Campus News

Hiroshima Survivor and Peace Activist Shigeko Sasamori to Give Public Lecture

April 11, 2019

Communications Staff

On Friday, April 12, Shigeko Sasamori will present a public lecture recounting her life as a survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945. Sasamori’s talk will be told alongside Professor of Japanese at Purdue University Kazumi Hatasa and will take place at 3:30 p.m. in King 106.

Sachiko Kondo, lecturer in Japanese and Japanese language instructor at Oberlin, organized Sasamori’s visit and notes its significance in relation to similar on-campus events in recent years. In 2015, Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of former President Harry S. Truman, attended an event in Oberlin marking the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, and in 2017, trees were donated to the college in honor of atomic bomb survivors.

“Sasamori’s visit will inspire many people, especially young people, to renew their determination and commitment to contribute to building a peaceful society,” Kondo says.

After surviving the Hiroshima bombing at age 13, Sasamori was treated at a medical facility in the United States and later moved to the country, attended nursing school, and commenced her speaking career as a peace activist at the age of 48. Since then, Sasamori has spoken about her experiences as a Hiroshima survivor at universities across the country and was named Special Communicator for a World without Nuclear Weapons by the Japanese government in 2013.

Students in Professor of Japanese Ann Sherif’s course, Living with the Bomb, have been studying the stories of atomic bomb survivors and will meet with Sasamori during her visit. Students in Sherif’s class will also attend an informal lunch with Sasamori, along with other Oberlin students who are studying Japanese language or are international students from Japan.

“Listening to her powerfully talk about her hope for peace will surely engrave in each of us a sense of responsibility to create a peaceful world,” Kondo says.

Sasamori, 87, founded the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Peace Projects and has addressed the United States Senate and the United Nations. Her talk is free and open to the public.

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