On my shelf sits a photo from the past. A shy young man has one hand up brushing strands of chest-length hair out of his face caught as the photographer snaps the shot. Behind him is a woman in an overcoat walking away. In the far distance is the spectre of a dome-like building looming behind a grove of trees. That’s me in 1968 on my first overseas travel experience and I am in Hiroshima. The building behind me was originally known as the Production Exhibition Hall designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel and completed in 1915. It was the only structure left standing at the bomb’s epicenter. It has since been better known as the “A-Bomb Dome” and was preserved as a memorial of the bombing and a symbol of peace. It was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Every year an event called “From Hiroshima to Hope” takes place at Green Lake. It is the annual lantern floating ceremony originally conceived to honor victims of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki but also serves to honor all victims of war and strife in the world. This year it takes place on Sunday, August 6 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the northwest shore, just south of the Bathhouse Theater. To highlight this event, we offer a feature that throws light on both events of the past and our precious future. We take a look at how artists reflect on the history of war with a look at the current Wing Luke Museum exhibition entitled Teardrops That Wound—The Absurdity of War curated by SuJ’n Chon and consider a book for young adults entitled Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson. It is the true story of a six-year-old survivor and her life-long quest to find peace out of the ashes of trauma and loss. If you would like to participate in the “From Hiroshima To Hope Lantern Floating Peace Ceremony” and need more information, you can call (206) 453-4471 or visit fromhiroshimatohope.org. Donations and volunteers are always welcome. Go in peace!
—Alan Chong Lau, IE Arts Editor