WFC is happy to welcome Aja Golliday and Laura Westpfal as interns from Illinois Wesleyan University!
Aja is a Psychology major with a minor in Japanese Studies, while Laura is a graphic design major with a minor in Japanese Studies, and this internship is one of the last tasks they have to complete before graduating!
They will be here until August 13th. As part of their learning experience, they’ve visited various sites at Peace Memorial Park and around Hiroshima, been introduced to WFC English Classes and the Riji, and have listened to hibakusha share their stories.
Aja and Laura have also been working on other projects: Aja is continuing work to label the various gifts and artifacts WFC has on display which will provide a richer experience to visitors of the center. Laura is applying her technical skills by improving the logos for the WFC Yu-Ai newsletter.
Stop by anytime to get to know them!
77th Memorial Day since the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945.
Barbara Reynolds, the founder of the World Friendship Center, had a consistent desire to “bring the voices of hibakusha to the world” and “abolish nuclear weapons.”
However, 77 years later, the abolition of nuclear weapons has not been achieved.
We welcome you to join us for these programs,
remembering those who lost their lives in the atomic bombing.
Hibakusha Talk by Ms. Toshiko Tanaka held in the morning (Japan time) would be in English only.
Please REGISTER here: https://bit.ly/3AFdnyq
Cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Hiroshima.
Thank you for your continued support of WFC.
In March, the restrictions on entry into Japan were lifted, and at the same time, visas were issued to the incoming directors, Matthew and Malachi.
Originally, the change of directors was scheduled for last summer, but after a seven months delay, Matthew and Malachi arrived in Japan at the end of March.
The directors, Roger and Kathy, continued to work for WFC for seven additional months in the midst of a pandemic, even after their two-year term was up, willing to serve as long as they could. We cannot thank them enough.
We would also like to thank their families in Seattle who have been waiting so long for their return.
Roger and Kathy left Hiroshima on April 1, after a short transition period with Matthew and Malachi, and returned to their families in Seattle.
We believe the two years and seven months have been an enjoyable and precious time for the directors and for everyone who has spent time with them.
We would like to express our deepest gratitude for the kindness received from everyone.
Please visit the official WFC Facebook page for more photos of Roger and Kathy on the day of their departure.
We were blessed with beautiful weather on the day of their departure, and the beautiful Japanese spring🌸 landscape also saw Roger and Kathy off.
World Friendship Center members took part as guides in “Hiroshima Tour Guide program 2021” promoted by Hiroshima Shudo University. This program is designed to help students of Hiroshima Shudo University learn about the monuments in Peace Park, so that they will be able to guide visitors from abroad and also acquire skills to talk about “Hiroshima” in their own words.
The guided tours were carried out on March 10th and 11th under clear skies, and four members from WFC, Mikiko Shimizu, Yoko Mimura, Miho Ikeda and Katsumi Takahashi, participated as English-speaking guides. Split into four groups consisting of three students and one teacher, the tour lasted about 2 hours, including a Q&A session and some time to talk about experiences as guides.
All of the students were eager to take notes and asked many questions, and we learned a lot from them. We had a great time with the young students and had a meaningful time with them. We are so grateful.
World Friendship Center’s statement against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
We urge the Russian troops to stop their attacks on the Ukrainian people and withdraw from Ukraine immediately.
On February 24th, 2022, as the world looked on, Russian forces illegally invaded Ukraine. The war has forced millions of Ukrainians to leave the country and the indiscriminate bombing of residential areas in Ukraine has killed many civilians. The recklessness at which Russia attacked a nuclear power plant was unfathomable. We strongly condemn this hegemonic military invasion.
And even worse, Russian President Vladimir Putin by putting his nuclear weapons arsenal on high alert, is moving the world even closer to a cataclysmic war that could threaten the future of our civilization.
Hibakusha, who experienced the A-bomb that exploded over Hiroshima, know the devastation wrought by a nuclear bomb. Their message to the world is clear. What happened here in Hiroshima almost 77 years ago, and three days later in Nagasaki, must never happen again.
We know that nuclear arsenals do not bring about security nor peace. Until the day the threat of nuclear weapons is eliminated from the earth, we will continue to cooperate and appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons together with people around the world.
Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people, and we join with all those that are speaking out, to put an end to this conflict.
March 10, 2022
NPO World Friendship Center
Concurred with by:
American Committee of World Friendship Center, McMinnville, Oregon
Peace Resource Center of Wilmington College, Wilmington Ohio
In October of 2021, a church in Oregon in the United States, McMinnville Baptist Church, put on a World Friendship Center. Ed Groff, of Brethren Voices, has produced a program from the concert, along with images from Hiroshima filmed by Brent Carlson when he visited WFC in November of 2019 . Mike Stern and Bill Jolliff were the featured musicians for the concert.
WFC is very familiar with Mike Stern since he has come to Hiroshima to share his music in the past. Bill Jolliff is a professor of English at George Fox University, a school founded by Quakers in Oregon. Both Mike and Bill’s music bring themes of peace, and justice, and faith and our need to act when we see an injustice in the world.
Personally, we are good friends with Mike, Brent and Ed and have met Bill in the past. What a wonderful gift they have given us by capturing these songs from the concert. We also want to thank the McMinnville Baptist church for their support for World Friendship Center by putting on this concert. Though we are sure there were many helping hands to put on such an event, we wanted to recognize Erika Marksbury, pastor of the church, and Larry and JoAnn Sims, church members. Erika, Larry and JoAnn are on the board of the WFC support organization, The American Committee of WFC, and Larry and JoAnn are past volunteer directors at WFC (2011-2013).
In these past two years during the pandemic there has been such an outpouring of support for WFC by the many friends of WFC over the years. As our motto “fostering peace, one friend at a time” and our name “World Friendship Center” makes obvious, friends and friendship are at the core of WFC’s purpose to spread peace to the world.
And now the concert from Ed Groff of Brethren Voices:
Our February edition of “Brethren Voices” featured the concert that Mike Stern and Bill Jolliff did in October for the World Friendship Center. You’ll find it on: WWW.Youtube.com/Brethrenvoices
Roger and Kathy Edmark
Volunteer Directors (2019-2022)
World Friendship Center
January 12th, 2022
Happy New Year to all.
Thank you very much for always supporting the World Friendship Center.
We hope 2022 will be a great year for all of us.
Immediately after the beginning of the new year, Hiroshima experienced a rapid spread of coronavirus infection and declared a semi-emergency coronavirus measures. This is quite unfortunate, after spending a somewhat peaceful period from the fall to the end of the year.
But good news has come to wipe out such a stifling mood.
An article was published on Chugoku Newspaper this morning, January 12th, 2022, titled,
“WFC published a booklet: Remembering Barbara Reynold’s Thoughts.”
We are truly grateful for having WFC covered in the article like this.
Barbara Reynolds, an American woman, appealed for the “total abolition of nuclear weapons,” from an early-stage walking alongside the hibakusha and their struggles. Unfortunately, the fact is that it’s difficult to find a person who knows about her in Hiroshima, 77 years after the a-bombing.
Barbara, who always walked alongside the hibakusha said,
“I, too, am a hibakusha”
We, a generation who knows neither about the a-bomb or the restoration after the war, still continue to think about how Barbara Reynolds, an American, attained this state of mind in the a-bombed Hiroshima.
The booklet introduced in the newspaper were made by WFC’s “Future Committee” in hope that it will help as many people as possible to learn about Barbara Reynolds’ thoughts and the World Friendship Center. We tried to make the contents understandable, with children visiting Hiroshima on school trips in mind. The booklet is available in Japanese and English and is given out for free.
If you wish to have a copy, please contact WFC.
On December 17, we had an online Hibakusha Testimony (with English interpretation) for the students taking the Global Understanding course at The Center for Foreign Language Education, Shimane University.
Over 45 students and teachers joined online from Japan, Taiwan, Costa Rica, and the U.S.
Before hearing the testimony, WFC gave a short introduction on the “History of Hiroshima.”
Then, Mr. Goro Nishida, who experienced the atomic bombing at the age of three shared his testimony.
During the Q&A, unique questions from a student’s perspective were asked, also helping us to learn.
Providing opportunities for people from around the world to hear testimonies from hibakusha is an important mission of WFC.
We would like to thank Carmella Lieske who contacted us and worked with us to make this happen, and for all of the help from the faculty and staff at The Center for Foreign Language Education.