SAN FRANCISCO — To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, the first nuclear destruction of a civilian population in the world, the Nichi Bei Foundation and Friends of Hibakusha will present “A Virtual Remembrance: 75 Years After the Atomic Bombings” on Sunday, Aug. 9, at 4 p.m., on the Nichi Bei Foundation YouTube and Facebook channels.
The event is presented in collaboration with the Japanese American Religious Federation of San Francisco.
The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and another on Nagasaki three days later resulted in the deaths of an estimated 214,000 people by the end of that year — 140,000 in Hiroshima and 74,000 in Nagasaki.
“This year may mark the last major milestone many hibakusha, or atomic bomb survivors, share with the world, emphasizing their urgent calls for peace,” said Kenji G. Taguma, president of the Nichi Bei Foundation. “This event is dedicated to their lifelong struggle to persevere out of the ashes of nuclear destruction, and their commitment to teach the world about the evils of such weapons of mass devastation.”
The event will include an interfaith ceremony led by the Japanese American Religious Federation of San Francisco, a Litany of Water ceremony, and short films about the atomic bombings. Central to the event are three exclusive interviews with atomic bomb survivors Jack Dairiki and Seiko Fujimoto (Hiroshima) and Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka (Nagasaki).
“We thought it was important to give our beloved hibakusha a voice,” said Geri Handa of the Friends of Hibakusha. “It is our hope that their stories of painful loss and grief will help to remind the world of the urgent need for peace, particularly in these tense times.”
The event will incorporate two short films: “Witness to Hiroshima” by Kathy Sloane and a new, yet-to-be-titled documentary by award-winning filmmaker Emiko Omori. Each film reflects upon the nuclear disaster from different lenses.
The event will also include the participation of descendants of hibakusha.
The event is supported by the Committee of Atomic Bomb Survivors in the U.S.A., National Japanese American Historical Society, Tsuru for Solidarity and Asian American Jazz Orchestra.