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Peace Scholars Prepare for Hiroshima

Since their selection this spring, our 2023 Hiroshima Peace Scholarship (HPS) scholars Yuuka Brown (Kalani High School) and Reina Gammarino (Punahou School) have been busily preparing for their 10-day trip to Hiroshima. As part of their preparations for their summer study trip, HPS scholars have been attending monthly educational workshops. They have been learning about the history of World War II in the US and Japan; practicing how to share their perspectives to the media; and working on research projects that they will present in Hiroshima.

As part of their preparations, our HPS Scholars participated in JASH and Pacific Historic Parks’ Sadako Peace Projects. Volunteers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Matsunaga Institute, University of Hawaii at West Oahu, Hawaii Baptist Academy, Farrington High School, Kalani High School, and Punahou School assisted in our April project day. Our volunteers share with visitors the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who was a victim of the Hiroshima atomic bombing and passed away due to the effects of irradiation at the age of twelve, and emphasize her message for world peace. In sharing Sadako’s story, our volunteers teach visitors how to fold their own peace cranes and encourage them to take home cranes with handwritten messages of peace, which were folded and donated by students in Japan.

Through the Sadako Peace Projects, we hope to connect the people of Hawaii, Japan, and around the world to establish friendships and cross-cultural understanding, raise awareness of the consequences of war, and build a more peaceful future.

Teaching visitors to Pearl Harbor how to fold orizuru peace cranes

In May, HPS scholars learned about peace through different perspectives. They watched a testimony by Ms. Keiko Ogura, a hibakusha atomic bombing survivor, who the scholars will have the opportunity to meet when they visit Hiroshima in August. They shared their perspectives and discussed what they have learned from her story with Ms. Naomi Hirano-Omizo, one of the founders of this scholarship.

The scholars also had the opportunity to receive media training from Ms. Jocelyn Collado from Becker Communications, who has taught many people about effective communication through the news media. They learned how to eloquently manage their verbal responses and non-verbal poise for interviews they may be asked to do as representatives of this scholarship. In this media training, the HPS scholars had hands-on experiences being interviewed by a reporter, watched back their recorded interviews, and received useful feedback for improvement. Mahalo to Jocelyn for the special coaching!

Scholars receiving media training from Ms. Collado

For June’s workshops, our HPS scholars worked diligently on their many projects that they will be doing in Hiroshima. The scholars, along with their friends and family, have been busily folding and organizing their cranes for their senbazuru 1,000 paper crane garland. They also prepared and practiced their joint self-introduction presentation and their individual family war story interview presentations, which they will present to other high school students and other community members while in Hiroshima to share about past and current experiences in Hawaii and the U.S.

Scholars preparing cranes for their senbazuru to hang in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

To learn more about the Hiroshima Peace Scholarship, its sister program the Hawaii Heiwa Scholarship, and our Sadako Peace Projects, please contact Program Specialist Christianne Ono at

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