#002 The Second meeting

I’m Akari from the Contents Team, and I’ll be writing this diary!

On Saturday, September 19, when the weather was starting to cool down a bit, we had our second meeting at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima City. Many of the members who couldn’t attend the first meeting were a bit nervous as it was their first time to see each other. But as the meeting time approached, the tension began to melt away and the conversation gradually liven up. Because the meeting was held in the morning, some of the members had to come by bullet train! And then the second meeting began.

First, we handed out the name tags we had made in the first session, and had a short talk with the NPO Pangaea, which supports HIP HOPE, and the prefectural board of education, and then went to see the cenotaph. The words “E=MC2” were engraved on the cenotaph. After seeing the cenotaph, we moved on to Kokutaiji High School. There, we learned that the citizens of that time wanted to build a cenotaph after the atomic bombing. However, they were told by the GHQ that they should not use expressions such as “cenotaph”, so they engraved “E=MC2”, the law that was the basis of the atomic bomb, on the monument to express their wishes for peace. After learning this, we, the members of the HIP HOPE Executive Committee, thought about the monument from three perspectives: (1) the families of the Hibakusha, (2) the GHQ that ruled Japan at that time, and (3) the people who made the monument. After the discussion, Pangaea staff and others taught us how to use the Internet when doing research related to WWL.

After the plenary session, we asked each member (1) what they thought of the cenotaph and (2) what they thought of the cautions about using the Internet.

Here is what each member had to say.

I knew about the Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Museum, but I had never heard of the Cenotaph. Even though I thought I knew about the history of HIROSHIMA, but there were new discoveries and I could learn about the thoughts of the people who lived there at the time. And, It was very useful to know how to search efficiently and the dangers that I did not know. I would like to learn more about the background of the atomic bombing and war that I don’t know.

I have been to the Peace Park many times, but I was surprised that I did not know about this cenotaph. In addition, by thinking from different perspectives, I think I was able to learn the power which necessary in the global society of the future, such as accepting diversity. I wanted to learn more about the atomic bombing and think about peace. I want to use the Internet properly because I will be researching and using it for many things.

I have been to Peace Memorial Museum, Atomic Bomb Dome and other Peace Parks before, but this was my first visit to the Cenotaph. The monument was inscribed with incomprehensible words, which I did not understand at first, but after the explanation about the cenotaph, I could feel the weight of the words and the importance of the cenotaph. And, I have been using the Internet on a daily basis without being aware of the dangers, but I learned about the dangerous side of it. In the future, we will be using the Internet a lot for the activities of the HIP HOPE Executive Committee, but I thought I would be careful in using it.