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Hiroshima and Nagasaki Mayors Attend Conversation between A-Bomb Survivors, President Truman's Grandson and High School Students

Atomic Bomb Survivors Meet Harry Truman’s Grandson: Sharing Personal Stories

Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 9:30 am-11:00 am EST, at Japan Society

** With Live Webcast for the General Public **

高校生対象 特別プログラム 「広島・長崎原爆の被爆者とトルーマン米大統領の孫による特別講演」

New York, NY – More than 69 years after President Harry S. Truman authorized the use of atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, stories from survivors resonate with young generations as they learn about the complexities and cataclysms of World War II.

On Tuesday, April 29, invited high school groups from the New York City-area visit Japan Society to hear first-hand accounts of the bombings and reflect on the events that brought them to pass. Organized by the U.N. affiliated NGO Hibakusha Stories, two hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors), Ms. Reiko Yamada of Hiroshima and Mr. Michio Hakariya of Nagasaki share remembrances and personal testimonies. President Truman’s grandson, Mr. Clifton Truman Daniel recounts his personal journey toward understanding the bombings, including encounters with survivors during recent trips to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mr. Tomihisa Taue, Mayor of Nagasaki, and Mr. Kazumi Matsui, Mayor of Hiroshima will be among special guests at the event.

Though the live audience is limited to just over 200 invited students, Atomic Bomb Survivors Meet Harry Truman’s Grandson: Sharing Personal Stories will be presented to the public through a live Ustream broadcast from 9:30-11:00 am EST at the following webpage: http://www.japansociety.org/event/atomic-bomb-survivors-meet-harry-trumans-grandson-sharing-personal-stories.

A student in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped, Reiko Yamada saw a flash in the sky and was thrown to the ground by the force of the blast. Her sister, fortuitously home sick, survived while all of her classmates who were mobilized to work in the city center that day perished. Ms. Yamada vividly remembers and recounts the suffering she observed in her family and neighbors, and now is an outspoken critic of atomic weapons. (From http://hibakushastories.org/meet-the-hibakusha/meet-reiko-yamada/.)

Michio Hakariya was at his house located 3.8 km away from the hypocenter when he experienced the bomb flash and bomb blast. He sought refuge in an air-raid shelter nearby and avoided further exposure to radiation. After the war he taught in high schools for 36 years. Participation in the 2nd Peace Boat Hibakusha Project in fall 2009 was the starting point for him to start telling his story. Mr. Hakariya joined the Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace to give his testimony, and he continues to talk about the true nature of nuclear weapons to young people, traveling himself to South East Asia and around the world to do so. (From http://hibakushastories.org/meet-the-hibakusha/meet-michio-hakariya/.)

Clifton Truman Daniel is the oldest grandson of 33rd U.S. President Harry S. Truman and the honorary chairman of the Truman Library Institute in Independence, MO. A former journalist and public relations executive, Mr. Daniel is the author of two books on his grandparents, Growing Up With My Grandfather: Memories of Harry S. Truman (Birch Lane Press, 1995) and Dear Harry, Love Bess: Bess Truman's Letters to Harry Truman, 1919-1943 (Truman State University Press, 2011). He is currently at work on a book on the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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This event marks the Japan Society Education Program's fourth such collaboration with Hibakusha Stories. In May 2010, the Society presented the A-Bomb Survivor Panel Discussion & Live Webcast. In October 2012, Mr. Daniel appeared in Atomic Bomb Survivors Meet Harry Truman’s Grandson: Sharing Personal Stories, after becoming the first Truman descendant to visit the atomic bombing memorials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on the occasion of the 67th anniversary. In May 2013, Mr. Daniel was joined by a descendant of an engineer who worked on the Manhattan Project in Atomic Bomb Survivors Meet Descendants of Harry Truman and the Manhattan Project.

Archival Video:
2013 (Highlights): http://aboutjapan.japansociety.org/content.cfm/personal_testimonies_president_harry_trumans_grandson
2012 (Opening Remarks): http://vimeo.com/53806394
2012 (Setsuko Thurlow Testimony): http://vimeo.com/52049769
2012 (Yasuaki Yamashita Testimony): http://vimeo.com/52049768
2012 (Clifton Truman Daniel Testimony): http://vimeo.com/52026576
2012 (Q&A with students): http://vimeo.com/52720294
2010: http://www.japansociety.org/content.cfm/webcast_detail?eid=3560219b

Dedicated to bringing living history into the classroom, in the last three years Hibakusha Stories, an initiative of Youth Arts New York, passes the legacy of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to a new generation, and empowers them with tools to build a world free of nuclear weapons. The organization has brought atomic bomb survivors to over 10,000 high school students throughout the metro area. More at http://hibakushastories.org.

The Japan Society Education Program cultivates interest in Japan through a suite of family, school and educators programs. The Program offers events for teachers and students, including teacher seminars, educators’ study tours, curricula development, school partnerships, and activities for students and school groups. Additionally, the Program introduces families and children to diverse aspects of Japanese culture by celebrating some of Japan’s most important holidays and festivals with hands-on activities, crafts, performances and more.

The Education Program also provides educational tools and connects classrooms throughout the world. Created in collaboration between Japan Studies specialists, professors of education, K-12 teachers and Japan Society staff, About Japan: A Teacher’s Resource is an interactive website with lesson plans, annotated hands-on material for in-class use, maps, reviews and a glossary of key terms. Going Global: International Youth Electronic Exchange Project is a digital social media project connecting students in Japan, the U.S. and Pakistan to advance international understanding through meaningful, connected learning. The TOMODACHI Japan Society Junior Fellows Student Exchange Program fosters rising potential leaders in Japan and the U.S. with a lifelong interest in and understanding of both countries through small group exchanges. More at: http://www.japansociety.org/page/programs/education_family.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E and V at Lexington Avenue and 53rd St.) For further information call 212-832-1155 or visit www.japansociety.org.

The program is co-sponsored by Hibaskua Stories, an initiative of Youth Arts New York, and is offered in cooperation with Peace Boat. Education Programs are made possible by generous funding from The Freeman Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Norinchukin Foundation, Inc., Chris A. Wachenheim, Jon T. Hutcheson, and Joshua S. Levine and Nozomi Terao. Student and Family Programs are supported by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

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Media Contacts:
Shannon Jowett, 212-715-1205, sjowett@japansociety.org
Kuniko Shiobara, 212-715-1249, kshiobara@japansociety.org

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