1 Show House
In the summer of 1950, Schmoe and other members of the team visited Hiroshima again. They arrived in Hiroshima on June 18, which was two months earlier than the previous year. They added member this time, an African-American woman named Marita Johnson, a vocational school teacher from Seattle68. Some Japanese volunteers took part in the project two years in a row. This year, they received more than 10,000 dollars in donations from 500 people around the world. Among them were donors from Japanese Filipinos and Chinese whom they met on the ship to Japan and sympathized with Schmoe’s idea69. When they arrived in Hiroshima, they planned to build a new building in Hiroshima Memorial Hospital where they had volunteered, in addition to housing. However, the plan was eventually given up because the hospital administrator’s plan was unclear70. Following the previous year, they volunteered at the Hiroshima Memorial Hospital and constructed houses71.
1950 was the year when the largest number of houses were built during the Houses for Hiroshima project, and also new efforts were made. One of these was a show house. The houses in Minami-machi built in the previous year were constructed based on the design by Hiroshima City, but this time, Harry Y Okamura from Y Architecture Design Office worked out a design for a show house, which was built in Ebahigashimachi. The houses had one Western-style drawing room with space of 7.2 m2 (4.5 jou) and two Japanese rooms (7.2 m2 and 11 m2 each), a kitchen and tiled lavatory, bathroom, porch and veranda. Some photos of the construction remain. The photos show the process of building, including laying bricks for the foundation, setting the frame, placing tiles on the roof and installing the furniture.
The show house was opened to the public on July 3072 drawing attention from many people. Schmoe wrote about the show house in a report: “Volunteers from four different races and two different religions lived and worked together in Hiroshima. With help from many people, we build eight houses for families who lost their homes. The most interesting project was the construction of a show house, which was small but splendid. We completed this project first and donated the house to the city. During the public exhibition of the show house, thousands of people visited and unanimously praised it.
Women served tea for visitors every day. This show house was reported on frequently by media all over the country. The Japanese Construction Ministry offered a letter of appreciation and an award 73.
In a Japanese housing magazine, Nobuo Isahaya, the manager of Construction Division, Hiroshima Prefecture, introduced the show house in Minami-machi as Houses of Love together with the office of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) and children’s library, scheduled to be built in Motomachi. In the article, Isahaya described the show house thus: “the house is small but full of creativity” praising the fact that between the kitchen and Japanese-style room there was a cupboard, which could be used in by both sides.
Also, the cooking stove was equipped outside so that rooms did not get smoky. In addition, the bathroom with mosaic tiles was clean. He also wrote, “Both the interior and exterior walls are blue, which was unique for Japanese-style housing, but they match74”. Color photos of the show house reveal that the exterior walls were painted light blue. Not only assessing the structure, but also Isahaya praised that Schmoe’s support improved feeling of respect and love among citizens. He reported that the reason why this housing project had drawn such attention was that this support was conducted based on individuals, not large organizations. This was very different from the way Japanese people support others. Also, Schmoe and other volunteers had worked on the project together with local people while they lived in Hiroshima during the hot summer75.
When donating the show house to Hiroshima City, Schmoe said that by working together, beyond language and religion , and by being good neighbors who support each other, wars can be avoided. He also said that for people who reside in or see these houses, the donors and people who were engaged in this Houses for Hiroshima project are neighbors, and wished people to remember that these houses are only the tangible evidence of friendship76.
2 Eba Village
Another attempt in 1950 was to purchase land at the southern foot of the Ebasarayama mountain and start housing construction. From 1950 to 1952, houses were built every year. Schmoe attempted to establish a community called Eba Village by building not only houses but also a community center. In Schmoe’s blueprint, along with houses that had been built, one community center and another four houses were placed. In fact, in contrast to the initial plan, the community center was constructed on the southern side, and one house partitioned into two units, where two families were able to live, this latter being built on the northernmost side of the Eba Village.
According to a layout drawing designed at the time, not one but six varieties of layouts were planned (one of them was for the community center). The most commonly built layout was one with a kitchen, bathroom and two Japanese-style rooms with space of 10.9 m², and four houses were built according to this layout. Unlike other houses, houses built on the hillslope were equipped with a porch in the entrance and a veranda jutting out to the southern side. These houses had one study, one 10.9 m² Japanese-style room and a bathroom. In Schmoe’s document, written in 1951 before he started building the houses in Eba, he described the features of Hiroshima houses. The houses built in Ebasarayama had the same exteriors as these houses mentioned in the document.
The monthly house rent of Eba houses ranged from 300 to 350 yen, which was less than half the amount of Peace Houses in Minami-machi, so that more families were able to rent77.
3 Construction of Community house (Present day Schmoe House)
In a report written in 1951 before starting the project, Schmoe suggested the concept of a community house, which could be used not only by Eba Village residents but also people living in neighboring areas. He planned to have meeting rooms for discussing local problems, a working room equipped with sewing machines, a library, bathroom and lavatory. Among these facilities, he believed the working room equipped with sewing machines and bathroom were the most important. Schmoe thought room with a sewing machines was essential because woman who had children and lost their husband in atomic bombing or the war made a living by receiving orders from clothing factories. He wanted these women to be able to use the rooms. Regarding the bathroom, most of the families could not afford to install a bathtub after the war78.
In 1951, Shmoe did not visit Japan and Andrews took the lead instead. Vincent Audusson, an expert who majored in architecture in university and also was a member of the city development committee in Seattle, also took part79. A photo portraying the construction showed the project’s slogans: “HOUSES FOR HIROSHIMA WORK CAMP PROJECT: 1. To build understanding, 2 By building houses- 3. That there may be peace 祈平和”. Schmoe repeatedly cited these phrases in reports and letters to communicate the concept to many people.
Under these slogans, young Japanese and American people enjoyed working together. Jean Walkinshaw (maiden name: Strong) participated in the project soon after graduating from university. She wrote “At first, I struggled with the work. In particular, when I worked with a chisel, I sometimes hit my hand with the hammer by accident. However, I got used to it and enjoyed the challenge. We enjoyed working together and laughed a lot80.”
In 1951, instead of the Hiroshima Nagarekawa Church in which they used to stay, the female volunteers stayed at a Japanese woman’s house in Eba Village and male volunteers in
houses which were vacant during the summer. It was a sweltering summer season with occasional showers. When they slept at night, they put up a mosquito net to avoid mosquitos and moths. Regarding food, they purchased fruit and fish from shops or markets nearby and purchased eggs, meat and bread at a place a short distance from their residence. Cheese was expensive and they needed to cook mayonnaise with oil bought at a department store. Butter was precious81.
In addition, Walkinshaw said, “I was moved by the gentle and generous people. It was impressive that people were cheerful while facing food shortages, destruction and a lack of transportation systems. In particular, I was touched by the consideration and thoughtfulness of the Japanese women with whom I worked. When it was my turn to cook, I surprised them with what I had bought. I could not speak Japanese and almost all the ingredients were new to me, hence sometimes I bought unusual combinations of food. However, everyone was so kind that they had what I cooked although they thought my dishes were a little strange82.” As Schmoe thought, they fostered friendship and deepened understanding through house building.
The Community house equipped with a hall and bathroom as Schmoe planned. Comparing the original design plan and the layout of the current Schmoe House, there are changes in the entrance location and the hall had been replaced with an exhibition room and the bathroom had become a storage room. The layout of the 5.4 m² room equipped with a closet, and the locations of the bathroom, sink and lavatory remain as they had been in the original design.
In 1951, approximately 8,000 dollars were donated from 400 people around the world83. Furthermore, the community house building was constructed by donation from Alice Franklin Brant, who was captured in a camp in the Philippines under the occupation of Japan during the war. He donated his reparation money of 2,018 dollars provided by the American government.
On August 5, the donation ceremony of housing and the community house was conducted. Andrews explained in his speech that they built houses in order to protest against the American government regarding the atomic bombing, and to express their affection and goodwill toward the Japanese people. At night, slides were presented and the Community house was full of local children who had heard about the event.
68 Asahi Shimbun, June 18 and 19, 1950
70 Letter from Floyd Schmoe to Emery Andrews June 26, 1950 Emery E. Andrews papers, 1925-1959 University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Accession No.1908-001 Box 4 Folder 12
71 Letter from Tomiko Yamazaki to Emery Andrews June 26, 1950 Emery E. Andrews papers, 1925-1959 University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Accession No.1908-001 Box 4 Folder 12
73 Floyd Schmoe “HOUSES FOR HIROSHIMA Terminal Report 1950” Floyd W. Schmoe Papers,1903-1993 University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Accession No.0496-008 Box12 Folder 16
74 Nobuo Isahaya, “Hiroshima no Kokusai Kenchiku (International Buildings in Hiroshima)”, Shinjutaku Shouwa 25 Nen 9-10 Gatsugou Tsukan dai 41 Gou (New Housing September and October Issue, 1950, vol. 40), Shinjutaku Sha, 1950, pp48-49
75 Nobuo Isahaya,“Hiroshima no Kokusai Kenchiku (International Buildings in Hiroshima)”, Shinjutaku Shouwa 25 Nen 9-10 Gatsugou Tsukan dai 41 Gou (New Housing September and October Issue, 1950, vol. 40), Shinjutaku Sha, 1950, pp48-49
76 Floyd Schmoe “Remarks at the presentation of a “model house” to the City of Hiroshima” August 4, 1950 Floyd W. Schmoe Papers, 1903-1993 University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Accession No.0496-008 Box12 Folder 30
77 Floyd Schmoe “HOUSES FOR HIROSHIMA Terminal Report 1950” Floyd W. Schmoe Papers, 1903-1993 University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Accession No.0496-008 Box12 Folder 16
78 HOUSES FOR HIROSHIMA Report from Floyd Schmoe to Friednds Floyd W. Schmoe Papers, 1903-1993 University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Accession No.0496-008 Box12 Folder 16
79 “THE SEATTLE TIMES”Sunday, November 25, 1951 Floyd W. Schmoe Papers,1903-1993 University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Accession No.0496-008 Box13 Folder 9
80 Testimony of Jean Walkinshaw, 2012 People engaged in exhibition of Houses for Hiroshima at Schmoe House
81 The report from Jean Walkinshaw to everyone, donated by Jean Walkinshaw, owned by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
82 Testimony of Jean Walkinshaw, 2012 People engaged in exhibition of Houses for Hiroshima at Schmoe House
83 Floyd Schmoe “HOUSES FOR HIROSHIMA Terminal Report 1951” Floyd W. Schmoe Papers,1903-1993 University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Accession No.0496-008 Box12 Folder 16