HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) Around 50 drawings by elementary school children who survived the Hiroshima atomic bomb that were sent to an American church six decades ago have temporary returned to Japan and are being exhibited at Honkawa Elementary School until next Monday.
At the opening of the exhibit earlier this week, 14 of the people who drew the pictures were reunited with their artwork for the first time in nearly 62 years.
Around 400 children who attended the elementary school in Naka Ward lost their lives in the A-bomb attack on Aug. 6, 1945.
According to Chuck Wooldridge, 47, a representative of the All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington who brought the pictures to Hiroshima, the church donated school supplies to students at Honkawa Elementary School in 1947.
Its minister at the time, A. Powell Davies, had criticized some Americans for marking the A-bomb attack by celebrating with a cake decorated with a mushroom cloud.
A year later, the church received the drawings from the Honkawa students as a token of appreciation for the gifts.
But as the years passed, the drawings were forgotten until 2006, when 48 were rediscovered in the home of a church member and were restored.
“We were studying in classrooms that had lost windows because of the blast and were in a mess. I remember how excited I was to receive new crayons,” said Misako Tanabe, 70, one of the former students and still a resident of Nishi Ward.
Nobel for two cities?
A French poet who was shocked and moved by his encounter with hibakusha in Hiroshima last year is pushing for a movement to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Guy Crequie, 66, has recently tied up with 1985 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ernesto Kahan from Israel, who served as deputy chief of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.