Mount Union Students to Experience Japanese Culture, Study Peace Issues in Hiroshima

May 24, 2010

This summer, a group of Mount Union College students will have a rare opportunity to experience Japanese culture and study peace issues in Hiroshima, Japan through a partnership with the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation.

Since its destruction on August 6, 1945 from the atomic bomb, Hiroshima has been dedicated to the promotion of peace worldwide. It is also the center for one of the largest peace movements in the world. Hosted by the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and the Mayors for Peace organization, students will be attending a week-long academic program that will include seminars and lectures given by leading Hiroshima scholars and independent research projects at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. They will also have the opportunity to live with a Japanese host family and experience Japanese culture first-hand.

“This will be a unique opportunity for Mount Union students to study peace issues and experience Japanese culture,” said Dr. William Coleman Jr., professor of communication and assistant to the president for diversity affairs at Mount Union, who will be attending the week-long academic program with the students. “Only a few American colleges and universities have been selected to participate in this program. Mount Union is one of only 12 U.S. colleges and universities that have a formal relationship with the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation.”

Students will depart for Japan on May 14, 2010 and return on May 23. The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation will cover all expenses except airfare to Japan and rail transportation to Hiroshima. This extraordinary program will provide students with a unique perspective on peace issues and an introduction to Japanese culture.

For more information, contact Dr. Coleman at Student applications are due by February 26, 2010.


Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation

Based on Hiroshima's atomic bomb experience, the Foundation seeks to convey the facts about the bombing and contribute to the dissemination of thought promoting peace and international understanding and cooperation. The overall goal of the organization is to contribute to world peace and human happiness.

One of the Foundation’s educational programs, A-bomb exhibitions, were held throughout the U.S. in September 2007 through March 2009. Mount Union College was a host institution in 2007, when 2008 graduate Keiko Miyahara organized a Hiroshima Peace Forum and Exhibition in October.

In conjunction with the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Foundation also collaborates internationally with colleges and universities to establish and promote Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Study Courses. By approaching the bombings through the arts and humanities and social and physical sciences, students are introduced to varying perspectives on the power and inherent moral issues surrounding the use of nuclear weapons.

In 2009, Mount Union College became the most recent institution to become part of the Peace Studies Courses. Coleman submitted a proposal of membership to the Foundation and it was approved in June of 2009. Mount Union is one of only 12 institutions in the U.S. taking part in the program.

Currently, Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Study Courses have been established at 39 universities – 26 in Japan and 13 overseas. Overseas institutions include Bowling Green State University; Minnesota State University Moorhead; DePaul University; Technische Fachhochschule, Berlin; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of Hawaii, Manoa; Tufts University; American University; Illinois Wesleyan University; Central Connecticut State University; University of Chicago; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; and Mount Union.


Mayors for Peace

Mayors for Peace is an international organization composed of cities around the world that have formally signed documents expressing their support for the “Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.” This program offers cities a way to transcend national borders and work together to advocate for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

On September 1, 2009, membership stood at 3,104 cities in 134 countries and regions. The City of Alliance formally joined the organization in 2008.

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