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EDUCATION

Mississippi school performs play with spirit of Hiroshima in mind

  • May 14, 2016
  • , Tokyo Shimbun evening edition , p. 1
  • Translation

Elementary school students in the southern U.S. state of Mississippi on May 12 performed a musical titled “Sadako and the Thousand Cranes,” which is based on the story of Sadako Sasaki, an A-bomb victim in Hiroshima and the model for the “Children’s Peace Monument” erected at the Peace Memorial Park in the city. They also learned that President Barack Obama will visit the city on May 27 and are looking forward to hearing the message he delivers there.

 

The play was performed by 80 students at Cook Elementary School in Columbus. “I wanted the children to sense the terror of nuclear weapons and the sorrow of losing one’s loved ones in war through the play, as we cannot fully convey this through lessons,” said a drama teacher at the school. In the U.S., the fact that the atomic bombs were dropped is taught at school but students have few opportunities to learn about the destruction and effects brought about by nuclear weapons.

 

Cook Elementary School performs a play every year to introduce Japanese culture as it has developed friendly ties with Japanese businesses operating in Columbus. This year the school selected “Sadako and the Thousand Cranes.” Reports on Obama’s plan to visit Hiroshima made headlines just as the children were rehearsing for the show. The White House announcement came out two days before the performance.

 

“As I rehearsed, my longing for peace grew stronger just like Sadako’s did,” said the girl who played the role of Sadako. I learned about nuclear weapons through the play for the first time. I am looking forward to hearing what the President will say in Hiroshima.” (Abridged)

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