By Tiffany Ujiiye
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb dropping on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, sparking discussion and remembrance at the “Shadow for Peace, for the Sake of the Children, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Experience” event at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles on March 21.
“This forum will be the largest and most important of its kind,” said Doug Erber, president of the Japan American Society of Southern California.
The JANM-hosted program, which will be held in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum at 2 p.m., preceded by an art exhibition at 1 p.m., is presented by the Orange Coast Optimist Club, Japan America Society of Southern California, Nanka Hiroshima Kenjinkai, Love to Nippon, USC Institute of Genetic MEdicien Art Gallery, Nanka Yamaguchi Kenjinkai Lantern From the East — Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Nagoya Sister City Affiliation.
“My hope is that this program will educate the community of what’s going on,” said artist/producer/program committee member Richard Fukuhara. “It echoes what happened in Fukushima and how that event also effected children. We need to really educate the coming generation of atomic history.”
After five years of planning, Fukuhara hopes that the forum and exhibition will address the ongoing effects of atomic weapons on the people of Japan and the world.
Program committee members include Robert Horsting, a documentary award winner and co-producer of “Citizen Tanouye” and director of Go for Broke’s “Hanashi Program,” as well as Hideo Sakata, founder and director of the Lantern of the East Art Gallery.
Forum speaker Dr. James Yamazaki will share his experience and lifelong effort to understand and document the impact of nuclear explosions on children. The 98-year-old survivor focused his efforts on the children conceived but not yet born at the time of the explosion in 1949.
Dr. Yamazaki was assigned as Physician-in-Charge of the United States Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission in Nagasaki. The forum will also include Tomoko Maekawa, an executive member of the Nagasaki Global Citizens’
Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, president of the Never Again Nagasaki Campaign and executive member of the International Exchange Division of Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace, and Dr. David Krieger, who has lectured throughout Asia, Europe and the U.S. on issues of peace, security, international law and the abolition of nuclear weapons. Dr. Krieger is president and founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, chair of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility, chair of the executive committee of the Middle Powers Initiative and founder of the Global Council of Abolition 2000.
Additionally, Dr. Akiko Mikamo will discuss her work as president of the San Diego Worldwide Initiative to Safeguard Humanity and president and medical psychologist at U.S.-Japan Psychology Services in San Diego.
Mikamo is also the author of “Rising From the Ashes,” which is based on her father Shinji Mikamo’s experience.
“He was on top of his house roof with nothing to shield him at only 1,200 meters from the hypocenter in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945,” she said. “Shinji never hated Americans as aggressors.”
While no further engagements have been made, Fukuhara hopes to carry the forum and art exhibit to other venues.
To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (714) 998-8790.