SHIKAOI, Hokkaido — A Hiroshima A-bomb survivor ink artist seeking to amplify his nuclear abolition message will hand out miniature brooms signifying the renunciation of war in front of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, coinciding with his art show opening in the city on June 24.
Miki Tsukishita, 82, a resident of the Hokkaido town of Shikaoi, was exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing in Hiroshima when he was 4 years old. He is upset that the recent Group of Seven (G7) summit held in the A-bombed city from May 19 to 21 recognized the deterrence of war through the possession of nuclear weapons.
The joint document, “G7 Leaders’ Hiroshima Vision on Nuclear Disarmament,” set forth the direction that the G7 would pursue to realize a world without nuclear weapons. At the same time, the document referred to nuclear deterrence. While it also pointed out the importance of nuclear nonproliferation, Tsukishita said emphatically, “What we are seeking is not nuclear nonproliferation, but nuclear abolition.”
The feelings of the people of Hiroshima cannot be conveyed only by the appeal letter. So, in line with his already scheduled show in Hiroshima, Tsukishita decided to convey the wishes of A-bomb survivors for nuclear abolition by distributing miniature brooms, paper cranes and letters of appeal to foreign visitors to the Hiroshima museum.
Tsukishita made about 8-centimeter-long “senso hoki” brooms with his friends using materials such as Ryukyu Island pine trees and perennial shell ginger native to Okinawa Prefecture, where ground battles took place during World War II. Senso (war) hoki is a pun on the Japanese word “hoki,” which means both broom and renunciation, implying the renunciation of war. The brooms were originally planned to be displayed at the exhibition, but instead will be handed out on the streets.
The appeal letter included the statement that the U.S. atomic bombs dropped on Japan and Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons violated international humanitarian law. Tsukishita told the Mainichi Shimbun, “The G7 summit was a farcical tourism event. Don’t underestimate hibakusha. Even though this is only one person’s activity, I can’t help but do it.”