SAN FRANCISCO — To commemorate the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, the first nuclear destruction of a civilian population in the world, the Nichi Bei Foundation and Friends of Hibakusha will present “A Remembrance for Peace: Commemorating Hiroshima and Nagasaki” on Monday, Aug. 9, at 6 p.m., on the Nichi Bei Foundation Facebook channel (www.facebook.com/nichibei/).
The event is in collaboration with the Japanese American Religious Federation of San Francisco.
The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and another on Nagasaki three days later resulted in the deaths of an estimated 214,000 people by the end of that year, including 140,000 in Hiroshima and 74,000 in Nagasaki.
“As we lose more and more hibakusha, or atomic bomb survivors, it is incumbent upon us all to convey their urgent message for world peace,” said Kenji G. Taguma, president of the Nichi Bei Foundation. “We are honored to continue this program dedicated to the hibakusha, who rose out of the ashes of nuclear destruction with a conviction to raise their voice to stop these weapons of mass devastation.”
The event will present:
• The short film “Hibakushas’ Legacy: Hope for Peace” by photojournalist Darrell Miho, who has traveled the world to interview atomic bomb survivors.
• A new segment, “Lanterns of Remembrance,” which will include hibakusha and descendants presenting a paper lantern in remembrance of victims of the atomic bombings.
• The reading of tanka poems written by atomic bomb survivors set to a video of the Sokoji Soto Mission Toro Nagashi (floating paper lantern) ceremony.
• An interfaith ceremony led by the Japanese American Religious Federation of San Francisco.
• A declaration by hibakusha and descendants urging the end of nuclear weapons.
• A litany of water ceremony.
• Performance of “Thousand Cranes” by a koto ensemble led by Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto and Brian Mitsuhiro Wong.
The event will also include the participation of both hibakusha and descendants of hibakusha.
“We thought it was important to give our beloved hibakusha, as well as their descendants, a voice, while keeping succeeding generations engaged,” said Geri Handa of the Friends of Hibakusha, which is commemorating its 40th anniversary. “It is our hope that their stories of painful loss and grief will help to remind the world — and our community — of the urgent need for peace, particularly in these tense times.”
The event is free. For more information, visit www.nichibei.org/virtual-remembrance.