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September 17, 2016 @ 7:34 am

Ep. 249 “One Thousand Paper Cranes and Other Actions for Peace”

Ep. 249  “One Thousand Paper Cranes and Other Actions for Peace” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman and Robert Wang) was recorded 7/31/16 and airs 9/2/16.  

 

This episode begins with a short presentation made by 10 year old Maria Jessica Schwab to her fifth grade class at St Francis Catholic School on Guam about the book entitled Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (1977) by American-Canadian author Eleanor Coerr. This story is based on the letters of a girl who was two years old when she survived the horrific atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August  6, 1945 but died ten years later of leukemia caused by the radiation.

This is followed by my interview with another Hibakusha, or victim of the atomic bombing.  Hideko Tamura-Snider is a retired social worker who worked in the field of child welfare and mental health in the United States for forty years dealing with issues related to trauma, loss, grief and healing. Since 1979 she has been appearing before professional organizations, university classes, and community groups across the United States and in her native Japan, telling her story and encouraging people of all cultures and nations to examine the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and to work toward peace and nuclear nonproliferation. She has authored a memoir One Sunny Day (1996) and a children's picture book When a Peace Tree Blooms (2014).  In 2007 she founded One Sunny Day Initiatives to educate people about the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and to plant seeds of peace, hope and reconciliation through educational presentations and cultural exchange programs. In 2013, she was honored by appointment as Peace Ambassador for the City of Hiroshima. From 12/23/15~1/5/16, she visited for the first time the islands of Saipan and Tinian, the launching point for the atomic bomb attacks against Japan (see http://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/hiroshima-bombing-survivor-advocates-for-peace/). 

In the second half, I speak with Arthur ‘AJ’ Taimanglo and Raymond Lujan, sons of Chamorro men who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, who have represented Guam at events in Japan to remember the atomic bombings and to promote solidarity and peace. These events are sponsored by Gensuikyo (Japan Council Against A and H Bombs) which was established in September 1955. Since then it has waged various kinds of campaigns for: the prevention of nuclear war; the total ban on and the elimination of nuclear weapons; and support and solidarity with Hibakusha. The council's founding followed the first World Conference against A & H Bombs, held in August of the same year in the wake of the U.S. hydrogen bomb testing in the Marshall Islands. 

AJ Taimanglo first visited Japan as a cultural exchange student while in middle school. In 2014 he returned as one of seven international delegates to participate in the nationwide anti-nuclear Peace March. This annual 90 day relay began in 1958 and covers all 47 prefectures using 11 main routes. The other delegates were from Japan, the Philippines, India, and the United States. At that time AJ was a social work student at the University of Guam. He is currently a social worker at Catholic Social Services working with the elderly and adults with disabilities who have encountered some form of abuse.  

Ray Lujan was also in middle school when he first visited Japan as a Junior Peace Ambassador for the Asia-Pacific Children’s Convention. He recently returned from representing Guam at the 2016 Peace March, as well as the World Conference Against A and H Bombs held August 2-9 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He chaired two breakout sessions at this conference and also toured the Japan Red Cross A Bomb Hospital in Hiroshima. He is currently a social work senior at the University of Guam and a practicum student at the I Famaguon-ta Program at the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center where he works with at-risk children and youth and their families.  

This episode includes the musical selection “Thousand Cranes” by Hiroshima, an American-Asian jazz fusion band, as well as a CNN audio clip by Will Ripley about President Obama’s May 27, 2016 visit to Hiroshima.   

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