Junior Writers Reporting

Schmoe Association conveys Floyd Schmoe’s inspiring action

We took part in a tour of locations connected to the atomic bombing that are found in the Eba section of Naka Ward, Hiroshima. Yoko Imada, 69, the leader of the Schmoe Association, based in Naka Ward, along with others, served as guides on the three-and-a-half-hour tour.

The highlight of the tour was “Schmoe House” which was built by the late American pacifist, Floyd Schmoe, for survivors of the atomic bombing. “There are no winners in war,” Mr. Schmoe had said, and raised funds to construct a total of 21 houses and meeting places for Hiroshima citizens who lost their homes in the A-bomb attack.

Schmoe House was constructed in 1951 as a meeting place for A-bomb survivors. In November 2012, the building underwent reinforcement work and opened as a facility designed to convey the achievements of Mr. Schmoe and other foreign nationals who made contributions to the city.

Ms. Imada told us, “I want people to know about Mr. Schmoe and the action he took despite what most Americans thought, that dropping the atomic bombs was justified, and how his efforts were full of compassion for the A-bomb survivors.”

We also visited such sites as Jisenji Temple, originally located in Nakajimahonmachi (part of present-day Naka Ward), near the hypocenter, and then moved to the Eba district after the war. There we saw a stone statue of Jizo [the guardian deity of children], which had been damaged in the atomic bombing. At the Ebayama Museum of Meterology, we saw window frames that were warped by the A-bomb blast.

Mr. Schmoe not only made appeals for peace, he put his beliefs into action by doing the heavy work of building homes for the survivors. His efforts touched us deeply and we hope to learn, from his example, to take action to help others. (Junichi Akiyama, 16 and Arata Kono, 15)

(Originally Published on February 11, 2013)