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Farewell party held for Hiroshima A-bomb survivor, peace activist Sunao Tsuboi

Attendees offer flowers at the farewell party for Sunao Tsuboi in Naka Ward, Hiroshima, on Dec. 22, 2021. (Mainichi/Tadashi Kako)

HIROSHIMA -- A farewell party for A-bomb survivor and peace campaigner Sunao Tsuboi, who died in October at the age of 96, was held at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum here on Dec. 22.

    Tsuboi was the former chairman of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations (Hiroshima Hidankyo), and the event was attended by about 400 people, including A-bomb survivors, or hibakusha, who engaged in activities with him and his students from his days as a junior high school teacher.

    Those in attendance mourned Tsuboi, who devoted himself wholeheartedly to the anti-nuclear movement with a lifelong determination to "never give up," and renewed their pledge for peace.

    The event in Hiroshima's Naka Ward was organized by Hiroshima Hidankyo. Standing in front of a screen showing a photo of Tsuboi, Toshiyuki Mimaki, 79, his successor as chairman of the organization, said, "I'm sad to think I'll never see that smile again."

    When Tsuboi was a junior high school teacher, he shared his experience of the atomic bombing with his students, calling himself the "Pika-don teacher," a reference used for the bomb at the time, with "pika" meaning "flash" and "don" meaning "boom." After retiring, he worked in Japan and abroad as a representative member of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations.

    In praise of his achievements, Mimaki commented, "He appealed in the spirit of reconciliation, believing that no one else should have to go through such an experience. He gave us emotional support."

    (Japanese original by Misa Koyama, Isamu Gari, and Naomi Yamamoto, Hiroshima Bureau)

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