Hiroshima Peace and Resilience Project
The Hiroshima Peace and Resilience Project (HPRP) is a three session online module that explores the concept of resiliency and the development of peace culture through the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
The story of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima is of tragedy, catastrophe and loss. However, it is also one of hope, optimism and embracing peace to move forward. The HRP presents these different but surprisingly complementary narratives in order for participants to gain new understanding of this pivotal event. In doing so, the HRP inspires participants to think deeply about the concept of resilience and its role in their lives.
The HPRP includes three 75 minute sessions:
- From Broken to Beautiful: A Virtual Tour of Hiroshima before, during and after the atomic bomb
- First-Hand Account of Extraordinary Resilience: A Conversation with a Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor)
- Hiroshima, Resilience and You: Applying the Lessons of Hiroshima to Your Life
Each HPRP session is designed to increasingly personalize the concept of resilience to participants. The first HPRP session explores the extraordinary resiliency of the people of Hiroshima as they consciously transformed a devastated city into a beautiful “City of Peace” that inspires millions around the world today. The second session zooms in to an intimate, first hand account of August 6, 1945 and subsequent rebuilding of Hiroshima from the perspective of a hibakusha or survivor of the atomic bombing. The final HPRP session guides participants to apply the resilient qualities exhibited by the people of Hiroshima to their own lives.
The HPRP is a joint venture between the UME Oleander Initiative in Cambridge, MA, USA and Peace Culture Village in Hiroshima, Japan. Please contact Ray Matsumiya at RayMat@ume.org or Mary Popeo at Mary@peaceculturevillage.org for additional information.
Session ONE: From Broken to Beautiful Virtual Tour
The Broken to Beautiful virtual tour pairs live presenters/facilitators with CG renderings, AI colorized photos, rare historical film footage, interactive polls, discussion sessions, and introspective activities to take participants on a 75-year journey before, during and after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Participants follow the story of Toshiko, a 6-year-old hibakusha (survivor) of the bombing. Through Toshiko, participants first experience what happened on August 6, 1945 and then join her and the citizens of Hiroshima to survive, thrive and embrace peace culture in order to rebuild their broken city more beautiful than it was before.
Session TWO: First-Hand Account of Extraordinary Resilience
Participants have the opportunity to meet a hibakusha from Hiroshima via live videoconference from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
The hibakusha will give a first-person account of the atomic bombing and describe how this event impacted them, their family and community. The hibakusha will then discuss the journey of healing and moving forward, both personally and for their city. Following the testimonial, Steve Leeper will facilitate an extended Q+A session with participants.
Steve Leeper is the former chairman of the Peace Culture Foundation at the Hiroshima’s Mayor’s office, the only non-Japanese to serve in this capacity. He is a visiting professor at Hiroshima Jogakuin University and Nagasaki University and won the Academia Prize in International Exchange from the Academic Society of Japan in 2009. He is the author of numerous books about the impact of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in both English and in Japanese. He is also unofficially credited with translating the most hibakusha testimonials from Japanese to English.
Session THREE: Hiroshima, Resilience and You
Session three expands upon the concept of Hiroshima as a model of resilience, and explores the many overlapping and additional qualities of positive psychology demonstrated by this remarkable city and its survivors.
Participants will be guided to identify their own character strengths (eg courage, flexibility, endurance, flexibility, idealism, hope, responsibility and wisdom), in the context of the resilience displayed in the first two sessions of the HRP. They will recognize how our greatest adversities can lead to transformation and a deeper purpose within the world, and how their own lives can be enriched by this reality.
This session is led by Tam Fowles, Managing Director of Hope in the Heart, CIC. She developed the AccepTTranscend Model for Transformation, the basis for many of her creative personal development workshops and courses. Based in Plymouth, UK, Tam is a transpersonal counsellor/coach, writer, international group facilitator and trainer, inspirational speaker and Master Facilitator of the UN-endorsed Virtues Project.