The Houses for Hiroshima project was launched not by an organization but by an individual. Schmoe’s thoughts struck a chord with many people, ending in the realization of his project. It was the crystallization of feelings of people who had known the misery of the atomic bombing, and those who sympathized with the sufferings and sorrow of the a-bomb survivors. Not only conveying messages through words, Schmoe’s attitude of visiting Hiroshima himself, working together with Japanese people, having the same food as the local people had and preparing dishes himself moved many people. As the project proceeded, Schmoe investigated the situation carefully, understood what was needed and attempted various trials. This attitude also moved the people. In addition, along with housing construction, he understood the way local people were and built a sense of affinity by interacting with local people and through volunteer work at a hospital.
Tibbs said, “Japanese people were all kind and polite. It was wonderful to meet volunteers coming from various places, elementary school students and university students. I enjoyed experiencing their culture by getting to know Japanese people. Everyone encouraged me to learn the Japanese language and accepted me97.” Friendship beyond countries, races and religious beliefs, which Schmoe thought the source of a peaceful world, were fostered. This project enormously influenced young people are responsible for the future by making them aware of the importance of cooperation.
In the current world where racial, religious and social conflicts are still a matter of concern, I would like to recall Schmoe’s concept of the Houses for Hiroshima project. Creating peace is the responsibility of each one of us and peace is established upon mutual understanding with respect.
I would like to express my appreciation to the people who provided me with precious materials, including people engaged in the Houses for Hiroshima project, their family members, people who convey Schmoe’s message and those associated with the Houses for Hiroshima project.
97 Testimony of Daisy Tibbs, 2012, People engaged in exhibition of Houses for Hiroshima at Schmoe House