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Hiroshima for Global Peace

What We Hope to Communicate through Drama (Hiroshima Municipal Funairi High School Drama Club)

All ten members of the Hiroshima Municipal Funairi High School Drama Club – five first-year and five second-year students – worked to perform a drama on the atomic bombing. We asked about this activity, which has continued since 1976.

The Drama Club takes on five to six performances a year, remaining active even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among its activities, the club tackles works that highlight the cruelty of atomic bombs, the abolition of nuclear weapons, and the preciousness of peace. Students themselves have been writing scripts for about three years, embarking upon the creation of works while asking themselves what they can do for the sake of peace.

 For the 2021 school year, the club is worked on “Keisho: Thoughts from ‘On a Bright Summer Morning’.” The work expresses differences in views and the need for multifaceted approaches on the right and wrong of the need for nuclear weapons, through the emotions of the characters.
 Said Natsuki Sata (photo, center), one of the scriptwriters, “The title ‘Keisho’ has two meanings. One of these is ‘inheritance’ to communicate the misery caused by the dropping of the atomic bomb to create a world without nuclear weapons. The other meaning of the word is that of a ‘warning bell’ over the world’s current nuclear weapon situation. This is a work in which our generation tells people about the atomic bomb while sounding a warning about the state of nuclear weapons.”
 Honoka Ogasawara (photo, right), who also worked on the script, said, “This work expands on many hints in a number of scenes, including the wartime dream scene. We hope to express the emotions of the characters beyond what the lines can say.”
 Yuka Utamura (photo, left), who worked on the script together with the other two students and is also the director of the club, said, “A lot of people feel that nuclear weapons are bad and that peace is important. So, we think it’s important to closely listen to a lot of ideas and opinions on how we can achieve it. Drama is a tool that lets us communicate messages to a lot of people. We would be thrilled if we can communicate our own thoughts through this work.”

 The Funairi High School Drama Club has been active since 1947. At the Municipal No. 1 Girls’ School, the predecessor of Funairi High School, the atomic bombing took the lives of many students and teachers. Against this background, every year the club has undertaken works on the theme of the atomic bomb and peace.
 Kohei Koyama, a teacher and alumni of the Drama Club who also serves as an adviser to the club, passionately instructing the students in drama again on this day, said, “Continuing to communicate messages to many people from Hiroshima, the site of the atomic bombing, is a sure thing that the students can do now. More than anything, I think that the process by which the students think and ask questions on their own, and give shape to what they have investigated, is a precious thing.”

 It is unfortunately difficult for the general public to see the drama due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but at the 61st Hiroshima Prefectural High School Comprehensive Drama Meet held in Fukuyama City on November 14, 2021, the club performed and delivered an incandescent performance and a powerful message.

(Nine students are shown, with one absent.).
Hiroshima Municipal Funairi High School Drama Club

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