Hamline News

Promoting Peace

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It was 1992 when then-Saint Paul Mayor Jim Scheibel visited the Peace Park in Nagasaki, Japan. As St. Paul’s sister city, Scheibel thought it was important that the Peace Park included a sculpture from Minnesota, a symbol of the lasting friendship between the two cities. This year, Nagasaki and St. Paul celebrates their 60th anniversary of sisterhood as Nagasaki also remembers the 70th anniversary of the bombing during World War II.

This fall, Scheibel, now a professor of practice in the Management, Marketing, and Public Administration Department in the Hamline School of Business, is teaching a first year seminar class called The City as University: Hamline Without Walls. The class aims to provide students with the opportunity to not only learn outside of Hamline, but to be better global citizens. As part of that effort, the class heard from a special visitor from Nagasaki, Japan. Michiko Harada shared her story as a survivor of the atomic bomb that contributed to the end of World War II. She was able to tell her story in the United States for the first time through a trip made by possible by St. Paul Nagasaki Sister City Committee and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

The director the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb, Masanobu Chita, accompanied Harada as she spoke to the class. Through a translator, she recounted the haunting memory when, as a six-year-old girl, she ventured outside after a flash of light to find a world surrounded in fire. Her father died at age 50 from the exposure to the radiation he experienced and she lost many other friends and family members as a result of the war. 

Harada, however, survived and was relieved when her children were born without any negative health consequences of her exposure. Harada has dedicated her life to being a proponent of peace; believing that wars should never be fought and they are not a successful way to resolve conflict. She travels the world telling her story and asking people across the globe to think about ways to lead a peaceful life.