Peace Messages from the Students of
Hakushima Elementary School, Hiroshima

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Writing by students of Hakushima Elementary School, Hiroshima
for the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima - August 1995
(Translated with the assistance of the Embassy of Japan in Canberra, Australia)

Poem written by Year 6: ‘A message from us to people in the 21st century’ 

Earth. With blue seas and green land, beautiful shining stars and rich, productive sunshine. 
But unlimited human greed wants something faster and easier. People are competing with each other and trying to get ahead of each other. 
The development of science and technology has produced horrible weapons which have taken the lives of our precious friends and families. 
Right now there are still many children who are threatened by war and holding their breath and shaking in fear, sitting next to death. 
Freon gas, which is so useful and convenient for our society, was a product of human beings. 
But it rises up in the air, meets ultra-violet radiation and dissolves to produce chlorine which destroys the ozone layer. So now all living creatures on Earth including humans are in danger. 
The environment on Earth has been evolving for 4.6 billion years. Life has been nurtured in the environment. We cannnot now destroy life for the sake of our convenience. 
We would like to live by looking out for the future, step by step, carefully, to maintain precious Nature and our environment. 
If people in the world exchange words with smiling faces, the smiles will cover all the children and the children will shine. 
So, by feeling grateful for our life on Earth we stand very firmly on the Earth and would like to work with other friends. 
We all are one - all the people living on Earth.’ 

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Year 1 - Yamaji Rumi 

My older sister told me today about the children that died after the atomic bomb. 
People had a lot of burns on their body and their skin was peeling. 
My grandmother was one of them. 
I was horrified about the effects of the atomic bomb. 
I wish that people all over the world will be a good friend and war will never happen. 


Year 2 - Sakai Yuji 

There was a Peace Assembly for the school. When the teacher said it was Year 2’s turn we all got up and produced a photo of the Peace Memorial Park and Dome and the Peace Statue. 
The teacher Mr Kiochi told us a story about the atomic bomb and we all felt very sad about the effects of the atomic bomb. 
Somebody asked what was the sound like when the atomic bomb was dropped and the teacher said ‘!!!!!’ - I never heard of such a big, big noise and I think it was very horrifying to experience that. 
I hope no-one will ever have to experience that kind of scary thing again. 

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Year 3 - Yahata Kazu 

A teacher told us about the story of the atomic bomb. 
They played a cassette tape of the actual sound and it was so loud that I felt like blocking my ears. A lot of children actually blocked their ears but I tried to listen to it. I felt how horrible it was. 
Next we watched a movie and I saw lots of people who had lost their hair and their skin was peeling off and burnt. Some people were being carried by trolley to the hospital. 
I felt like crying, it was horrible to see. 
I hope that it will never happen again, it was such a horrible thing. 
I would like to tell the world how horrible it was and I would like to make a peaceful world. 


Year 4 Fujii Kana - ‘The peace memorial ceremony’ 

It was the 6th August. It was the fiftieth anniversary of the atomic bomb day. 
From the morning on television it was showing all about the atomic bomb. 
Then at 8:15 in the morning we all had a silent moment and prayed for Peace. 
And the Peace Bell was rung. 
One boy and one girl, primary school children, made a speech for Peace in the world. 
They said that it must never happen again. 
I felt the same. 


Year 4 Kananemitsu Risa -‘About Peace’ 

Fifty years ago the atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima. I would like all over the world that people stopped experimenting with the bomb. 
We went to the atomic bomb memorial hall and realised how bad it was, and how people have suffered. It should never happen again. 
We went to the shrine and saw the cemetery of the people who died from the atomic bomb. There was writing to say never to drop the atomic bomb. 
I felt very sad. 
I hope and pray that war will never happen again and that a peaceful world will come. 

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Year 4 Satou Shizuka 

Peace is very important. If there is no Peace there will be no flowers. 
We can make Peace ourselves. Nature is very important. Animals are very important. 
We are very important. To make this we have to make a peaceful world. 
Peace is very important, so we have to cooperate and make Peace. 


Year 4 Imai Kuniyuki 

I wish everyone would stop experimenting with atomic bomb explosions. 
If they stop now there will be so many people’s lives saved. Why do they have to do that? 
There are so many people in the world who cannot eat properly and there are so many people starving in this world. Why do they have to spend money experimenting? 
I wish they would stop now and instead of that try to make a peaceful world. 


Year 5 - Magasaki Yui 

Things I learned from the Peace Assembly: 
I have learned a lot of things about Peace in this meeting. 
We only have one life and weaker creatures or persons, or even insects and animals they only have one life. We should try and save them. 
The war was worse and more cruel than I thought, and if I was in that war I would be so scared. 
I felt sorry for Mr Koichi, he went through it and he was telling us how horrible it was and how sad it was. He saw so many people dying around him, and I don’t know if he can cope with that kind of thing. 
If war happens again and if I experience it, when I am grown up I will go around all the schools and tell children how horrifying war is. 
I will have to try and tell everybody that war should never happen again. 

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Year 6 - Sumikawa Emi 

Things I learned from the Peace Assembly: 
This year 1995 was the fiftieth anniversary of the bomb dropping. The Peace Assembly is held every year but this year we felt everybody was trying to put better material before the children. 
I felt that Year 6 was especially good, and also Year 1 because it was their first experience. 
I thought they were doing very well. This year Mr Koichi came to talk about the war. 
We heard the things we sometimes try to forget, but I think it’s good to remind us now and again how horrible the war was and to remind us again how important it is to keep good friends and to keep Peace in the world. 


Year 6 - Omura Yumi 

This year is the fiftieth anniversary and there is lots of material in the newspaper about peace and war. In spite of these things, there is still war happening in Bosnia and other countries. So many people are dying. 
Maybe children my age are in the war too, and people with children are dying. 
How are they coping? It must be very hard and I don't think I can bear it any more. 
I can’t do anything by myself - I feel very hopeless. 
Each one of us has to try to stop war. 
Each one of us has to try and bring Peace. I think it’s very important. 

I have never experienced a war myself but my grandmother and grandfather told us what the war was like. We saw the movie of how bad the war was and they didn’t have enough food to eat. 
I feel I am very spoiled, now we can eat anything we like but in those days what they could eat was very limited. I think these days we are too spoiled. 

I didn’t know a great deal about the atomic bomb but we went to the Peace Memorial Park and saw all the photos and materials, and also we saw a video of Sadako. 
She was perfectly healthy but when she was two she experienced the atomic bomb and radiation and she died when she was in Year 6 and I felt very sad to watch that video. 
It happened fifty years ago but I was so surprised that even now a lot of people are still suffering from radiation. 
It should never happen again. People should never possess atomic power. 

There are a lot of problems that we children do not even understand. 
Other people are protesting against chopping down wood, polluting the water and destroying nature. Those of us who have never experienced war feel very lucky about it. 
But once you learn about what war was like, it makes it you feel the importance of Peace, not only for Japan, it has to be all over the world. 

I participated in the children’s Peace Assembly. 
We should become friends with lots of other countries’ people and play with other countries’ people. Even though our language might be different we should be able to have the same hope for Peace in the world. 
I am sure that is the way to create Peace for the whole world, and no more war. 
I feel it’s very important to communicate with other countries. 

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