25 U.S. college students visit museum in Hiroshima, learn about history of immigration

by Yota Baba, Staff Writer

On June 28, 25 American college students visited a Hiroshima museum to learn about the history of immigration from Hiroshima to Hawaii. At Nihoshima-mura Museum, located in Minami Ward, the students, whose majors include political science, learned about the hardships faced by immigrants and gained a deeper understanding of ethnic minorities.

Hiroshi Kawasaki, 71, who runs the museum, explained that the Hiroshima Prefectural government promoted immigration against the backdrop of an economic slump and a growing population during the Meiji Period (1868-1912). He also described how people of Japanese ancestry once suffered rejection in the United States. Trent Nakamura, 21, a fourth-generation Japanese immigrant, said that he learned about the historical background of immigration in detail for the first time. He added that contributions made by Japanese immigrants should be properly recognized, since Asian immigrants do not always speak out strongly in North America.

This study program was realized by the Japan Foundation, with assistance from the U.S.-Japan Council, as part of a project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in order to promote exchange between young people from Japan and North America. The American students will stay in Hiroshima until July 1. They will also listen to the account of an A-bomb survivor during this time.

(Originally published on June 29, 2014)