Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombing Anniversary

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This year marks the 70th anniversary of the explosion of A-bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In collaboration with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the Arizona-based non-profit Ancient Sounds for Peace brings the traveling poster exhibition ‘Hiroshima Calling’ to the Tempe History Museum for six days in August. We’ll tell you more about the exhibit.

TED SIMONS: 70 years ago today, the U.S. dropped the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. A traveling exhibit at the Tempe History Museum chronicles the bombing of Hiroshima and of Nagasaki three days later. Producer Christina Estes and photographer Langston Fields talked with the man behind the exhibit.

KEN KOSHIO: It means two hits drumming. I learn traditional tunes. And this one song is really powerful, but also this is also relating to talk about culture and how important to keep peace.

CHRISTINA ESTES: Ken hopes to promote peace through music, stories, and some disturbing images.

KEN KOSHIO: Some are tough pictures to even see. If you could imagine you were there.

CHRISTINA ESTES: He first produced the exhibit titled Hiroshima calling in 2008.

KEN KOSHIO: I wanted some different way to share this history and how can we use this history usefully for our generations or for next generations to make us to be a peaceful society?

CHRISTINA ESTES: 30 posters walk visitors through the scenes before and after the bomb. Visitors can also see barefoot gen written by a Hiroshima survivor. It's a book that affected him live 300 miles away.

KEN KOSHIO: A friend of mine recommended me to read that book and, of course, first grade boy, I didn't know nothing about it. I knew we had a war. But didn't know nothing about it, except for sometimes my dad and mom was talking to be humble or don't complain too much because we're in World War II. We were so poor we couldn't even have enough food to eat. Anyhow the book, the picture goes one big airplane came to Hiroshima.

CHRISTINA ESTES: A boy is talking with a woman on his way to school when they spot the b-29 bomber.

KEN KOSHIO: That one was really shining in the blue sky but suddenly something fell and right after that, bomb, and right after, they didn't realize what was happening. Finally, he got out, then he looked around and he saw someone totally not like human beings. So that was the lady. Fortunately, he was really like in front of the concrete gate. So that gave him to be survived. But she was just in front of him but absolutely she got hole blasted in the flash. I didn't understand what was it but exactly the stories and the pictures are so powerful and from next day, when I go to school, and then look at the sky sometimes, and some commercial jets come. And yes. This one dropped bomb. So I can see -- I can't see my family anymore or this world's going to be totally screwed up, not like the moment before. So that still traumatizes me.

CHRISTINA ESTES: Koshio has turned the tragedy into a learning experience for himself and others.

KEN KOSHIO: The best way is listen to their voices.

CHRISTINA ESTES: That's why Frank Masharo is teaming up with Koshio.

FRANK MASHARO: I am a Holocaust survivor.

CHRISTINA ESTES: Masharo along with a Hiroshima survivor will share their stories during a free event at the Tempe history museum tomorrow night.

FRANK MASHARO: I think it was terrible mistake to drop a bomb to kill so many people. I think people who worry about themselves, about their kids and grandkids and future generations, they must come and they must listen what happened. Educate themselves, because a lot of people don't know what happened, why it happened.

TED SIMONS: Tomorrow's event will also feature traditional Japanese music and origami. You can find more information at www.hiroshimacalling.org.

We want to hear from you. Submit your questions, comments and concerns via e-mail at [email protected].

TED SIMONS: Friday on "Arizona Horizon," it's the Journalists' Roundtable. We'll discuss the governor's plans to revamp the state's Medicaid system and the latest on the superintendent of public instruction's fight for control over the board of education. 5:30 and 10:00 on the Journalists' Roundtable. That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.

"Arizona Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

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