Past Initiatives

Past Initiatives 2017-07-11T10:29:10+00:00

In July of 2017, we:

  • Hibakusha Stories team members Setsuko Thurlow, Kathleen Sullivan, Ari Beser, Mitchie Takeuchi, Miyako Tagauchi, Susan Strickler, Robert Croonquist, Rachel Clark, Emilie McGlone and Alice Slater were present as Elayne Whyte Gómez, the president of the conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument for the prohibition of nuclear weapons leading to their total elimination, pounded the gavel on the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Hibakusha Stories Fellow Setsuko Thurlow was asked to give the final remarks and was again quoted by the president at the closing of the conference. The Hibakusha Stories/Youth Arts New York team, including our newest members, Sister Ardeth Platte and Sister Carol Gilbert, are thrilled to see the culmination of years of work by governments and civil society come to fruition. The treaty is a strong categorical prohibition of nuclear weapons rooted in humanitarian law and providing a pathway for nuclear armed nations to join. The new accord will outlaw nuclear weapon use, threat of use, testing, development, production, possession, transfer and stationing in a different country and outlines a process for nuclear weapon states to destroy its stockpiles. A coalition of civil society initiated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and spearheaded by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was robustly engaged, and we are proud to have been part of it all.

In June of 2017, we:

  • Completed a remake of the Hibakusha Stories website, updating and revising the previous site and adding two years of new material. Robert Sink & Webworks, Youth Arts New York’s web designer and administrator, Robert Croonquist and Kathleen Sullivan created the new site that is a rich learning tool for high school and university students and educators as well as an important historical record of a remarkable 10 years of Hibakusha Stories activities and accomplishments.

In May of 2017, we:

  • Conducted a disarmament education workshop with Miyako Taguchi and Ayumi Temlock for 65 tenth grade students at the Repertory Company High School for Theater Arts, housed in the renowned Town Hall in the Manhattan theater district. They spoke about the history of nuclear weapons, nuclear issues today, the nuclear ban treaty and how students can get engaged. Ms. Taguchi gave her testimony as a second generation Nagasaki survivor.

  • Organized a sail for 10 adults and 40 students from EF International Academy on Pete Seeger’s Hudson River Clearwater Sloop from the Verplanck Dock. Students and adults learned about the history of the Hudson River and the basics of sailing, navigation, water quality, fish and wildlife, and map reading as well as nuclear guardianship. We measured a 3-degree rise in water temperature as we sailed near the Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear power plant scheduled to be decommissioned in 2020. The increase was due to cooling the irradiated fuel rods which points to one of many dangers related to nuclear energy, thermal pollution that damages aquatic life.

In April of 2017, we:

  • Coordinated the participation of Nagasaki Peace Correspondent Miyako Taguchi and Ayumi Temlock of New Jersey Peace Action who gave a disarmament education workshop; and Carolina Soto, Justine “Taz” Moore and Beatrice Codianni of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls who talked with students about their personal experiences as incarcerated women and the movement for prison abolition at Millennium Brooklyn High School as participants in the school’s annual Diversity Day.

  • Brought Alice Slater of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Hibakusha Stories Director Kathleen Sullivan, PhD, to EF International Academy in Thornwood, NY, for a teach-in with 65 students on the nuclear fuel chain, Indian Point Energy Center and the concept of nuclear guardianship in preparation for their sail on the Hudson River Clearwater Sloop at Indian Point.

  • Attended the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons Leading Towards their Total Elimination. This new international agreement will place nuclear weapons on the same legal footing as other weapons of mass destruction, which have long been outlawed. Six members of Hibakusha Stories attended. Setsuko Thurlow addressed the Ban Treaty member delegates at the opening session

  • Co-hosted a side event at the UN with the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations to mark the launch of the UN publication Civil Society Engagement in Disarmament Processes: The Case for a Nuclear Weapons Ban edited by Kathleen Sullivan. A panel moderated by Dr. Sullivan that included Setsuko Thurlow was attended by 70 people.

  • Helped to coordinate a meeting at the UN between Setsuko Thurlow and Ambassador Elaine Gomez Whyte of Costa Rica, President of the Nuclear Ban Treaty negotiations.

In March of 2017, we:

  • Accompanied Setsuko Thurlow on a trip to the United Kingdom where she received the Ahmadiyya Prize for the Advancement of Peace from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community based in London. Ms. Thurlow gave the Center for International Studies and Diplomacy Annual Lecture at the School for Oriental and African Studies at the University of London for 100 people, and with Kathleen Sullivan gave disarmament education workshops to 200 students at Dame Alice Owens School and to 50 students at City, University of London.

In February of 2017, we:

  • Facilitated a program at UNAM – the Autunomous University of Mexico. Nagasaki hibakusha Yasuaki Yamashita, Program Director Kathleen Sullivan and Ari Beser, grandson of Jacob Beser, the only person to have served as a strike crew member of both of the 1945 atomic bomb missions, spoke to 200 students. Mr. Yamashita was in Mexico City at the invitation of the Mexican Government to speak at a commemoration the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Tlateloco which created the world’s first Nuclear Weapon Free Zone for Latin America and the Caribbean.

In November of 2016, we:

  • Visited Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Hiroshima hibakusha Shigeko Sasamori and Nagasaki hibakusha Yasuaki Yamashita joined Hibakusha Stories educators Kathleen Sullivan and Robert Croonquist and Youth Arts New York Vice President Sandy Parker for hibakusha testimony and disarmament education workshops. Hosted by Ms. Parker, the team visited 900 students at Booker T. Washington High School. Mr. Yamashita also visited 75 students in three art classes where students responded to Mr. Yamashita’s testimony with art. Ms. Sasamori presented her story to an assembly where approximately 100 students lined up for a hug and photo after her presentation. 50 students and members of the Tulsa community attended a session at the University of Tulsa History Club under the leadership of professor Jeremy Kuzmarov and 150 students and members of the community came to Tulsa Community College Northeast for a disarmament education workshop led by Dr. Sullivan with testimony by Ms. Sasamori and Mr. Yamashita who were then interviewed for the college radio station.

  • Facilitated Teaching Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a workshop for educators at United Nations Headquarters 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 for 35 public and private high school teachers from the NYC Metro Area. The day began with a tour of the disarmament exhibit at the UN that now includes video clips of Hibakusha Stories Fellows. Attendees were given a brief history of nuclear disarmament and the role of the UN by Michael Spies, Political Affairs Officer at the Strategic Planning Branch, were introduced to the Oleander Initiative by Michael Otterman, heard the story of second generation hibakusha Mitchie Takeuchi and were given an introduction to Action For Disarmament! Ten Things you Can Do, a UN publication co-written by Kathleen Sullivan and Peter Lucas. In the afternoon teachers broke into groups to develop unit plans utilizing NY State Social Studies Standards and Common Core guidelines.

In October of 2016, we:

  • Produced an event with artist Cynthia Madansky, dancer and choreographer Eiko Otake, pianist Dan Tepfer, violinist Meg Okura and mulit-reedist Sam Sadigursky at National Sawdust in Brooklyn. 75 students from the NYC i-School and Brooklyn High School for the Performing Arts participated in an afternoon of art for disarmament. Also in attendance were 12 atomic bomb survivors who were in New York with Peace Boat’s Global Hibakusha Voyage.

In September of 2016, we:

  • Introduced 75 students from the United States and Japan to the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Archive which was created in July 2010 by Hidenori Watanabe of Tokyo Metropolitan University. Inspired by third generation descendants of hibakusha, the archive has a digital mapping technology to mark the place and story of survivors. That night Dr. Sullivan hosted a dinner and reception for 25 visiting students and teachers from Jogakuin High School, Hiroshima, at her home in Brooklyn.

  • Supported Susan Southard, author of Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War in giving the NGO address to the UN General Assembly on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

  • Co-produced Education to Action: Understanding Hiroshima and Nagasaki Today with the University of the Middle East’s Oleander Initiative at Creative Space Manhattan for 50 people. The event featured Susan Southard, Ray Matsumiya, Executive Director of the University of the Middle East Project, Kathleen Sullivan and holocaust survivor and author Bernard Otterman.

In June of 2016, we:

  • Attended the annual meeting of the Arms Control Association in Washington DC where Setsuko Thurlow received the Arms Control Association Person of the Year Award and gave the keynote address to over 100 people. Ms. Thurlow met with Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speech Writing, and presented a letter to President Obama which was hand delivered to him that day. The team then met with US Senators Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.

In May of 2016, we:

  • Supported Setsuko Thurlow and Kathleen Sullivan’s travels to Geneva to participate in the UN Open Ended Working Group on Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament. Ms. Thurlow made a formal address to the conference as part of a plenary session on nuclear risk. Both observed the first week of proceedings at the United Nations in Geneva. From Switzerland they traveled to York, England for three days of programming at York University including two lectures at the University; one two-hour workshop at the Mount Quaker School for Girls and an informal testimony session for the Quaker Society of Friends. From York they traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland for a public testimony event at the Friends Meeting House. From Edinburgh they traveled to London were Ms. Thurlow spoke in a special session of Parliamentary CND, chaired by Green MP Caroline Lucas and attended by 15 members of Parliament. The news of President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima was announced en route to London and Ms. Thurlow fielded interviews from the US, Japan and the UK and was featured on the popular Channel Four evening news program (UK nationwide television), in a live interview by legendary British journalist Jon Snow. A third meeting at the Quaker Society of Friends, this time in London, for Ms. Thurlow to share her testimony was followed by another day of interviews both local and international. On the final day of the tour, Ms. Thurlow was interviewed on Scottish BBC Radio for their contemplative segment of Sunday morning programming

In November/December 2015 we:

  • Facilitated a disarmament education workshop for 150 students at Queens College with testimony by Setsuko Thurlow. The event was filmed by Professor Mari Fujimoto.

  • Produced an exhibition of six Hiroshima Panels at Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation in Red Hook Brooklyn in collaboration with Yoshiko Hayakawa, Takayuki Kodera and Yukinori Okamura of the Maruki Gallery, Tokyo. The exhibit included a set of black and white posters of historic photographs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, artifacts from Nagasaki and the 1986 Academy Award nominated Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima. The exhibition was voted second best of all art exhibits in Brooklyn for the year 2015.

  • Exhibited A Body in Fukushima, a haunting series of photographs by historian William Johnston of dancer/choreographer Eiko Otake who made two extended visits in 2014 to the area surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors which were destroyed during the massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

  • Celebrated the opening of the Hiroshima Panels at Pioneer works with a performance by Eiko Otake, a Guggenheim and MacArthur fellow. Yukinori Okamura led the assembled audience on a guided lecture of the panels.

  • Presented 7 full-day disarmament education programs to high school and university students from the New York City metro area at Pioneer Works where students heard hibakusha testimony, viewed the Hiroshima Panels and Nagasaki atomic bomb artifacts and responded in words and pictures.

  • Co-sponsored a discussion led by Pioneer Works Co-Director of Education Catherine Despont on the genetic transfer of trauma with Timothy Moussou, Professor of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina and Rachel Yehuda, Director of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who were joined by second-generation hibakusha Mitchie Takeuchi.

  • Collaborated with United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs to bring hibakusha to the UN to meet with UN Tour Guides and UN interns to share their testimony.

In August, 2015 we:

  • Presented a disarmament education program for 200 students from six schools from around Japan and the Punahou School of Hawaii at the Hiroshima Jogakuin High School on August 6, the 70th anniversary of the bombing. Reiko Yamada spoke to the students at the school where she was in attendance the day of the bombing.

  • Were honored with receptions by both Mayor Matsui of Hiroshima and Mayor Taue of Nagasaki during the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the bombings. Mayor Taue referred to our work twice in his Nagasaki Peace Declaration.

In April and May of 2015 we:

  • Presented programs to students from over 50 high schools in all five boroughs of New York City with Hiroshima survivors Setsuko Thurlow, Reiko Yamada, Michi Hirata, Shigeko Sasamori, Nobuko Sugino, Kunihiko Bonkohara, Jong-keun Lee and Toshiko Tanaka and Nagasaki survivor Yasuaki Yamashita and Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of US President Harry S. Truman, Kristen Iversen, author of Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Shadow of Rocky Flats and eco-philosopher Joanna Macy.

  • Facilitated school visits for 20 members of the Nagasaki Delegation of atomic bomb survivors who were in New York to participate in the United Nations Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Peace and Planet Mobilization at the Great Hall of Cooper Union. In all, our programming reached over 6,600 students.

  • Coordinated a day-long program with 20 atomic bomb survivors from Nagasaki at Brooklyn Friends School. Headmaster Larry Weiss led a Peace Pole dedication ceremony in the front lobby of the school.

  • Facilitated an intimate workshop for students from the NYC i-School with eco-philosopher Joanna Macy and Hiroshima hibakusha Setsuko Thurlow at New York Theatre Workshop.

  • Presented two programs at the Japan Society in collaboration with Jeffrey Miller and Kazuko Minamoto. Students from seven schools heard testimony from Clifton Truman Daniel, Setsuko Thurlow and Yasuaki Yamashita.

  • Brought 45 immigrant students new to New York from around the world who attend Brooklyn and Flushing International high schools to Hunter College where they heard testimony by Nobuko Sugino and Michi Hirata and then attended Urasenke Chanoyu Tea Center where they learned about how the principles of tea – harmony, purity, tranquility and respect – contribute to a peaceful and sustainable future, the mission of Youth Arts New York.

  • Led a theater workshop developed by Chiori Miyagawa with playwright Emily Mendelsohn at Theater for the New City in Manhattan in which 20 students from the neighboring East Side Community High School listened to the testimony of hibakusha Reiko Yamada and then developed one-act plays in response. The plays were performed at the end of the day.

  • Treated 135 students at the New York City Lab School in Chelsea to a concert by the Hibakusha Himawari Choir under the direction of Kazumichi Terai. The 20 member choir raised the funds to come to New York from Nagasaki to participate in Hibakusha Stories activities. They were joined by Tomihisa Taue, Mayor of Nagasaki, who urged the students to take an active role in protecting the world from the threat of nuclear weapons.

  • Facilitated visits to schools by Japanese college students who are studying with the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (RECNA) of Nagasaki University.

  • Facilitated a testimony session for 50 German university students with Professor Regina Hagen of the Technische Universität Darmstadt and a smaller group of 10 Japanese students from Nagasaki University.

  • Presented a three-hour program at Rutgers University Newark’s Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights for an overflow audience of students and members of the general public. Featured speakers were Setsuko Thurlow and Kristen Iversen.

  • Recorded our interactive workshop and testimony session in front of a live audience of students at Stony Brook University. The event was organized by Heidi Hutner, Director of the Stony Brook University Sustainability Studies Program. Featured speakers were Reiko Yamada and Kristen Iversen.

  • Collaborated with Peace Boat US to present a UN Side Event called The Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear War. Setsuko Thurlow and Clifton Truman Daniel joined Peace Boat’s Akira Kawasaki and Nagasaki youth from RECNA to address the humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons and what we can do to abolish them.

  • Hosted A Celebration of 30,000 at Dupuy’s Landing Guest House in Chelsea. Approximately 50 invited guests celebrated the hard work of our Hibakusha Stories Fellows and team members and our achievement of reaching over 30,000 students in the 7 ½ years of the Hibakusha Stories Initiative.

  • Participated in the Opening Plenary of the International Peace and Planet Conference for a Nuclear-free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World at the Great Hall of Cooper Union. Speakers included Setsuko Thurlow; Angela Kane, Daniel Ellsberg and Sumiteru Tanaguchi. Two days later Ms. Thurlow, Yasuaki Yamashita and Reiko Yamada led the Peace and Planet Mobilization March from Union Square to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.

  • Produced WITH LOVE to Hiroshima and Nagasaki: A Concert for Disarmament at the New York Society for Ethical Culture with Clifton Truman Daniel, Tomihisa Taue, Amber Cooper-Davies, Joanna Macy, Jean Rohe, Anne Waldman, Devin Brahja Waldman, Yasuaki Yamashita, Setsuko Thurlow, Shigeko Sasamori, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky featuring the Time Lapse Dance Ensemble and Sugar Vendil & Kivie Cahn-Lipman of the Nouveau Classical Project, Tim Wright of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Sam Sadigursky, Meg Okura and Masaaki Tanokura, Tomoko Sawada, the hibaku Jogakuin Violin, Pika Don Project and the Hibakusha Himawari Choir with LaGuardia Arts High School vocal students under the direction of Audrey Bishop.

  • Hosted a reception at the UN organized by Kathleen Sullivan and Soo Hyun-Kim of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) for Voices from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the Delegates of the NPT: A Photographic Exhibit by Nihon Hidankyo. It was hosted by H.E. Mr. Toshio Sano, Ambassador of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament and the UNODA for Disarmament with remarks by hibakusha.

  • Organized Nagasaki in New York: Past and Current Reality of Nuclear War at the Japan Society on April 30. The forum was created for the general public and NGOs to hear voices of Nagasaki in the 70th anniversary year of the atomic bombing. The evening included testimony from A-bomb survivors, a presentation on the current nuclear threat, a talk by Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, the Himawari Hibakusha Choir and reflections from Nagasaki university students.

In December of 2014 we visited Vienna where we:

  • Presented programs organized in Austria by Heather Wokush at the Vienna Business School in Mödling for approximately 60 students. In attendance was Astrid Knie, the Austrian Minister of Education and Women’s Affairs. We also presented a program at the Vienna International School for 240 students representing 100 countries and 70 languages.

  • Participated in two conferences on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons. Setsuko Thurlow was a keynote at both the Civil Society Forum coordinated by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. Ms. Thurlow was joined by the President of the International Red Cross, and, via proxy, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Pope Francis. Kathleen Sullivan led an interactive workshop at the Civil Society Forum.

In November, 2014 we:

  • Conducted Teaching Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a workshop 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. 35 public and private high school teachers learned about teaching disarmament and listened to the stories of second generation hibakusha Miyako Taguchi and Mitchie Takeuchi.

In the Autumn and Spring of 2014 – 2015 we:

  • Visited the campus of Columbia University with Nathan Snyder’s NYC i-School students to measure its radiological legacy as the home of early research for the Manhattan Project as part of our Radiation Detective initiative.

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 has been archived on the Hibakusha Stories website.

  • 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 of 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 of 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 of 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 of 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.

In November of 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 of 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.

In December of 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.

During the 2009-2010 school year, we:

  • 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.

Elayne Whyte Gómez, president of the conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument for the prohibition of nuclear weapons with Setsuko Thurlow upon the adoption of the treaty.
Miyako Taguchi and Robert Croonquist created a replica of Fat Boy, the plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1045. July 7, 2017 marks the day nuclear weapons joined biological and chemical weapons as prohibited by international treaty.
Magen David Yeshiva High School
Jean Rohe, WITH LOVE to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, NY Society for Ethical Culture
Floating Lantern Ceremony, Hiroshima, August 6, 2015
Katheen Sullivan & Shigeko Sasamori, Booker T. Washington HS, Tulsa, November 2016
Kathleen Sullivan, Shigeko Sasamori, Yasuaki Yamashita, BB Demo, Tulsa Community College
Eiko Otake, Hiroshima Panels at Pioneer Works, December 2015
Hidenori Watanabe, Hiroshima-Nagasaki Archive at UN Headquarters, NYC, September 2016
Setsuko Thurlow, Vienna, Austria, December 2014
Belmont Prep, Bronx, A Body In Fukushima at Pioneer Works, December 2015
Robert Croonquist, Hiroshima Jogakuin H.S., Hiroshima
Jong Keun Lee, Martin Luther King Educational Complex, Manhattan, May 2015
The Team, Brooklyn Friends Meeting House, Brooklyn, NY, May 2015
Hibakusha Himawari Choir on the Highline at the Williams and Baker Warehouses where uranium was stored for the Manhattan Project, April 2015
Reiko Yamada, UN Headquarters, April 2015
Team lunch, Brooklyn, April 2015
Sam Sadigursky, Dupuy’s Landing, May 2015
Setsuko Thurlow and Ari Beser, UN Headquarters, April 2015
Setsuko Thurlow and Yasuaki Yamashita, keynote speakers at the Truman Legacy Symposium, Key West, FL, May 2014
Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue speaking at the Hibakusha Stories benefit at Dupuy’s Landing, Chelsea, April 2014
Students at East Side Community HS responding to Reiko Yamada’s testimony at Theater for the New City, Manhattan, April 2014
Visiting hibakusha celebrating the 80th birthday of Terumi Tanaka, Secretary General of Nihon Hidankyo, Dupuy’s Landing, May 2015
Angela Kane and Michael Douglas at the launch of Kathleen Sullivan and Peter Lucas’s Action for Disarmament: Ten Things You Can Do!, March 2014
Toshiko Tanaka and Marie Cochrane at Tulsa Community College, December 2013
Josh New’s Japanese Language and Culture class at Booker T. Washington HS, Tulsa, OK, December 2013
Students respond with art, Booker T. Washington HS, Tulsa, OK, December 2013
Robert Croonquist and Miyako Taguchi, Hibakusha Stories Benefit, Dupuy’s Landing, Chelsea, November 2013
Yasuaki Yamashita and Clifton Daniel at East Side Preparatory Academy, Manhattan, October 2013
Setsuko Thurlow, Aspirations HS, Brooklyn, October 2012
Flushing International at Urasenke Chanoyu tea ceremony, May 2013
Cynthia Miller, Shigeko Sasamori and Clifton Daniel at The Calhoun School, Manhattan, May 2013
Clifton Daniel, Yasuaki Yamashita, Setsuko Thurlow and Kathleen Sullivan, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, October 2012
Bayside HS, October 2012
Setsuko Thurlow, Robert Croonquist, Clifton Daniel, Kazuko Minamoto, Yasuaki Yamashita, Kathleen Sullivan and Akira Kawasaki, Japan Society, October, 2012
Toshiko Tanaka, Lisa Stapleton and Cynthia Miller at Jamaica HS, May 2013
Reiko Yamada interpreted by Rachel Clark at Poly Prep, Brooklyn, May 2012
UN Interns and Guides, December 2010
UN Interns and Guides, December 2010
Kingsbridge International HS, Bronx, at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, May 2010
Kingsbridge International HS, Bronx, at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, May 2010
Brooklyn International HS at Gratitude Dedication, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, April 2010