Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hibakushas' Legacy Video 1

I edited some of the hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) interviews from Japan to create this 8:18 video that describes what they remembered from the day the bomb was dropped on their city. It was originally shown at the mini-exhibit last year in September.


The hibakusha in the video are Ernest Arai (Hiroshima), Isao Aratani (Hiroshima), Keiko Ogura (Hiroshima) and Sumiteru Taniguchi (Nagasaki).

I wish to thank all of the survivors who have taken the time to openly talk about their personal stories with me, as well as all of the volunteers who have helped me along the way and all the donors who have made this project possible.

Friday, September 13, 2013

International Peace Day mini-exhibit

[click on image to enlarge]

Project Hibakusha : Hope for Peace has officially been changed to Hibakushas’ Legacy : Hope for Peace to better reflect the purpose of the project, which is to continue to share the hibakushas’ (atomic bomb survivors) experiences with the world and to carry on their hope for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons.

With that said, on September 21st, 2013, in honor of International Peace Day, we will begin to share the hibakushas’ stories at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) in Little Tokyo. For nine days only, a mini-exhibit will be on display in the Doizaki Gallery to give the public it’s first peek into the ongoing photo and video project documenting the real life experiences of hibakusha. Visitors will get a glimpse into what happened on those fateful days in Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the people who survived the bombings.

At 2:00pm, an open forum will be held and a few hibakusha will be on hand to talk about their experiences. Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions so that they can learn more about what life was like for the hibakusha and their families.

The forum will be followed by an artist’s reception and short program. Darrell Miho, the photographer, will be on hand to discuss the project and the importance of preserving the hibakushas' stories. We must never forget the suffering that the hibakushas have endured for the past 68 years nor the tragedies that befell so many innocent lives.

It is now our responsibility to share their stories. We need to educate the world on how nuclear weapons affect people’s lives to ensure that no one else suffers the heartaches and loss that the hibakusha have. And most importantly, to carry on their hope for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons. 

Hibakushas’ Legacy : Hope for Peace
September 21 (International Peace Day) - September 29, 2013
Japanese American Cultural and Community Center
244 South San Pedro Street Los Angeles, CA 90012
(map and directions)
Admission is FREE!

Saturday, September 21 : 11:00am - 6:30pm
     2:00pm - Open forum : hibakusha will share their personal
                    experiences
     5:00pm - Reception and short program

 Everyday, September 22 - 29 : 11:00am - 4:00pm

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Journey Has Begun...

This is a much delayed posting that was written back in May of 2011. I was a little sidetracked as my friend Ken and I have been busy doing relief work in the Tohoku area documenting survivor stories and providing direct aid to the people who were seriously affected by the triple disaster. You can see what we have been doing on our website at Ai Love Japan or on our Facebook page

But back to Project Hibakusha : Hope for Peace…

May 31, 2011

The Journey has begun. On Tuesday, May 2nd, Matsui-san and I headed to Japan on what is to be the first of many trips to document the hibakusha’s stories. With four carry-on and four overweight checked bags, we flew out of Los Angeles (LAX) to Haneda (HND) and eventually landed in Hiroshima (HIJ) the next day.

The first couple of days were spent running errands, picking up a few things that we needed and spending time with our families. Both of us have relatives in Hiroshima. My grandparent’s on my father’s side are from Hiroshima and Matsui-san’s parents are from Hiroshima.

On Saturday, we interviewed five hibakusha at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, four in english and one in nihongo. Since my nihongo is not very good, two of my cousin’s joined us and helped me with the translation and interviews.

On Sunday, we went on location with two hibakusha, Arai-san and Kaneko-san, who took us to where they were on August 6, 1945. This added another dimension to their stories as they described to us in detail about their experience.
With its high-rise office buildings and apartment complexes, the city of Hiroshima is so well developed now that it is hard to imagine the devastation. After the bombing, people thought that nothing could live there for at least 75 years, but 66 years later, the city is alive and thriving with over 1.1 million people.

After two days of shooting in Hiroshima, we headed to Nagasaki where we were greeted with wind, rain and humidity. Over the next three days, we interviewed five more hibakusha, all in nihongo. My friend Oshima-san (and Jeff-san) joined us in Nagasaki to help with translation.

We thought that after conducting five interviews in one day in Hiroshima, Nagasaki would be a breeze with five interviews spread out over three days. Well, this was not quite the case. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, we had to change our interview room every day. This was no easy task considering the set-up we had. But we managed to do it. And each time, we got better and faster, so it was good practice, even if it was a little chaotic at times.

Overall, we interviewed 11 hibakusha – six in Hiroshima and five in Nagasaki – but there are many more stories to be documented. I have over 100 hibakusha who have all agreed to be interviewed for in places as far away as Seoul, South Korea and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

So the journey has begun. The journey of a lifetime.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

65th Commemorative Service of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Victims


On August 1, 2010, I was the guest speaker at the 65th Commemorative Service of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Victims at the Los Angeles Koyasan Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo. The event was hosted by the American Society of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors (ASA) and even though public speaking isn’t one of my favorite things to do, I was honored that they asked me to speak at their service.

The following is a transcript of my speech.

August 01, 2010
2010年8月1日

Hello everyone and thank you for coming today to remember those who lost their lives to the atomic bombings.
皆様、本日は原子爆弾により亡くなった被爆者の追悼サービスに参加頂きましてありがとうございます。

I’d like to thank Mrs. Suyeishi and the American Society of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors for inviting me here to speak to all of you. I also want to thank Asahi Sensei and the Koyasan Buddhist Temple for hosting this annual memorial service. It is an honor for me to be here and share with you my experience with the hibakusha and my own thoughts about peace and what we can do to make this world a better place.
広島・長崎原爆被爆者協会のスエイシさんにここにお招き頂きました事を、感謝します。また、この年次のご供養を行ってくださるアサヒ先生とロサンゼルス高野山米国別院にもお礼を申し上げます。私の被爆者との経験について、また平和への思いや、より良い世界を創っていくことについてお話させていただくことを大変光栄に思います。

About three years ago, I was at a crossroads in life. As a photographer and writer, I was grateful for the opportunities that I had been blessed with. Traveling the world, meeting people and telling stories. As a humanitarian, I volunteered my time to support charitable organizations because I believed in their missions, but I felt like there was more that I could do. I needed a new challenge.
3年ほど前、私は人生の岐路に立っていました。写真家、作家として世界中を駆け回り、多くの人に会い、ストーリーを伝える数々の機会に恵まれたことをありがたく思っていました。また自分の信じる慈善団体でのボランティア活動を通して人道的支援をしていましたが、他にもできることがあるのではないかと思っていました。新しいチャレンジを求めていたのです。
                          
So I started searching for a personal project that would combine my two passions in life – being creative and helping others. It took over a year for me to finally figure out my purpose in life, but it finally became clear that I needed to document the stories of atomic bomb survivors.
そこで、私が情熱を持つ2つのことを合わせたプロジェクトを探し始めました。想像力を使うことと、人助けをすることです。1年以上かかってやっと自分の人生の目的を見つけることができ、それは被爆者のストーリーの記録をすることだ、と分かったのです。

It is the perfect project for me. As a third generation Japanese American, I feel it is my duty to document the hibakusha’s stories. As an American citizen, my country is responsible for the bombing and since my grandfather emigrated from Hiroshima, my ancestors in Japan were directly affected. I know at least seven were killed. One died just this past year.
これは私にとって最高のプロジェクトです。日系3世として私には被爆者のストーリーを記録する義務があると思います。アメリカ人である私の国は原爆投下の責任を負っています。また祖父は広島出身ですので、私の祖先は直接影響を受けたのです。少なくとも7人が亡くなりました。去年も1人亡くなりました。

So 22 months ago, I started on this journey – a journey that had no clear destination, nor signs to show me which way to go. Each person that I meet holds a key that opens the gate to a new horizon. I now know that this journey has no end. For me, it is a journey of a lifetime that I hope others will continue on once my road has come to an end. We can not forget what happened 65 years ago.
私は22ヶ月前にこの旅を始めました。特に終点も無く、どっちに行くべきかの標識も無い旅です。色々な人に会う度に、新しい視野が見えるドアが開きます。この旅には終点はありません。私の人生の旅であって、私の道が終わるときには誰かが歩み続けてくれることを願っています。65年前に起きた事を忘れてはならないのです。

On August 6 and August 9, 1945, the United States awakened the world with nuclear weapons that proved capable of unimaginable destruction on a massive scale. With just two atomic bombs, they annihilated two entire cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is estimated that 100,000 people were killed instantly and 250,000 by year’s end. Countless more lives were devastated. Men. Women. Children. Innocent lives who were only guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
1945年8月6日と9日に、アメリカは想像もつかないほどの破壊力を持った原子爆弾を使い、世界を呼び起こしました。たった2発の原爆は広島と長崎を壊滅させました。10万人もの人が一瞬のうちに亡くなり、その年の終わりまでに25万人が亡くなったと言われています。数え切れないほどの男性、女性と子供が打撃を受けました。彼らの犯した罪は、悪いタイミングで悪い場所に居合わせてしまったというだけです。

Today, we honor those who died and offer our support to those who survived. For those who have passed, there is solace in knowing that they are at peace. For the hibakusha who are still with us, we offer our support for they have suffered far too much.
今日は、亡くなった方々を称え、また生存者を応援する日です。安らかに眠る被爆者の霊を慰め、苦しんできた生存者に応援の言葉を贈ります。

We can not possibly imagine the ugliness they have seen, the pain they have felt nor the suffering they have endured.
被爆者が見てきた惨さや、感じた痛みと苦しみは想像もできません。

Can you imagine reaching out to help someone and grabbing their hand, only to have it slip away leaving their liquefied skin in your hand?
助けの手を差し伸べたらその人が滑り落ちてしまい、その人の皮だけが手に残ったなんて、考えられますか?

Can you imagine being 18 years old and responsible for stacking wood and burning dead bodies because all the crematoriums had been destroyed?
火葬場が破壊されたため、18歳という若さで薪を積み上げて死体を焼かなければいけなかったなんて、想像できますか?

Can you imagine seeing a river full of dead bodies floating by? For many survivors, this was their reality. This was their living hell.
死体が溢れている川なんて、想像できますか?被爆者にとってはこれが現実だったのです。まさに生き地獄です。

For Mikiso Iwasa, who was 16 years old and 1.2 kilometers from the hypocenter, his story was very personal. In his own words, he wrote, “I found my mother trapped under the collapsed house and I tried to pull her out from there, but it was impossible for a young boy [that] I was. So I fled the fire, turning my back to my mother who was saying prayers sensing that she was going to die. Yes, I let her die. She was burnt alive, caught in the fire.”
16歳のとき爆心地から1.2kmで被爆したイワサ・ミキソさんは、とても個人的な話をしてくれました。「倒れた家の下敷きになった母を見つけたのですが、若い子供だった私は母を引っ張り出すことができなかった。死が近いと感じ、念仏をとなえていたた母に背中を向け、火に覆われた家から逃れました。私は母を死なせてしまった。母は焼き殺されたのです。」

“A couple of days later, I dug out what looked like my mother’s body from the burnt ruins of our house. It was an object greasy with fat, like a mannequin painted with tar and burned. I could not believe that was my mother’s body. She was killed mercilessly, like an object, not like a human being. The deaths of A-bomb victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki could not possibly be considered as ‘human deaths’”
「数日後に焼けた家の下から母の死体らしきものを掘り出しました。脂肪で脂ぎって、タールを塗って焼いたマネキンのようでした。これが母の体だとは信じられませんでした。人間ではない物のように、残酷に殺されたのです。広島、長崎の被爆者の死に方は人間的なものではありませんでした。」

Despite many experiences like Mr. Iwasa’s, the hibakusha do not carry any hatred or anger. Instead, they carry sadness and guilt for the loved ones they have lost. But more importantly they carry with them hope – a hope for peace. A hope that someday there will be no more nuclear weapons. A hope that their living hell is never repeated.
被爆者はイワサさんのような経験を持っていても、怒りや憎しみを持ってはいません。代わりに愛する人たちの死に責任を感じ、悲しんでいます。また、平和への願いを持っています。核兵器がいつかは無くなるだろうという願い。生き地獄は2度と繰り返されないようにという希望。

Right now, I’d like to take a moment to applaud them for their bravery and their courage. For their gambatte spirit to endure so much yet never complain.
ここで、沢山の苦しみに文句も言わずに耐えてきた被爆者の持っている計り知れないほどの勇気を、拍手をもって称えたいと思います。

Unfortunately, the hibakusha will not be with us forever to tell their stories, so today, I hope to encourage the next generation of socially responsible citizens who seek peace for the world we live in. People who will carry on the hibakusha’s hope for peace.
残念ながら、被爆者は永遠に被爆証言をすることができません。そこで、次世代の社会的責任のある、平和を求める市民の皆さんに立ち上がって欲しいのです。彼らに被爆者の平和への願いを伝え続けて欲しいのです。

We must relieve them of this heavy burden that they have carried for far too many years. We can not forget the pain and suffering they have endured. We can not forget the devastation nuclear weapons have had on their lives. We can not fail the hibakusha.
被爆者が何年も抱えてきた重荷を軽減してあげなければいけません。彼らが耐えてきた痛みと苦しみ、原爆がもたらした破壊を忘れてはなりません。被爆者の願いをかなえなくてはいけません。

It has been 65 years since the US dropped the atomic bombs and still, to this day, a US president has never attended the Peace Ceremony in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. I personally find that unacceptable.
アメリカによる原爆投下から65年が経ちますが、いまだに広島や長崎の平和祈念式典に出席された米国大統領はいません。私には理解できません。

While the world is hopeful for what President Obama can accomplish, we can not wait for our government to take responsibility. We must carry on the hibakusha’s message. We must inherit their gambatte spirit and never give up. We must be like bamboo, strong yet flexible. Bending, but never breaking.
世界は希望を持ってオバマ大統領の取り組みを見守っていますが、政府が責任を取るのを待つことはできません。被爆者のメッセージを伝えていかなければいけません。彼らの頑張り精神を受け継いで、やり通すのです。私たちは竹のようなものです。強いながらも柔軟性があり、曲がるけれども折れません。

We, the United States of America, brought the world in to the age of nuclear warfare and it is our responsibility to lead the way out. We can not expect others to disarm their nuclear weapons if we do not disarm our own. We must lead by example, not by rhetoric.
世界に核戦争時代をもたらしたアメリカは、この時代を終わらせる義務もあるのです。我々が核兵器を放棄しなければ、他の国も放棄するはずがありません。口だけではなく、行動で示さなければいけません。

And while a world without nuclear weapons would be a great accomplishment, we can not stop there. Peace will not prevail when there are no more wars. Peace will not prevail when there are no more nuclear weapons.
核兵器の無い世界が達成できたら素晴らしいことですが、そこでやめることはできません。戦争がなく、核兵器が無ければ、平和が簡単に訪れるわけではないのです。

Peace will only prevail once we learn to be tolerant of other people’s beliefs. Peace will only prevail when we embrace each other’s differences. Peace is something we must find within ourselves before we ask it of others. Peace begins with us.
お互いの考え方を認められるようになって、違いを尊重し合えるようになって初めて平和は訪れるのです。平和とは人に求める前に自分の中で探さなければいけません。私たちから平和は始まるのです。

We possess the ability to bring about change and we must work together individually and collectively to make this world a better place.
私たちは変化をもたらす力をもっています。一人一人、またみんなで一緒に取り組んで、より良い世界を作っていくのです。

So my challenge to you is this, what can you do? What can you do to make this world a better place?
では、皆さんは何ができるでしょうか?より良い世界を築くために、あなたには何ができるでしょうか?

It doesn’t have to be about peace. It can be world hunger or global warming or my little sister wants to go to camp. It doesn’t matter what you do, big or small, just find something you are passionate about and do something.
平和に関してのことでなくても良いのです。世界飢餓や地球温暖化、また妹をキャンプに送ることでもよいのです。小さいことでも良いから、夢中になれることを探して何かをすれば良いのです。

Don’t underestimate the power of people. Friends, family, even strangers. If they see that you are passionate about something and share your beliefs, they will support you.
友達でも家族でも他人でも、人の力を軽く見るべきではありません。あなたが情熱を持っていることについて話せば、誰でも支援してくれるでしょう。

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from them and move forward. You don’t fail because you make mistakes. You only fail because you quit.
間違いを恐れてはいけません。そこから学んで前進するのです。失敗は間違いから起こるのではなく、やめてしまうと失敗に繋がるのです。

And most importantly, don’t underestimate your own ability to bring about change. You have your own unique set of gifts. Discover them. Use them. If I can do it, so can you.
大事なことは、あなた自身が持つ、変化をもたらす力を軽く見ないことです。あなたはユニークな才能を持っています。探し出して利用するのです。私ができればあなたもできます。

Find your passion. Find your gifts. And let’s make this world a better place.
情熱を持てるものを探し、才能を見出して、より良い世界を作り出しましょう。

Monday, June 7, 2010

Back to Japan...


It’s been awhile since my last post. I took a few months off in order to deal with the loss of my mother and take care of family matters. Life is different now, but I am still committed to documenting the stories of the hibakusha.
前回のブログ更新からかなり経ってしまいました。数ヶ月休暇をとり、亡くなった母や家族関係の整理をしていました。生活は変わってしまいましたが、ヒバクシャのストーリーを記録することに関する私のコミットメントに変わりはありません。

In order to get refocused, I traveled to Japan and South Korea to meet with more hibakusha and do more research. Did you know there are 2,696 hibakusha living in South Korea? Now you do. And soon, you will hear some of their remarkable stories.
フォーカスを当て直すために日本と韓国のヒバクシャに会いに行き、リサーチをしてきました。2,696人ものヒバクシャが韓国にいるのはご存知でしたか?注目されるべき彼らのストーリーを間もなく紹介する予定です。

Most everything is in place now. I just have to do some final tests and I will begin documenting the hibakusha’s stories next month.
プロジェクトの準備は整ってきました。いくつかの最終テストが終わり次第、来月にもヒバクシャのストーリーの記録を始めます。

Meanwhile…The United Nations Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is currently under way in New York City.
http://www.un.org/en/conf/npt/2010/
ニューヨークでは核不拡散条約(NPT)再検討会議が行われています。
http://www.un.org/en/conf/npt/2010/ (英語)

As stated on the UN’s website, “The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.”
上記国連のホームページにも記載のとおり、「NPTは核兵器やその関連物資・技術がこれ以上世界に広がらないため、そして締約国が原子力を平和的に利用する協力関係を促進し、核軍縮・完全軍縮を広める画期的な国際条約」です。

Every five years, representatives from nations around the globe come to the conference to discuss current nuclear issues and review the treaty to make it stronger and better in an effort to make this world a better and safer place to live. The conference runs through May 28.
核に関する話し合いや条約の見直しを行い、世界をより安全にするために力強い条約を作り出そうと、5年ごとに世界中の国からの代表者が検討会議に参加します。検討会議は5月28日まで行われます。

A number of my colleagues attended the first week of the conference and I hope to have more information and links to their experience. One of the speakers was Sumiteru Taniguchi, who I met with while I was in Nagasaki last April. He was 16 years old when the US dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. He talked about his experience as a survivor.
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100509a2.html (english)
私の同僚の多くが会議の1週目に参加しましたし、彼らからの情報もここで紹介していきたいと思っています。私が去年4月に長崎でお会いした谷口稜曄さんもヒバクシャを代表して会議で証言をされました。彼は原爆が投下されたとき16歳でした。
http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0508/OSK201005080038.html (日本語)

I probably should have been in New York City as well, however, I was in Hawai’i to speak about “Project Hibakusha : Hope for Peace” on the radio show “Talking Out Loud” with University of Hawai’i Professor Christine Yano. You can listen to the show online here.
http://www.kzoohawaii.com/jp/programs/tol_soud_2010_0503.html (english)
私も是非ニューヨークに行きたかったのですが、ちょうどハワイで「プロジェクト・ヒバクシャ:平和への願い」について広報活動をしていました。ハワイ大学のクリスティーン・ヤノ教授と一緒に“Talking Out Loud”というラジオ番組に出演した様子をこちらでお聞きください。
http://www.kzoohawaii.com/jp/programs/tol_soud_2010_0503.html (英語)

I promise not to wait another four months to update this blog. You can also ‘subscribe’ or become a ‘follower’ of this blog by clicking on the links to the right. You’ll be notified by email every time I update it. Thank you for your support!
次回の更新は4ヶ月もかからないことをお約束します。また右の‘subscribe’や‘become a follower’リンクをクリックするとブログの購読をすることができますし、フォロワーになることもでき、ブログが更新されるたびにメールが送信されます。皆様、応援していただきありがとうございます!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!
This year will mark the 65th year since the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and we are moving forward to document the stories of the hibakusha.
皆様、新年明けましておめでとうございます。
今年は広島・長崎への原子爆弾投下65周年であり、ヒバクシャ証言の記録を進めていきます。

My good friend Jana Katsuyama did a story on atomic bomb survivors that aired December 23, 2009 on KTVU Oakland. She interviewed 2 survivors, Jack Dairiki and Masako Kawasaki, a second generation survivor, Deborah Yamasaki, Dr. Jitsuro Yanagida from Japan and me. 
私の友達のジェーン・カツヤマさんがヒバクシャについてのストーリーを製作し、2009年12月23日にオークランドのKTVUで放送されました。ジャック・ダイリキさんとマサコ・カワサキさん2人のヒバクシャと、ヒバクシャ2世のデボラ・ヤマサキさん、また日本からいらした柳田実郎医師と私へのインタビューをもとに製作したものです。

You can view the video clip here.
放送された録画ビデオをこちらでご覧ください。

I’m hoping that this is a permanent link, but if for some reason the link does not work, please let me know and I will try and update it. I am also trying to get permission to post the video on this blog.
このリンクはすぐ切れてしまわないと良いのですが、もし切れているようでしたらお知らせいただければ更新します。このブログにビデオを載せる許可も申請中です。

On a sadder note,Tsutomu Yamaguchi lost his battle with stomach cancer and passed away on January 4, 2010 at the age of 93. Yamaguchi has the unfortunate distinction of being the only certified survivor of both atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
悲しいニュースですが,山口彊氏が2010年1月4日に胃がんで亡くなりました。93歳でした。山口氏は広島と長崎での二重被爆者という不運な名誉の認定を得た唯一の人でした。


As an engineer for Mitsubishi, Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima for business when the first atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. Despite his wounds, he returned to his hometown of Nagasaki the next day and went back to work on August 9 when the second bomb was dropped.
山口氏は長崎三菱造船のエンジニアで、194586日に一発目が投下されたときは広島に出張していました。けがを負いましたがあくる日には長崎に戻り二発目が投下された89日には出社していました。

I was looking forward to interviewing Yamaguchi for this project, but unfortunately, I will not have the opportunity to document his story. I’m sure it is documented somewhere and I hope that someday, I will get to learn about his experience.
私のプロジェクトのために山口氏にインタビューするのを心待ちにしていたのですが、残念ながら彼の証言を記録することはできません。でもどこかに彼の証言が記されていて、彼の経験について学ぶことができることを願っています。

You can read more about Yamaguchi here.
ここでも山口氏について読むことができます(英語版)。


It is also being reported that director James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) recently visited Yamaguchi in December to discuss a film on nuclear weapons based on the book “The Last Train to Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back” written by Charles Pellegrino.
また、映画監督のジェームズ・キャメロン(タイタニック、アバター)が12月に山口氏を訪問して、原爆をテーマにしたチャールズ・ペレグリーノによる本「The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back」の映画化について対話をしたと報道されています。

It will be interesting to see if and how Cameron depicts the fateful events of 1945. Will it be in 3D like his latest box office blockbuster Avatar? We can only hope that it is done with respect to the survivors and brings attention to their hope for peace.
1945年のあの運命的な出来事をどのように描写するのかが興味深いところです。最新の大ヒット作、アバターのように3D立体映画になるのでしょうか?ヒバクシャを十分尊重し、彼らの平和への願いに関心を呼び起こす作品であると祈るばかりです。

Let’s hope that 2010 will bring a lot of changes towards a peaceful world.
2010年が平和な世界に向けて大きな変化をもたらす年であることを期待しましょう。

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hibakusha Exams


Every two years, a team of doctors and scientists travel to the United States to meet and examine hibakusha as part of the ongoing medical care the Japanese government has taken on to treat the survivors. Originally, they were supposed to come in May and June, but due to outbreak of the H1N1 virus, they postponed their visit until September and October.
日本政府が原爆被爆者に医療を提供している一環として、1年おきに日本から医師団と科学者が健康診断のために渡米しています。当初は5月から6月にかけての予定でしたが、H1N1ウイルスの流行により9月から10月にかけてまで延期されました。


I have spent the past two weekends at the bi-annual hibakusha exams in Torrance and Honolulu meeting hibakusha and telling them about Project Hbakusha : Hope for Peace. Most of them are happy to hear about the project, but still do not want to talk about their experience, at least not publicly.
私はこの2週末、ロサンゼルス郊外のトーレンスとホノルルで行われた被爆者健康診断を訪れ、「プロジェクト・ヒバクシャ:平和への願い」についてを被爆者に紹介させていただきました。お話できた方のほとんどはプロジェクトのことを喜んで聞いてくれましたが、彼らの被爆経験については、少なくとも公の場では語りたがりませんでした。

One gentleman talked freely about one of the grim tasks he had to do. Because he was young and strong, one of his jobs was to stack wood and cremate the dead because the mortuaries had been destroyed. He said he lost count of the number of bodies he had to burn. Unfortunately, he is unwilling to go on camera to tell his story. Hopefully when I see him in two years, he will have a change of heart. Perhaps he will agree to do it anonymously.
しかし1人の男性が、厳しい作業について語ってくれました。彼は若く逞しかったために、破壊された葬儀場に変わって材木を重ねて死体を火葬するという役割があったのです。何体焼いたか、数え切れなかったほどだと。残念なことに彼はカメラの前での証言はしたくないとのことですが、2年後にまた会う時は気を変えてくれるかもしれません。匿名だったら話してくれるかもしれません。

Hibakusha have not only suffered from the loss of loved ones and physical ailments, but they have also suffered from the negative stigma that has been attached to being a hibakusha.
被爆者は愛する人たちを失い、病気に苦しめられてきたばかりでなく、被爆者であるがために汚名を着せられてきました。

64 years ago, no one knew what really happened. No one knew what an atomic bomb was. No one knew what would happen from their exposure to the radiation. There were many mysterious illnesses and deaths that resulted from the bombing. Red spots appearing on their skin. Hair falling out.
64年前、実際に何が起こったのかは誰も分かりませんでした。原子爆弾とは何なのか、放射線を浴びるとどうなるのか、誰も知りませんでした。原爆のせいで多くの人が不思議な病気にかかり、亡くなっていきました。皮膚に赤い斑点ができたり、髪の毛が抜けてしまったり。

Because of all the unknown mysteries surrounding the bombings, they were looked upon as ‘contaminated’ or ‘damaged goods’. Discriminated against by their own people, many chose not to disclose they were hibakusha. Many retain their silence to this day except amongst themselves where they can find some solace of sharing a common, horrific experience.
このような原爆投下に関する未知のミステリーのために、彼らは「汚染されている」、「きずもの」などとみなされました。自国の国民から差別を受けた彼らの多くは被爆者であることを隠し、被爆者同士で共通の苦しみを語り合って慰められる時以外は、今日でも口を閉じている方が沢山います。

Some say they are too shy and don’t want to go on camera. Others say they don’t remember much. While others say it is still too painful. Unfortunately, there are many stories that will never be heard.
多くの方は恥ずかしがって、カメラの前に立ちたがりません。覚えていないと言われる方もいます。今でもあまりにもつら過ぎると言う人も。残念ながら、聞かれることのないストーリーが沢山あるのです。

But there are a few brave survivors who are willing to talk about their experiences and these are the stories that I will be documenting. Their stories are important because if they don’t tell them, then people will never know what really happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I know I have only heard snippets of what they experienced, but the more I hear, the more I feel these stories need to be recorded for future generations to fully understand the pain and suffering that nuclear war has on people’s lives.
しかし、恐れずに過去の経験を語ってくれると言う被爆者も数人おり、私は彼らのストーリーを記録します。彼らの証言は重要です。もし語ってくれなかったら、広島と長崎で実際に何が起こったのかを伝えることはできません。彼らの経験のうちほんの少ししか聞いていませんが、核戦争がどのような痛みと苦しみを人々に及ぼしたのかを未来の世代に理解してもらうためには彼らのストーリーを記録して残さなければいけないと、話を聞くたびに思うのです。

The next two weekends, I will be attending the exams in Seattle and San Francisco talking to more hibakusha and learning more about their experiences. There will no doubt be more heartbreaking stories, but at the same time, I feel the hibakusha themselves are a story of triumph. Triumph over tragedy.
今週末と来週末は、シアトルとサンフランシスコで行われる健診に参加して被爆者の話を聞いてきます。心が痛むような話ばかりだとは思いますが、被爆者の方々は勝利のストーリーそのものだと思います。悲劇に打ち勝ったのです。

They have endured so much pain and suffering and have overcome many challenges. Challenges that I can not imagine. Many have families and have proven that they are not ‘damaged goods’. Some came with their sons and daughters, who are also being cared for by the Japanese government. They are leading fulfilling lives despite their tragic past.
彼らはとてつもない痛みと苦しみに耐えてきて、多くの難問を克服してきました。私には想像もできない難問を。多くの被爆者は家族を築き、「きずもの」ではないことを証明しました。やはり日本政府から医療を受けている娘や息子と一緒に来る方もいました。悲劇的な過去をかかえながらも、充実した生活をしているのです。

So I continue on this journey to tell their stories. I no longer consider this as ‘my’ project. This is ‘their’ project. I am merely the messenger passing on their stories for others to hear.
ですから私は彼らのストーリーを伝える旅を続けます。これは「私の」プロジェクトではなく、「彼らの」プロジェクトなのです。私は、彼らのストーリーを他の人に伝えるメッセンジャーでしかないのです。