Activities in Hiroshima
Preparing to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the A-bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, GLH hosted a small field visit led by Master Gardener Chikara Horiguchi, to greet several Hibaku Jumoku, notably those in Hiroshima Castle and on the bank of Ota River - Kurogane Holly, Eucalyptus, Camphor tree, etc.. The trees are thriving through another summer of excessive heat and humidity here in Japan. Mr. Horiguchi guided us around the city, telling the story of each Hibaku Jumoku while showing archive pictures of the trees taken right after the bombing. The Hibaku Camphor tree in the Motomachi Apartment Housing Compound has grown into the tallest tree among Hibaku Jumoku, 25 meters off the ground. The weeping willow on the bank of Ota River - hibaku-jumoku documented that is closest to the hypocenter - even though half of its trunk is withering and tilting towards the ground, new shoots are sprouting on the other half. The miracle of the survivor trees and their strength continues in Hiroshima.
Fellows and faculty from the University of Michigan Barger Leadership Institute (BLI) visited Hiroshima as their first stop in a Mindful Leadership Journey to Japan. Led by BLI Director, Dr. Ram Mahalingam, eight students along with two staff visited the UNITAR Hiroshima office and learned about the office's efforts and engagements with post-conflict countries from UNITAR staff. GLH Coordinator also briefly touched on GLH's history, vision and global campaign with the Hibaku-Jumoku. We were impressed by the energy and motivation of the BLI group — and look forward to a rich and green partnership with them in the future.
GLH Tree Tour with International Participants of UNITAR Hiroshima Disarmament Programme
Taking a walk across the Peace Park on a rainy Sunday morning, 19 participants were led on an A-bomb tree tour by GLH coordinator, learning of the stories of the trees and the Peace Park's history. Representing the ministries of defense and foreign affairs of 10 different Asian Countries, all participants work closely on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation matters in their governments. From the tour, many participants seemed inspired by the trees and the meaning and message of peace carried within them—memorials to the past, reminders of the nuclear perils of the present, but also messengers of hope for a future world without nuclear weapons.
On Thursday February 21st a group of some 20 Waseda University exchange students and faculty, representing many nationalities and academic institutions and participating in Waseda’s 'Global Leadership Fellows Program—Peace-building and Cultural Diversity in Global Society’ visited the UNITAR Hiroshima Office. After a session by Director of HO, they received a presentation from GLH coordinator and secretariat, before heading for a visit to a few sites of Hibaku-jumoku.
The 2018 Hiroshima Shudo University/GLH first TaikenJissen Successfully Completed!
Four students of Hiroshima Shudo University participated in the first TaikenJissen (field experience/community work) program in partnership with Green Legacy Hiroshima.
The initial briefings started in late spring 2018, and the actual program unfolded during the University’s Fall term. It was indeed a unique experience and not just for the students! Under the direct supervision of Prof. Nassrine Azimi of HSU/GLH, Mr. Kenta Matsuoka of UNITAR/GLH and Prof. Mitsuko Takei of HSU, with the help of many GLH members as well as Dean Yabe of HSU the four team-members Azusa Fuji, Anna Inaga, Yuka Kodama and Miyabi Ogawa successfully completed their TaikenJissen in late November. In the process the students could learn not just about the many legacies of Hiroshima’s survivor trees and the volunteer campaign of GLH, but also about managing and leading projects, and working as a team. They had the chance to interview key members of the GLH family, especially Master Gardener Horiguchi, visited the trees on a number of occasions individually and as a group, did reaserch and translation work about the trees, and participated with other volunteers in seed-picking events.
The hope for the future is that these bright young students will carry forward to the next generation the message of peace and resilience of Hiroshima’s survivor trees. In view of this first year success, the HSU/GLH TaikenJissen is set to continue in 2019.
Hiroshima Shudo University News: http://www.shudo-u.ac.jp/news/nvu9p7000002jqbo.html
Visiting the Peace Park and some of the Hibaku-Jumoku with the participants of the UNITAR Women’s Leadership Program for Afghanistan itself a lesson in hope and inspiration. Like the trees these young women are so full of life, and so determined to change the destiny of their country.
GLH Seed-picking 2018
As in past years GLH Master Gardener Horiguchi-san guided us through the 2018 seed-picking season. This started on a rainy day in early September with the lone Jujube on the western end of Hiroshima’s Peace Avenue. In late September we picked seeds of the Camellia tree by Yoshijima Shrine. In late November the GLH family--this year including a team of four students from Hiroshima Shudo University—came together on a beautiful day for seed-picking of the magnificent Ginkgo biloba tree in Shukkeien Garden and Kurogane holly in Hiroshima Castle. Finally on a cold early December day we went to Atago-pond grove by Peace Avenue, to watch as Master Gardener Horiguchi-san climbed the Persimmon, Hackberry and Muku trees, in search of seeds! He will now prepare them, then take for storage to Hiroshima Botanical Garden where they will be watched over by Dr. Hamatani, until dispatch to our partners.
As every year, it was moving to watch these gentle beautiful trees give so generously. May they change the world, one seed at a time.
More coverage by the Chugoku Newspaper
Hosted by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the International Organizations II class of Professor Azimi at Hiroshima Shudo University (HSU) conducted its 2018 study visit on October 3. The class, which had earlier explored the history and theory of intergovernmental and non- governmental organizations now aimed, through this study visit, to gain an understanding of some of the practical aspects of international work. Students received a lecture about the work of the Peace Culture Village by its founder and chairman of board, Mr. Steve Leeper. They then learned about the work of UNITAR and the A-bomb trees through the global seed campaign Green Legacy Hiroshima. The study visit concluded a walk and commentary on a few A-bombed survivor trees in and around the Peace Memorial Park.
September 28–The collaborative TaikenJissen between Hiroshima Shudo University and GLH received a special visit and lecture from master-gardener Mr. Horiguchi. Students were also given a briefing about the Peace Memorial Park and the Hiroshima Aogiri tree.
The 2nd generation persimmon tree (kaki) planted in 2012 by UNITAR is already bearing fruit (and bearing record heats in Hiroshima!)
The GLH team accompanied participants of the 2018 UNITAR Afghan Fellowship Program on two study visits of the Hibaku-jumoku during their Hiroshima Workshop. Participants had many questions and ideas, and shared their vision of one day seeing the trees of Afghanistan thrive.
GLH has just signed an agreement with Hiroshima Shudo University, to supervise a team of students undertaking their community work program --Taiken Jissen (practical experience). The four students could have a first lecture and tour of some trees on June 14th, and will start participating in seed-picking and other activities of GLH as of September 2018.
The International Organizations I class of Professor Azimi at Hiroshima Shudo University attended special lectures as part of their annual study visit to UNITAR. The students benefitted from presentations by the head and other staff of UNITAR Hiroshima Office before receiving a lecture from GLH master-gardener Chikara Horiguchi and later participating in his A-bomb tree tour to the Hiroshima Castle area.
The GLH Committee meeting took place at UNITAR offices on April 24th. One committee member, Naoko Koizumi, will be stepping down due to family commitments. She shall be deeply missed but we are certain her bonds to GLH will last.
Meanwhile two new members—Mihoko Kumamoto and Atsushi Seo—were welcomed to the team. We look forward to their presence with us in the years ahead.
Jun Takaki, an alumnus of GHL partner Oberlin College, and his brother visited Hiroshima recently to learn more about hibakujumoku directly from Arbostist Chikara Horiguchi. In a reflection written about his visit, Jun noted, "Towards the end of our tour, I asked Horiguchi-san, 'Why do you think the trees of Hiroshima are important?” He replied, “The trees remind us of what happened in Hiroshima. Since the trees are silent, they give viewers the opportunity to use their own imagination to understand the trees and what message they convey.'"
Thank you for taking the time to visit and learn, Jun, and we hope you come again!
In the beautiful setting sun in and around the Memorial Park, a brief talk and visit guided by GLH on Hiroshima’s reconstruction and the A-bomb survivor trees for vistors from Poland, California as well as some of the bright participants from the 'UNITAR Hiroshima Women's Empowerment and Leadership Training for Afghanistan and Iraq'
On March 3 a group of 31 attending the Hiroshima Office-organized training on ‘UNITAR Hiroshima Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation Training Programme’ visited the iconic A-bombed survivor trees of Hiroshima, the hibakujumoku. They were happy to be guided by GLH Master-Gardener Chikara Horiguchi and the UNITAR/GLH team.
GLH in UN Magazine
An essay by Co-founder of GLH, Nassrine Azimi, just published in UN Special
Season's Greeting from GLH Hiroshima Team
The Kurogane holly at Hiroshima Castle maybe the perfect tree in this season, to bring you our best wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2018.
The season's seed picking continued at Atago Pond, where the GLH team collected seeds from the persimmon and Japanese hackberry trees.
The seed-picking season continued with GLH working group members gathering to collect seeds from the Shukkeien garden ginkgo and the Hiroshima Castle Kurogane holly.
Seed picking for the 2017-18 season, led by Master Gardener Chikara Horiguchi, began with the jujube tree on Peace Boulevard on 18 September.
A French team, led by author and filmmaker Claude Faber, visited Hiroshima to film hibakujumoku and interview Ms. Azimi and Master Gardener Chikara Horiguchi.
GLH Co-Founder and Coordinator Nassrine Azimi's Shudo University students visited the UNITAR Hiroshima Office, which included learning about GLH.
Asian Health Institute
The Chinese parasol tree sapling, delivered in 2012, did not survive. A new sapling was brought back to AHI by its international trainees.
The Chinese parasol tree sapling, received in September 2012, shed its leaves, but this April new leaves started to grow. It is now 30 cm in height, in good health, and has many leaves.
A Chinese parasol tree (aogiri) sapling was given to the delegation from the Asian Health Institute (AHI) at the ANT-Hiroshima office.
Bourbon Co., Ltd.
The ginkgo survived the winter and is clad in fresh green.
On 10 April 2015, in commemoration of the opening of the New Main Office building, a ginkgo sapling was planted at the company courtyard.
Fukutomi Star Terrace 福富・星降るテラス
On 19 May a Ginkgo sapling of Hibaku-Jumoko was planted at Star Terrace 福富・星降るテラス, a house dedicated to peace and community activities, renovated by Kindai University Architecture Professor Daisuke Tanigawa and his team, in Fukutomicho, Higashi-Hiroshima. Star Terrace is now officially a member of the GLH partner community!
The planting ceremony was part of a peace culture exchange program, gathering students from Southern Illinois University as well as Kindai and Hiroshima Universities. The sapling was placed close to the house and watered by every student attending the ceremony. Thereafter American and Japanese students exchanged opinions on peace and Hiroshima in a vibrant atmosphere - the little Ginkgo alongside seeds of international dialogue and understanding nurtured by and for the next generation.
Honkawa Elementary School
A planting ceremony was held on 11 November 2012. Mayor Matsui and the mayor of Volgograd City, Russia, attended.
A Yoshino cherry sapling, descendant of the cherry tree in front of Hiroshima City Hall, was delivered on 4 October 4 2014.
Nakanoshima Elementary School
Students made a signboard for the sapling. After the current sixth-grade class graduates, the new group of sixth graders will take care of the tree.
Sixth graders from Nakanoshima Elementary School visited Hiroshima on their school excursion and, after a lecture about A-bombed trees, took back a second-generation Yoshino cherry, to be planted in their schoolyard in December.
A Chinese parasol tree sapling was delivered to Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture. It will be planted in Midorimachi Park, which is being revived from the damage caused by the Tōhoku earthquake.
Osaka YMCA International School
On 18 April, a group of fifth-grade students from the Osaka YMCA International School visited the survivor trees on Hiroshima Peace Boulevard as part of their study trip, in order to prepare for a presentation on peace activities. The children impressed the GLH team with their thorough preparation and clever questions. GLH wished the children luck in completing their exceptional project and in spreading the green, generous message of Hiroshima's trees.
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
A Vision for the Future of Hibaku-jumoku on APU campus
To ensure better lighting and growing conditions for the Hiroshima saplings, GLH partners at Ritsumeikan-APU are relocating the Yoshino Cherry sapling to a new home, APU Sakura Sky Garden, opened in April this year. As our partners at APU are concerned about the strong wind at the garden, a windshield will be established beside the sapling to foster its healthy growth. Here is a picture of APU's Sky Garden.
Students of Biodiversity and Environmental Chemistry courses got together in front of the Yoshino cherry sapling.
APU and Hiroshima University peace forum participants visited the Kurogane holly at Hiroshima's Rai Sanyo Memorial garden.
To mark United Nations Day, a Yoshino cherry was planted on the campus of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) in Oita Prefecture. Planted by APU President Shun Korenaga and GLH Co-Founder Nassrine Azimi, the ceremony was attended by Vice President Edgar Porter, Professor Faezeh Mahichi, and a number of interested faculty and members of the press. The following day, students of Professor Mahichi visited the newly planted sapling to welcome it to the APU grounds. They reflected on the question "What else can we do to convey the message of peace from the people of Hiroshima?"
On 30 August, a Hiabaku camellia japonica sapling was planted on the grounds of Sophia University, one of the most prestigious Japanese universities. Sophia University thus is now officially a member of the GLH global community!
Mr. Nikhil Seth, Executive Director of UNITAR, and Ms. Miki Sugimura, Vice President for Global Academic Affairs from Sophia University, each gave a speech at the planting ceremony coordinated by the two institutions. Mr. Michimasa Hirata, a representative of Hiroshima A-bomb survivors, also attended at the invitation of UNITAR and gave his A-bomb survivor testimony. As the flower that blooms in winter months, the symbolic language of camellia is “my destiny is in your hands.” Mr. Hirata called for his strong wish to "never use the atomic bomb again" and take “our destiny" in our own collective hands.
The planting ceremony was covered by Chugoku Newspaper in Japanese: https://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/local/news/article.php?comment_id=566351&comment_sub_id=0&category_id=256
The Kizuna Project: Haragama Kindergarten
The Kizuna Project team (kizuna means ties or bonds in Japanese) from ASEAN countries, accompanied by members of Japan Overseas Cooperative Association, visited Fukushima Prefecture and planted ginkgo and Chinese parasol tree saplings at a kindergarten in Soma City.
Tokushima Prefectural Senior High School of Science and Technology
Students from Tokushima Prefectural Senior High School of Science and Technology, which is affiliated with the Tokushima UNESCO Association, visited Hiroshima on the 18 August. They were given a Chinese parasol tree sapling and also toured the mother tree, which is located near Peace Memorial Museum.
Yanominami Elementary School
Tomoko Watanabe, GLH co-founder, presented a cherry sapling at Yanominami Elementary School's peace event.
A ginkgo sapling, planted in the school yard on 14 July 2014, is growing in good health.
Chinese parasol tree and Japanese fern palm saplings were presented to the school on 16 November 2012.