74 Years After Hiroshima, Nagasaki: Authoritarianism, Hatred on Rise

New York, N.Y. The 26th Annual Interfaith Peace Ceremony to Commemorate the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings was held this week at the Japan Society in New York City. The event drew attention to rising authoritarianism around the world coupled with an upswing of White Nationalism and general racism and xenophobia in the United States. It offered thoughts, prayers – and a call for action.

Ringing of the Peace Bell. Video: Stewardship Report.

Organized by the Rev. Dr. T.K. Nakagaki, founder of the Heiwa Peace & Reconciliation Foundation, this is the 26th year the bombings have been commemorated in New York.

 Video: Stewardship Report.

 Video: Stewardship Report.

“T.K.” is a Japanese Buddhist priest, Hiroshima Peace Ambassador, Peace Correspondent of Nagasaki, President/Founder of the Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York; Former President of the Buddhist Council of New York has organized this Annual Interfaith Peace Gathering since 1994.

Video: Stewardship Report.

At 7:15pm, the exact moment of the Hiroshima bombing (8:15 Aug. 6th Japan time), a bell for peace was rung on stage by the interfaith leaders gathered.

Video: Stewardship Report.

Muslim prayer for peace. Video: Stewardship Report.

Interfaith representatives across the East Coast attended, including Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki, Rev. Susana Bastarrica, Bidita Rahman Bhuiyan, Rev. Chloe Breyer, Guru Dileepji Maharaj, Pastor Haye Frank, Rev. Jiro Mihama, Ven. Rifa Shi, and Dr. Kazuko Tatsumura, along with musicians and choirs from Japan and the United States.

Dr. Kazuko Tatsumura performed a Shinto ritual in honor of the dead.

The Circle Wind Boys & Girls Choir performed at the Interfaith Peace Ceremony.
Video: Stewardship Report.

Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura, a Shinto priest, is founder of Gaia Holistic Foundation of New York and vice president of both Orphans International Worldwide and the J. Luce Foundation. Rabbi Michael Feinberg was unable to attend.

The keynote address was presented by Jonathan Granoff,
President of the Global Security Institute. Video: Stewardship Report.

Video: Stewardship Report.

Messages from the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were read by representatives from associations of local Japanese residents who originally hail from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Video: Stewardship Report.

Video: Stewardship Report.

Hiroshima survivor Tomiko Morimoto West shared her story. Tomiko is one of the few remaining survivors, called Hibakusha, who was a teen when the bomb fell on Hiroshima and shared with the audience how she so unfortunately left home that morning angry with her mother – and never saw her again…

Video: Stewardship Report.

Video: Stewardship Report.

The keynote address was presented by Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute. He is a senior adviser of American Bar Association’s Committee on Arms Control and National Security, and has served as Vice President of the NGO Committee on Disarmament at the United Nations.

Video: Stewardship Report.

Video: Stewardship Report.

The event will feature Japanese and American musicians and artists: (New York based musicians) Toshiko Akiyoshi, jazz pianist and Lew Tabackin, saxophonist; Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir; Tenri Gagaku Music Society of New York; Circle Wind Boys & Girls Choir.

Presentation of Peace Declaration from the Mayor of Hiroshima, read
by Tak Furumoto, New York Hiroshima-kai. Video: Stewardship Report.

Also, Japan based musicians and artists such as EITA, calligrapher/poet and DAI, singer/guitarist; Fumiko Yamato, Yamatomai Japanese dancer; Shizuno Nasu, Contemporary Dancer; Miho “ARIA” Kawauchi, Crystal bowl player; and Yasunobu Matsuo, pianist. Also performing was the Heiwa Peace Band, featuring Sonny Ochiai and Rino, just prior to the ceremony.

Presentation of a letter from the Mayor of Nagasaki. Mayor of Nagasaki, read
by Tetsuya Sato, New York Nagasaki Kenjin-kai 
Video: Stewardship Report.

Video: Stewardship Report.

The Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bomb Photo Exhibition was also on display in the Japan Society Foyer where Peace Arts by Kunio Suzuki was displayed.

Video: Stewardship Report.

Both Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura and Jim Luce serve with Rev. Dr. T.K. Nakagaki on the Board of the Heiwa Peace & Reconciliation Foundation of New York. Both Rev. Dr. T.K. Nakagaki and Dr. Jonathan Granoff have received leadership awards from the J. Luce Foundation for their service to humanity.

IMG_2027The author with  Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura and Rev. Dr. T.K. Nakagaki.

See: Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura’s Column in Japan’s Weekly Biz

See also: Dr. Jonathan Granoff: Japan Society Keynote on Horror of Nuclear War

See also: Jim Luce on Peace & Conflict Resolution
Jim Luce was raised by parent deeply opposed to the Vietnam War and sibling actively engaged in protesting against it.  He visited Sri Lanka frequently through its conflict and established a fund to support Afghanistan and frequently writes about both countries.

Senbazuru are 1,000 origami paper cranes, symbolizing peace. 


Sonny Ochiai is a certified teacher of the Society for the Preservation of the Nomura School of Ryukyuan Classical Music based in Okinawa. The Okinawa Times newspaper company awarded him the ‘Merit of Excellence’ in 2008 and proceeded to grant him the ‘Apex Award’ in 2010.

Rino Aise is a performer of drama and music, particularly for peace. She learned drama at the United Performer’s Studio, led by Yoko Narahashi, and studied traditional folk songs from Ryushu Kubota of Japan Folk Song Association.

HEIWA Peace Band is formed to promote peace through music, as the Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York was formed. Members are Rino Aise (vocal & sanshin), Sonny Ochiai (vocal & sanshin), Hiroshi Kono( guitar), TK Nakagaki (bass) and Jun Nakanishi (percussion, drums and guitar)

Ken Saito (M.C.): Ken is an actor/English Rakugo performer who has a lot of experience of stage performance in Japan and came to NYC 2015 to learn more about acting techniques. After he finished 2 year program at an acting school HB Studio in 2017, he started establishing his career in NY, Mainly performing English Rakugo.

Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki (TK) is a Buddhist priest, ordained in the 750-year-old Jodoshinshu tradition of Japanese Buddhism.  Rev. TK Nakagaki is President and Founder of the Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York (NPO); Hiroshima Peace Ambassador, Peace Correspondent of Nagasaki City, Vice President and former President of the Buddhist Council of New York. Since 1994, he has organized an annual interfaith peace event to commemorate the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.

Master Fumiko Yamato, a traditional Japanese dancer, was born in Wakayama, Japan.  At the age of 9, she started to be apprenticed to Kikunojo Onoue, a very famous Japanese traditional dancer / initiator of the Onoue School.  After he passed away, Fumiko established “YAMATO MAI”.  She’s also received instruction from Jakuemon Nakamura, a very famous Kabuki actor / Living National Treasure.  Fumiko has experienced numerous recitals including at famous theaters in Japan and performances abroad including for shrines across Japan 100+ times.  She tells the Japanese culture via ”The spirit of Yamato dance”. YAMATO MAI appeared on the stage of MacDonald’s Gospel Fest 2016 and they fascinated 20,000 people.

Shizuno Nasu, a contemporary dancer, was born in Osaka, Japan and began her classical ballet training at age three to be chosen as an exchange student with the Bolshoi Ballet at age seven and made her debut as a professional dancer at age 19.  She has won high praise in France, Germany, Italy, Greece, India, South Korea, China, Japan and the U.S. She undertook a multi-year pilgrimage, performing in every prefecture of Japan including annual dance in Hiroshima Peace Park.  She currently resides in Volcano, on the Island of Hawai’i, where she continues to generate new Spiral Visions attuned to the rhythms of Mother Nature, teach dance. http://dance-shizuno.chu.jp/

Yasunobu Matsuo, a pianist, is known as a pioneer of healing music – a new genre composed by his original melodies and harmonies.  He often holds live performances in large open spaces of nature worldwide, such as “power spots”; spiritual places that enhance life energy, that purifies and relaxes both mind and body. With over 35 years of experience as a professional musician, Matsuo continues to express the healing power of man’s harmonious relationship with nature through the power of music. “Requiem of Heaven and Earth was chosen as 2015-2016 Exhibition program music by Yuzuru Hanyu, the Winter Olympic gold medalist of figure skating. EndFragment

Miho “ARIA” Kawauchi, a crystal bowl player, performs for peace at concert halls (ex:Musikverein) and sacred places in the world including Magatama Ike in Ise Grand Shrine Geku, Izumo Grand Shrine, Togakushi Shrine. She performed in Europe in 2018 at the opportunities hosted by Fumiko Yamato,  “Isadora in Abbondanza ” at Ca’ Pasetti Bombardella Treviso, Italy in Oct., at  Studio Harucourt in Paris, France, played for 160th Anniversary of relationship between Japan and France, and at performance in Cologne, Germany in Dec.

Circle Wind Boys & Girls Choir has been officially formed 20016, under the effort of Mike Shirota , Founder of NPO 9.11 Circle Wind Memorial Concert and Ryuichi Miura, CEO of New York Seikatsu Press, with strong hope of letting the traditional Japanese children songs, school songs and nursery rhymes succeeded to future Japanese generations living in the New York metropolitan area. Their official debut was at the 9th Circle Wind Concert held at Markin Concert Hall in New York 20016. They achieved cultural exchange as the first mission of the HASEKURA Cup, held at Coria del Rio in Spain in 2019.

Hiromi Abe is a pianist/composer from Fukushima, Japan. She has worked as producer / engineer in the music/recording industry.  Her works have been released through major and minor labels. She has performed internationally with various ensembles, artists and DJs of multi genre characterizing New York City. She holds BAs from Kunitachi College of Music and the University of the Arts. She also holds a MA in music composition from Queens College.

EITA and DAI have been spreading the messages of “importance of life”, “miracle of birth”, and “peace” throughout Japan and in other countries. They performed in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa, where they suffered from the past wars.

EITA (Eita Segawa) is a social activist, a calligrapher, and a poet.  He has written impromptu poems to more than 60,000 people to date on an individual basis, and has held his exhibits more than 120 times throughout the various stores of the biggest chain mall in Japan. Additionally, he has exhibited in Hawaii, L.A., New York, South Korea, the Netherlands, and Cambodia.

DAI (Daisuke Katsumata) is a musician who has accomplished a lot of great works. DAI until recently was the vocalist of the rock band “OKAN” that achieved the unheard-of feat of performing a concert successfully at the Osaka Castle Hall. The band has since gone on Asian tours nine times with the purpose of uniting the various Asian countries into one big Asia through music.  In June 2018, DAI took a break after 22 years from the band and began his journey as a solo musician.

Tomiko Morimoto West, a Hibakusha survivor from Hiroshima, former faculty of Vassar College and the New Paltz Language Immersion Institute, has spoken extensively about how vital it is for us to work together toward achieving world peace.  Ms. West was only 13-years old when the Enola Gay dropped “Little Boy” on her city on August 6, 1945.

Tenri Gagaku Music Society of New York was founded in 1979 to promote mutual cultural understanding through the appreciation of Gagaku. The Society is an instructional group and welcomes new members.  It is affiliated with the Tenri Cultural Institute of New York, 43A West 13th St., New York, NY 10011, www.tenri.org, under Tenrikyo Mission, New York Center in Flushing, NY.

Avadhuta H. H. Jagat Guru Dileepji Maharaj is a Humanitarian, Spiritual Leader, Interfaith Minister, Monk, Yoga Master, Musician, Singer, Motivational Speaker, Event Organizer and much more! Guruji is the Global Chairman of the World Yoga Community, an NGO Associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications. Guruji is the founder of the “International Day of Yoga” global movement, a trustee of the “All Faiths Seminary International” etc. Website: http://www.guruji.us

Rev. Dr. Chloe Breyer has directed ICNY since 2007, and worked with hundreds of grassroots religious leaders from diverse faith traditions to catalyze partnerships with civic officials and resolve social problems plaguing New York City. Issues of shared concern have included police reform, immigration concerns, and combating anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.  An Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of New York, Chloe also serves as Associate Priest at St. Philip’s Church in Harlem.

Rev. Jiro Mihama is a minister of Tenrikyo Mission New York Center. He was assigned as the secretary of Tenrikyo Mision New York Center in 2012, and became a director of the same Center in May, 2017.

Bidita Rahman is a director of Interfaith Center of USA, and Research Assistant St. John’s university.

Rev. Susana Bastarrica is a Founder and Organizer of the Annual Vigil for International Peace and Ecology, which is a transformational, grassroots effort dedicated to promulgate peace through participation in art, song, dance, music, community and ceremony. She has been instrumental in expanding the vision of the Central Park Bandshell Vigil for more than 15 years through cultural interaction and education to raise for Global Peace awareness. www.vigil4peace.org

Ven. Refa Shi is an abbot and founder of Ruiguang Temple of Buddhist Peaceful Enlightenment, in Brooklyn; a former president of The American Buddhist Confederation, which consists of various Chinese temples in New York City area. He was ordained in 1979, and graduated from Buddhist College in Suzhou, China in 1987. He came to the United State in 1993, and graduated from York College social work program of CUNY in 2003.

Rabbi Michael Feinberg is a Reconstructionist rabbi and a social change organizer. For the past 20 years, he has served as Executive Director of the Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition, an interfaith worker rights and economic justice advocacy organization based in NYC. He has been an activist in movements for social justice, peace, and human rights for more than forty years. He is a graduate of Cornell, Oxford, and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and a recipient of a Revson Fellowship and a Union Square Award.

Dr. Kazuko Tatsumura Hillyer has dedicated her life to work in Holistic Health and Philanthropic field especially for unfortunate children worldwide. Dr Kazuko Tatsumura (OMD, PhD) was first an accomplished pianist, then, world famous impresario in 1970s & 80s producing 2,000 events each year over 100 countries until she retired in 1992. She established a nonprofit organizations Concert Arts Society, and the GAIA Holistic Center in 2001, based on the wisdom of the East. She is a Shinto priest and representative of the famous Shinto Shrine Tenkawa Daibenzaiten Jinjya in Nara, Japan.

Frank A. Haye & The Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir (BIC) is an ensemble committed to bringing people together through artistic expression. Founder Frank A. Haye, conductor, choral director, flutist, composer, and producer, says:  “We believe the power of music transcends our cultural, political, financial, and religious differences to expose that which we truly share:  faith, hope, and love.” Members receive world-class musical training and fellowship with artists from diverse ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds. In April 2014, BIC received second place honors in Verona Italy’s International Choral Competition and has also performed in Cairo, Egypt at the Samaa International Festival of Peace.

H.E. Mr. Yasuhisa Kawamura, Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, is a Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations. He served Foreign Press Secretary as the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman for two years. He also posted as minister at the Japanese Embassy in India and deputy consul at the Consulate General of Japan in New York.EndFragment

Mr. Jonathan Granoff is an attorney, author and international advocate emphasizing the legal and ethical dimensions of human development and security, with a specific focus on advancing the rule of law to address international security and the threats posed by nuclear weapons. He serves on numerous governing and advisory boards including: Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, Fortune Forum, Jane Goodall Institute, the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, and Middle Powers Initiative. He is a recipient of the Rutgers University School of Law’s Arthur E. Armitage Distinguished Alumni Award and a 2014 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Toshiko Akiyoshi’s unique contributions to the jazz world have evolved like falling dominoes through a series of events that started with a piano-loving little Japanese girl in China and brought her to prominence as an unparalleled pianist, composer and leader of the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. Toshiko’s recordings have received a total of 14 Grammy Award nominations. Manchurian-born Akiyoshi’s interest in the piano began at age six. She received many honors, including recognitions from the emperor of Japan (Shijaho-sho in 1999, Kyokujitsu-sho in 2004)

Lew Tabackin, flutist and tenor saxophonist, is an artist of astonishing vision. His electrifying flute playing is at once virtuosic, primordial, cross-cultural, and passionate. His distinctive tenor sax style includes the use of wide intervals, abrupt changes of mood and tempo, and purposeful fervor, all in the service of showing the full range of possibilities of his instrument – melodically, rhythmically, and dynamically. Without copying or emulating jazz greats of the past, Mr. Tabackin has absorbed elements into his style, ultimately creating his own sound and aura. http://www.lewtabackin.com

ART EXHIBITION & A-Bomb Exhibition

Natsuko Hattori was born and raised in Japan. She a visual artist and sculptor based in New York City. Fabric is her medium of choice because people everywhere can relate more easily to this material which conveys warmth, natural softness and the intimate human touch. The act of wrapping is central to her sculptures. In New York, her works had been exhibited The Metropolitan Museum, Lobby Gallery at The Wall Street Journal Building, Chashama Gallery and so on. http://www.natsukohattori.net

Kunio Suzuki, Japanese painter was born in Niigata in 1960. He graduated from Tama Art University in 1987. He has held numerous exhibitions in Tokyo, New York, Toronto and Belgium. He is a member of the Japan Artist Association. http://members2.jcom.home.ne.jp/kuniro

Genbaku-ten: These panels were made for the A-bomb Exhibition at the United Nations, at the time of the NPT Review Conference in May, 2005. They were prepared by Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations. 

Origami Therapy Association (OTA): Origami Therapy Association (OTA)” was founded in order to promote the therapeutic use of origami, to develop the applications of origami in community building, and for furthering research pertaining to the benefits of origami.

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About Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens

View all posts by Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens
Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens
Jim Luce (www.lucefoundation.org) writes and speaks on Thought Leaders and Global Citizens. Bringing 26 years management experience within both investment banking and the non-profit sector, Jim has worked for Daiwa Bank, Merrill Lynch, a spin-off of Lazard Freres, and two not-for profit organizations and a foundation he founded. As Founder & CEO of Orphans International Worldwide (www.oiww.org), he is working with a strong network of committed professionals to build interfaith, interracial, Internet-connected orphanages in Haiti and Indonesia, and creating a new, family-care model for orphans in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

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