Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for our August 6th, 2021 Hiroshima and Nagasaki memorial ceremony and the We Hold Sacred exhibit! Even with our audience size limited as a precaution relative to the ongoing pandemic, we were so honored to share an evening of remembrance of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all those negatively impacted by more than 76 years of nuclear injustice, as well as a celebration of the nuclear justice movement, especially as led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color individuals and communities, with our fully vaccinated and masked attendees.
In case you missed our memorial ceremony at the Japanese American Historical Plaza on the Portland waterfront on August 6th, introduced by Oregon PSR Advisory Board member Chisao Hata and led by Rev. Ikenaga of the Nichiren Buddhist Temple of Portland, you can see a few photos of the event on this page (with more photos coming soon!), and you can also watch a livestream recording of the memorial ceremony. Our heartfelt thanks to Rev. Ikenaga for leading such a powerful memorial ceremony, for centering the minds and hearts of our audience on the very real human costs of nuclear weapons.
Rev. Ikenaga leads our memorial ceremony on August 6th. Photo by Rich Iwasaki.
Immediately following our memorial ceremony, we walked from the historical plaza to the Japanese American Museum of Oregon Annex, formerly known as the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, in Portland's historic Old Town, for the We Hold Sacred exhibit. This neighborhood was once known as Nihonmachi, or Japantown, before its erasure resulting from Executive Order 9066, which established the American concentration camps that held over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry and Japanese-American citizens between 1942 and 1946.
Chisao Hata (center left) discusses We Hold Sacred. Photo by Rich Iwasaki.
At this historically significant location, and in commemoration of the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, We Hold Sacred explored the history of anti-nuclear activism through art and memory and by uplifting the historic nuclear justice movements led by people of color. This exhibit asked us "to renew our commitment to Mother Earth, ecological unity, and the interdependence of all species" in accordance with the 1st Principle of the Preamble of the 1991 People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit.
We Hold Sacred was organized by Oregon PSR Advisory Board members Chisao Hata and Yukiyo Kawano, and we express our most sincere thanks to Chisao and Yukiyo for all of their work in curating this moving, emotionally evocative, interactive exhibit.
Yukiyo Kawano (center right) discusses elements of We Hold Sacred. Photo by Rich Iwasaki.
Thanks, too, to Mark Takiguchi, Roberta Wong, Laura Feldman, the Japanese American Museum of Oregon, and Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) of Portland, and other volunteers for helping with the exhibit. Thanks also to Regna Merritt for speaking briefly on The Ribbon Project, a peace-based art project originally organized by her mother, Justine Merritt. Thanks to MJ Raade, winner of our 2021 Greenfield Peace Scholarship, for allowing us to exhibit her award-winning sculpture To Heal. Thanks also to Anne McLaughlin and Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF) for sharing their collection of Hiroshima photos taken by photographer Joe O’Donnell. Thanks to Setsy and Chip Larouche and Maxine Fookson and Ned Rosch for their help with the memorial ceremony. Special thanks to Barry Amundson for handling the event livestreaming. Thanks, too, to photographer Rich Iwasaki for generously sharing these photos with us.
In case you missed it, or to see more of the We Hold Sacred exhibit, please view our livestream recording of some of the exhibit opening night.
Audience members view a timeline of BIPOC-led nuclear justice activism. Photo by Rich Iwasaki.
Our sincere thanks to all who donated to support our annual Hiroshima and Nagasaki memorial event and the work we do for nuclear justice year-round. A special thanks to our organizational cosponsors, including Ceasefire Oregon, First Unitarian Peace Action Group, Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) of Portland, Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Metanoia Peace Community / 18th Avenue Peace House, Multnomah Meeting of Friends, Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group, and Oregon Hiroshima Club. Your support makes our work possible. Thank you!