Junior Writers Reporting

Sign language group introduces A-bomb monuments and buildings

“Yubinowa” (“Circle of Fingers”), a sign language group based in Higashi Ward, Hiroshima, is practicing how to explain the monuments and A-bombed buildings found in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park through sign language.

On July 27, the Hiroshima chapter of the sign language association for Hiroshima Prefecture showed the results of its work at a meeting held in Peace Memorial Park. About 60 people, members of four sign language groups in and around the city of Hiroshima, took part.

Sharing the knowledge they had gained through their studies, members of Yubinowa introduced the Rest House, an A-bombed building, using sign language. They explained that a man who happened to be in the basement of the building when the bomb exploded managed to survive the blast. “We should carefully preserve this building as a precious legacy to hand down the memory of the atomic bombing,” they appealed.

The group was founded in 1995 and currently numbers about 30 people, including deaf members. They sometimes serve as volunteer interpreters for events at community centers and in local communities.

Though the group offers no regular guide service for ordinary people who visit Peace Memorial Park, they have been making efforts to explain the monuments in and around the park since 1998 so they can learn more about the atomic bombing and ponder peace.

Chiemi Kimura, 54, a resident of Higashi Ward, is the leader of the group. “The A-bomb experience mustn’t be forgotten,” she said. “Conveying the horror of the atomic bombing and the reconstruction of Hiroshima to as many people as possible will help advance peace in the world.” (Marina Misaki,14)

(Originally published on September 16, 2013)