb survivor from Nagasaki, Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor from Hiroshima, and Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of United States President Harry S. Truman to Bayside High School in Queens and Brooklyn Friends School.
  • Were filmed at Bayside High School; the film was subsequently aired on CSPAN History Channel. Clifton Truman Daniel with Hiroshima and Nagasaki Survivors, October 15, 2013
  • Produced a program at the Japan Society for 240 students from five area high schools that was u-streamed live by Cinema Forum Fukushima/East River Films.
  • Gave a seminar featuring Ms. Thurlow, Mr. Yamanshia & Mr. Daniel at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, hosted by Dr. M.V. Ramana, Associate Research Scholar, Program on Science and Global Security where hibakusha spoke to approximately 45 professors and graduate students at the Science & Global Security Seminar Series.
  • Co-sponsored a talk by Ms. Thurlow, Mr. Yamanshita & Mr. Daniel hosted by Reverend Robert Moore at the Princeton Coalition for Peace Action, Nassau Presbyterian Church for 20 members of the organization.
  • Visited the Newtown Campus of Bucks County Community College where Ms. Thurlow, Mr. Yamanshia & Mr. Daniel spoke to over 100 students.  The event was sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Action.
  • Organized an informal lunch conversation with Ms. Thurlow, Mr. Yamashita and Mr. Daniel with students and faculty from Brooklyn Friends School and made plans for more extensive programming in the Spring.
  • Sponsored a screening of Robert Richter and Kathleen Sullivan’s film The Ultimate Wish: Ending the Nuclear Age at the Quad Cinema and facilitated a Q&A with the filmmakers and Ms. Thurlow, Mr. Yamashita and Mr. Daniel.
  • Co-sponsored a side event for First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly with the Permanent Mission of the Government of Mexico and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs featuring artist Shinpei Takeda, Setsuko Thurlow and Yasuaki Yamashita.

 

In May of 2012, we:

  • Sponsored the visits of Hiroshima hibakusha Shigeko Sasamori, Reiko Yamada and Toshiko Tanaka and Dr. Cynthia Miller, daughter of the Manhattan Project’s D.C. Van Dyne to 18 educational complexes, serving approximately 2,100 students.
  • Visited the United Nations where Ms. Yamada, Ms. Tanaka and Ms. Sasamori presented their testimony to UN interns and guides.
  • Met with Ms. Angela Kane, the newly appointed High Representative to the Secretary General for Disarmament Affairs and Dr. Randy Rydell, Senior Political Affairs Officer, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs.
  • Developed a theater workshop at Theater for the New City in Manhattan in which 20 students developed one-act plays based on the testimony of Shigeko Sasamori and led by playwright Chiori Miyagawa and director Tamilla Woodard.
  • Organized a day for 40 foreign-born students from Flushing and Brooklyn International high schools with Shigeko Sasamori and Reiko Yamada at Hunter College and Urasenke Chanoyu Tea Center where they listened to testimonies and learned about the principles of tea.
  • At the request of Clifton Truman Daniel, Hibakusha Stories facilitated a second private conversation of reconciliation between the Hibakusha Stories Fellows and Mr. Daniel and assisted in planning his upcoming trip to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 2012. Mr. Daniel’s excursion to Japan was covered by major media outlets throughout the world.
  • Organized the sharing of testimonies by Shigeko Sasamori and Reiko Yamada at Soka Gakkai New York Culture Center with 200 attendees.
  • U-streamed the Japan Society event live over the internet by Cinema Forum Fukushima who also conducted interviews with the hibakusha and Dr. Miller.
  • Cinema Forum Fukushima’s Videos

In December 2011, we:

  • Sponsored the visits of three atomic bomb survivors Hiroko Sakaguchi (second generation, Nagasaki), Yasuaki Yamashita (Nagasaki), and Setsuko Thurlow (Hiroshima) to over 20 schools in 14 educational complexes and served approximately 1600 students.
  • Gave posters, paper cranes and origami paper to each participating school donated by The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation.
  • Visited the United Nations where the hibakusha presented their testimony to UN interns and guides.
  • Presented a program at Manhattan College that was facilitated by Dr. Sullivan and webcast to university students in Mexico City.
  • Facilitated a follow-up arts workshop at Hunter Science High School led by artist Sandra Parker in which students produced a traditional Japanese Kamishibai based on the testimony of Setusko Thurlow.
  • At the request of Kazuko Minamoto of the Japan Society, Hibakusha Stories facilitated a private conversation of reconciliation between the Hibakusha Stories Fellows and Clifton Truman Daniel, the eldest son of the only child of President Harry S. Truman, in preparation for Mr. Daniel’s historic visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • Hosted an “Evening of Music and Friendship” to benefit Hibakusha Stories at Dupuy’s Landing Guest House in Chelsea.

During the 2010 – 2011 school year, we:

  • Organized visits to 16 schools by hibakusha Setsuko Thurlow, Toshiko Tanaka and Reiko Yamada in December.
  • Organized visits to 7 schools by hibakusha Shigeko Sasamori and Toshiko Tanaka in May.
  • Co-sponsored an evening entitled “From Hiroshima to Fukushima: Past and Present Perspectives on Nuclear Abolition” hosted by Tony Jenkins at the National Peace Academy at Adelphi University with Hibakusha Stories Fellow Shigeko Sasamori and Michael Spies of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs.
  • Held a briefing with 35 United Nations Interns and 20 UN Guides with Shigeko Sasamori and Toshiko Tanaka.
  • Had a preliminary meeting with Parsons School of Design professor Len Mayer, architect Alison Sky, librarian Judith Dahill, Hibakusha Stories Fellow and artist Toshiko Tanaka and two students from the High School of Fashion Industries to develop a proposed Hibakusha Stories Memory Project.
  • Sponsored a playwriting workshop with Shigeko Sasamori and East Side Community High School at New York Theatre Workshop facilitated by Chiori Miyagawa and Cynthia Croot.
  • Held a weekend retreat for the Hibakusha Stories team in February to strategize and develop a five-year plan.
  • Took 15 special education students from Samuel Gompers High School to Urasenke Chanoyu tea ceremony with two hibakusha.

In 2009-2010 school year, we sponsored:

  • Playwriting workshops with New York Theatre Workshop involving 60 students at the High School of Telecommunications.
  • Viewing of the cherry blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden with 5 students.
  • The production of When Petals Fall, 500 musical CDs in honor of the hibakusha, produced by Sam Sadigursky.
  • Brought hibakusha to three hibakusha-related play readings at New York Theatre Workshop.
  • Brought six hibakusha to Brooklyn Friends Meeting House to speak to 40 students and members of the Brooklyn Friends community.
  • Spoke at an after-talk at a screening of Witness to Hiroshima and Atomic Mom at Maysles Cinema, Harlem.
  • Brought hibakusha to a musical tribute to the hibakusha in collaboration with the Pika Don Project at Miles Café.
  • Sponsored a Café Concert for Peace curated by Sam Sadigursky at the Cornelia Street Café.
  • Organized and co-hosted a reception for the Hibakusha at the UN Headquarters in collaboration with the UN Office For Disarmament Affairs and the Government of Japan with 250 in attendance including hibakusha, representatives of states parties to the Non Proliferation Treaty, NGO’s and Hibakusha Stories volunteers.
  • Attended Urasenke Chanoyu tea ceremony with eight Hibakusha and 40 students.
  • Coordinated a commemorative cherry tree planting at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture for 40 students from the Kingsbridge International School in the Bronx and 18 hibakusha.
  • Visits to 3,000 students by 40 survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 25 New York City public schools in all five boroughs during the month of May.