||When a Peace
Picture Book by Hideko Tamura
Hideko Tamura Snider, who had
experienced the atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima, published a picture book
“When a Peace Tree Blooms” last year. She wants to tell of the fear of
an A-bomb, the agony, hope for recovery, caring for people, and the precious
treasure of peace to children as well as adults, through a heartwarming
She didn’t want to make her book scary and looked for tender images for
it. She finally found artist Mari Kishi, who could create fantastic images
of the peace tree, people, animals, houses, mountains, and sky. Kishi
was editing children’s books and working for NHK’s educational programs.
The story begins with a girl, who is
happily taking a walk in a wood. She encounters an old couple, who are
planting a seed with their wish for peace.
The couple tells a story of war with a faraway country and the aftermath
of an A-bomb attack. One day, a man from the faraway country gave them
seeds of a mysterious tree, which bore delicious fruits. Everyone who
ate the fruits had a caring and happy feeling. People named the tree “A
The couple has planted seeds of the Peace Tree around the world and become
old. Now they are planting the last seed in the wood. What would the girl
The picture book “When a Peace Tree Blooms” is available for purchase
online through www.osdinitiatives.com. All proceeds from the book sale
have been donated to the children in Fukushima, Japan.
Hideko Tamura previously authored her A-bomb experience “One Sunny Day.”
On August 6, 1945, 12-year-old Hideko
Tamura was a mile away from ground zero and lost her mother, who was closer
to the zero point.
Later, Tamura entered a Christian school. She revived a little feeling
of trust toward people when she met an American reverend.
She came to the U.S. as a student and graduated from the College of Wooster
with a BA. She obtained an MA in social work from the University of Chicago,
and at the same time graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary. She
was a supervisor at an Adult Psychiatry Clinic at Northwestern University,
and later she worked as a clinical social worker and psychotherapist at
the University of Chicago Medicine. She was awarded an honorary doctorate
from the College of Wooster in 2010. Since her retirement, she has lived
In Oregon, Tamura was appointed as a
multicultural commissioner for the city of Medford. She joined the Rogue
Valley Peace Choir and brought them to Japan in 2006 to share power and
energy singing for peace.
The Rogue Valley Peace Choir had the first concert along with two local
choir groups in Japan. As they sang hand in hand for peace, conductor
Dave Marston was so moved and composed a new song “From America to Hiroshima”
The song was placed in a time capsule which was installed in a new monument
at Hiroshima Koi Elementary School, completed in 2010.
Tamura said in a previous interview that the monument was built not to
condemn the people who dropped the bomb, but simply to mark a human experience.
The A-Bomb was not only an incident in Hiroshima, but affected people
throughout the world.
After publishing the picture book, a
group of Tamura’s friends from Japan visited Oregon last summer and had
a reunion with the Rogue Valley Peace Choir. Medford Mayor Gary Wheeler
and Ashland Mayor John Stromberg welcomed them.
In Ashland, the 28th Annual Ashland Hiroshima-Nagasaki Vigil took place
from August 4th to the 9th, and the group including Mari Kishi attended
it. The event has been sponsored by the Women’s International League for
Peace and Freedom. The Rogue Valle Peace Choir sang “Cranes over Hiroshima”
and some other pieces and remembered their departed conductor Dave Marston.
As a part of the event, Hiroshima Reflection was held at Lithia Park,
and Nagasaki Reflection was held at a Japanese garden in Lighia Park.
The Japanese Association of Southern Oregon and the group sang “A Thousand
Winds” and others.
The City of Ashland, Oregon, has been
a nuclear free zone since 1981 and a member of Mayors for Peace since
Hideko Tamura has devoted herself
for promoting world peace and was named “Hiroshima Peace Ambassador” by
the City of Hiroshima the end of last year.
Picture book “When a Peace Tree Blooms”
The 28th Annual Ashland Hiroshima-Nagasaki Vigil
in Ashland, Oregon
friends from Japan reunite with the Rogue Valley
Hideko Tamura Presents a goodwill letter from Hiroshima
Mayor to Medford Mayor Gary Wheeler.
Nagasaki Reflection held at a Japanese garden in Lighia