Junior Writers Reporting

Reading group conveys A-bomb horror with “picture story show”

“Reading Group Haru,” a citizens’ group based in Aki Ward, Hiroshima, was formed in 2002. The group presents “picture story shows” based on the true accounts of A-bomb survivors to children in elementary schools and kindergartens.

The group consists of 15 members, ranging from their 50s to their 80s. One member, Kiyoshi Fujii, 84, an A-bomb survivor, proposed an effort to convey the awful facts of the atomic bombing to children and this led to the creation of picture story shows about the experiences of three A-bomb survivors, including Mr. Fujii himself.

On July 24, at Nakano Children’s Center in Aki Ward, the group performed a picture story show based on the A-bomb experience of Mr. Fujii’s friend and read out poems about the atomic bombing.

The picture story show described the horrible scenes of people who had suffered burns all over their bodies, with maggots now infesting their wounds. During a scene where someone is trapped under the wreckage of a house and crying for help, about 30 elementary school students gasped, listening raptly.

The leader of the group, Yumiko Taomoto, 53, a resident of Aki Ward, said, “Learning about what happened in Hiroshima 68 years ago makes us more aware of the preciousness of the peace we have today. First of all, it’s important to know the facts of the atomic bombing.” (Written and photographed by Satsuki Kunimoto, 17)

(Originally published on August 26, 2013)