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Hiroshima Jogakuin High School and Mount Union College Maintain Strong Relationship

March 30, 2010

Mount Union College and the Hiroshima Jogakuin High School in Hiroshima, Japan have continued to maintain a strong relationship since 1956.

 

Click here to listen to a WRMU 91.1 FM interview with students from Hiroshima Jogakuin High School. Kyoko Niiyama, a sophomore communication major, who is the 11th recipient of the Murakami Scholarship conducted the interview.

  

History Behind the Relationship

During the 1950s, an Alliance Methodist missionary was teaching at the Hiroshima Jogakuin High School where Yoshino “Yoshi” Murakami was a student. During her high school career, Murakami won a nationwide English speech contest and the missionary saw her potential and encouraged her to further her education at an English speaking institution. Because the missionary was from Alliance, he recommended Mount Union College. Murakami traveled on a steamer for two months in 1952 and became the first Japanese student admitted to the institution after World War II.

Following graduation, she continued her education at The Ohio State University. She also got married and had a son. Shortly after giving birth, she was diagnosed with cancer as a result of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and died at the age of 32 in 1966.

Murakami formed many relationships while on Mount Union’s campus. One relationship in particular was with former choir director, Dr. Cecil Stewart. He was the driving force behind establishing a scholarship in her honor. Every four years, a graduate from Hiroshima Jogakuin High School is awarded a full-tuition, four-year scholarship to Mount Union. The first scholarship was awarded in 1968. The next Murakami Scholarship will be awarded in 2012.

The third scholarship recipient was Dr. Naoko Oyabu-Mathis, who is a professor of sociology at Mount Union. The current Murakami Scholar is Kyoko Niiyama, a sophomore communication major, who is the 11th recipient to be honored.

                     Dr. Naoko Oyabu-Mathis is the third recipient of the Murakami Scholarship and is a professor of sociology at Mount Union.   Current Murakami Scholar, Kyoko Niiyama talks to Hiroshima Jogakuin High School students Friday, March 26 about peace and war.

In July of 2007, Mount Union also established three $10,000  Kurose Peace Awards. The annual awards are named after Shinichiro Kurose, chancellor and chair of the board of trustees of Hiroshima Jogakuin School, which includes a kindergarten, junior high school, high school and a university. Kurose has been integral in the peace movement and promoting peace in the Hiroshima Jogakuin School and in his community and country.

Hiroshima Jogakuin High School Students Visit Mount Union in March 2010

A group of 10 students from the school arrived on Mount Union’s campus on March 24 and will be on campus until April 2.

Each student has been placed with a host family in Alliance. During the students’ stay in Alliance, the girls and their advisers will visit Mount Union College, Alliance High School, Alliance Middle School, Parkway Elementary School, students in the Navigators program and Sebring McKinley High School and give a presentation on the Hiroshima experience and what their school and students at that time experienced after the dropping of the atomic bomb. They will also tour the Glamorgan Castle and Harry London’s Chocolate Factory.

  Ten students from Hiroshima Jogakuin High School will be on Mount Union’s campus for an American cultural experience March 24-April 2. The students spent Friday, March 26 learning about war and peace in the United States and abroad.

Peace Forum Scheduled for April 1

A Peace Forum will be held on Thursday, April 1 at 10:30 a.m. in Chapman Hall Room 202.

During the forum, Dr. William Coleman, professor of communication and assistant to the president for diversity will discuss Mount Union’s peace efforts and its plans to create a major in peace studies.

Ten students from Hiroshima Jogakuin High School will also give a presentation about the Hiroshima experience and what their school and students at that time experienced after the dropping of the atomic bomb.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Center for Global Education at (330) 823-3296.

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