Hiroshima Peace Memorial

Mr. Munakata's Performance

Ken Koshio


.: welcome to our site


"Hiroshima Calling"

Ken Koshio and World Youth Visit Exchange Association of Arizona (WYVEAA) Invite the Public to View This Traveling Poster Exhibit; Promoting Peace, Education, Art and Cultural Exchange.

On the left:

Mr. Munakata Sensei - Traditional Taiko & Noh Master from Hiroshima

.: Exhibition information: The story of Hiroshima Calling

     In collaboration with the Hiroshima Peace Museum, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are offering free educational poster exhibits that chronicle the atomic bomb of August of 1945. The goal of the exhibit is to reach 101 U.S. cities over a two-year period, ending December 31, 2008. (This means 2 cities in each state and one in the District of Columbia to host the exhibit.)

The Arizona exhibit, named “Hiroshima Calling,” will visit 5 locations around the state, starting Oct. 20th, 2008 through November 28th, 2008. What makes Arizona unique among states that are hosting this exhibit is that Hiroshima Calling will be accompanied by a 71 year-old survivor (hibakusha) of the atomic bomb. His name is Mr. Munakata, he is also known as Munakata sensei. He is a living legend; a taiko drum master, Noh theater artist, and a Shinto priest, well known across Japan. Munakata sensei has devoted his life to art, education and peace, and to reviving the culture that was lost in Hiroshima after the atomic bomb.

Munakata sensei is the first taiko master to allow women, including western women, to practice taiko. He had several foreigners studying at his school over 25 years ago in Hiroshima, Japan. He taught his students songs and music that was lost in Hiroshima after the bomb dropped. One of these foreign students, Esther Vandecar, returned years later to Phoenix where she founded Fushicho Daiko and has been playing and teaching these lost tunes, some of which are over 1,000 years old,. People in Phoenix, and around the state of Arizona, have been listening to these tunes for years, while some people in Hiroshima are not aware that they exist!

Now, Munakata sensei will come to Arizona along with the poster exhibit to talk with people about his life and experience, to play taiko music, perform Noh theater and to share a life of art, music and peace with the people of Arizona. He will be accompanied by 3 Japanese taiko drummers and artists, also from Hiroshima, Japan. Together with the local taiko group, Fushicho Daiko, they will have at least 3 major performances during their stay in Arizona. At each performance there will be a talk with the audience about the exhibit and Munakata’s life, a taiko drumming performance of revived Hiroshima music and Noh theater demonstration and/or workshop – all open to the public for free.

One stop the taiko troupe will make is to the Hopi reservation in Northern Arizona. They will meet with Hopi traditional hoop dancers to play traditional taiko music, together with songs and prayers of peace and cultural exchange. This is of great significance as it is said that the uranium that produced the atomic bomb came from the Native American lands of northern Arizona. Now, a survivor of the atomic bomb is coming to this place to share art, stories and peace.

Ken Koshio, a local musician, taiko drummer and roster for Arizona Commission on the Arts, first became alerted to this program in May 2008 in a conversation with the minister of the Arizona Buddhist Temple. The minister, Ryuuta Furumoto, is a Hiroshima native and is currently posted from Japan to the Arizona temple for 7 years. Mr. Furumoto inspired Ken to want to bring the exhibit to Arizona. Ken called around to his friends and contacts within the community to rally support for this program and they put together a planning committee with representatives from: the Japanese American Citizens League, the Japanese Friendship Gardens Phoenix, Arizona Aikido, World Youth Visit Exchange Association of Arizona (WYVEAA) and a few other downtown Phoenix residents that wanted to help.

WYVEAA stepped forward to sponsor the exhibit, using their non-profit status to assist with fundraising and also to support their own mission to promote education and cultural exchange with Japan.

The planning committee has been meeting twice per month since May 2008 to discuss the benefits of this exhibit and how to present this to the people of Arizona. The committee concluded that they believe this is a worthy event to share with Arizonans. Hiroshima Calling will help us to remember world history, including stories of loss and devastation across cultures. It also reminds us how to have hope and to live with our neighbors in a peaceful way, in a peaceful society. Hiroshima Calling recognizes the importance of art and culture and how it influences our lives and our history that will be passed on to future generations. This exhibit will be interesting and entertaining for audiences; it promotes cultural exchange, diversity, art, story-telling, music and peace through education and sharing.

The exhibit will be open for public viewing at: Phoenix City Hall Atrium, ASU downtown campus library, Arizona Historical Society, Northern Arizona University, and the Moore Art Gallery on Grand Avenue in Phoenix. Performances will be held at the Arizona Historical Society, Northern Arizona University and at the Hopi Reservation in Northern Arizona.

.: event brochure (1)



event brochure (2)

Brochure designed by Roisan Rubio / Original poster photos from Hiroshima Peace Museum.

Extra ! Extra ! The event story published on ASU Online News: Click Here for the Link !

.: thank you!

Thank you for visiting Hiroshima Calling website. We greatly appreciate your support and we look forward to seeing you at the exhibit

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