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Learning from the Legacy of Hiroshima & Nagasaki

October 21, 2008 -- By Jody Sanford, College of Letters & Science

College Office

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology brought the “Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Commemorative Experience” to Bozeman and Montana State University. Tomomi Yamaguchi, an assistant professor of anthropology, organized the events which included a talk by Shigeko Sasamori, 76, an atomic bomb survivor. Sasamori was joined by Steven Leeper, chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation in Japan.

The commemorative also included an exhibition of thirty posters developed by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum concerning the damage wreaked by the nuclear bombs in Japan. The posters featured images of the mushroom clouds, the decimated cities and medical effects. The collection of posters conveyed the reality of the atomic bombings and heightened awareness of the need for peace.

The lecture and exhibitions were accompanied by a film series entitled “Scars and Legacies: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Apocalypse.” The first film shown was Steven Okazaki's 2007 documentary, White Light, Black Rain. Sasamori was one of the survivors featured in that film.

Finally, Yamaguchi collected 1,000 origami cranes to send to a museum in Hiroshima. Paper cranes have become a symbol of peace since the end of World War II, Yamaguchi said.

Yamaguchi hopes the Hiroshima-Nagasaki events will show people the lingering effect of the atomic bombs, a subject not talked about often, she said.

Updated: 04/15/2011