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Shining Hope for Tomorrow is a collection of poems and pictures of a hundred monuments for A-bomb victims in Hiroshima. Mariko Ito wrote warmhearted poems and the late Morio Yamasaki drew pictures with soft brushwork.

Using every artistic approach, the art works based on the A-bombing are filled with strong expressions of emotions, such as misery, rage, mourning and remorse.

Every page of Shining Hope for Tomorrow, however, gives us peace of mind.

Wondering what produces this flow of peacefulness, I asked Mariko. She said, “Rage or hatred bears no fruit. As one of those who survived, I would like to speak gently to the numerous victims of the war. Furthermore, we all should live with shining hope, I believe, so that the souls of those victims could be consoled.”

I also wanted to know what had motivated the late Morio Yamasaki to draw these pictures. I asked his wife, Mariko Yamasaki. She responded to my question, “My father died in the A-bombing. My family would visit the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims on August 6 every year. My husband began drawing pictures of each monument as a way of offering prayer. Our child, who loved painting, started to go with his father. There seemed to be many talks about the facts of the A-bombing between them. That was how we passed on Hiroshima to the next generation.”

This collection was published with an English translation and was very useful to share Hiroshima with people in Japan and abroad. However, it is regrettable to say that it has been out of print only since its first printing on August 6, 1994.

We thought Shining Hope for Tomorrow should be reprinted. Our thoughts developed to include new explanations of each monument. Finding some monuments had been transferred or rebuilt, we decided to visit the locations of each monument. If possible, we also decided to meet people concerned and to translate the poems all over again.

The whole process for the new edition required a lot of time and work, but was worthwhile and educational for HSO members.

It' s too sad to say that our important member, Yoshiko Sakuma, passed away unexpectedly shortly after we started the work. We went forward based on the text she had contributed. We will never forget her and her contributions to us and to peace.

Keiko Murakami

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