“ICAN” rose variety produced by Kazuzo Tagashira of Hatsukaichi blooms in actor Sahel Rosa’s garden

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

The actor Sahel Rosa is working to cultivate a variety of roses that were named “ICAN” in the hope that nuclear weapons would be eliminated. The rose variety typically blooms in May. Ms. Rosa is hoping at some time in the future to travel to Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture to pay a visit to Kazuzo Tagashira, 92, the A-bomb survivor and rose breeder who produced the variety.

Ms. Rosa has a garden near her home in Tokyo and, together with her mother Flora Jasmine, cultivates many different varieties of roses. Last year, she received a flowerpot of ICAN roses from an acquaintance who is friendly with Akira Kawasaki, a member of the international steering committee of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

Ms. Rosa is originally from Iran. Because her family was wiped out in the Iran-Iraq War, she had to be raised in an orphanage. After she was adopted by Ms. Jasmine, they moved to Japan when Ms. Rosa was eight years old. Her name, which means “desert rose,” was given to her by Ms. Jasmine.

“Mr. Tagashira hopes for peace and believes it is strength to let people hold their future, not weapons, in their hands. I will continue to foster both his wish and these precious roses into the future,” said Ms. Rosa. Mr. Tagashira, who has produced many rose varieties based on the theme of Hiroshima, is looking forward to meeting Ms. Rosa. “I’m hoping to show her lots of rose varieties,” he said.

(Originally published on May 24, 2021)