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Hiroshima/Nagasaki Study Tour

Hiroshima A-bomb dome, on the night of the lantern ceremony on August 6

Updated on November 5, 2022: 
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this study tour was cancelled in 2020, 2021, and 2022. We hopefully resume the tour in 2023. 
If you are interested in participating or getting information about this summer tour, please contact 

Take Advantage of a Rare Opportunity to Study Nuclear History in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Hiroshima survivor Keiji Nakazawa (left),
author of Barefoot Gen, speaks to the group
in summer 2011.
(Nakazaswa died December 2012).
American University’s NuclearStudies Institute welcomes participants to the summer study tour to Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, Japan. Offered every summer beginning with the 1995 commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombings, the class was named “the most creative and innovative” summer program in North America by the North American Association of Summer Sessions. Participants regularly describe the experience as “life-changing.” The class explores the ethical, political, and military implications of the wartime use of atomic bombs; the human and physical devastation wrought by the atomic bombings; Japanese wartime aggression; current Japanese and international efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons; the history of the arms race; the building of closer ties between the peoples of the United States, Japan, and China; and the issues surrounding nuclear power plants. It is designed to provide citizens with the knowledge to act responsibly in today’s charged political atmosphere and to provide peace activists with the historical background needed to maximize the effectiveness of their efforts.
Students from Japan, US, China
at the baseball game
The class is offered on a for-credit basis to undergraduate and graduate students and a reduced-cost non-credit basis for other participants. U.S. participants live and study with an equal number of Japanese and other Asian students and professors from Japan’s Meiji Gakuin University. Participants spend time with atomic bomb survivors. One of Japan’s most prominent and youngest hibakusha, KokoTanimoto Kondo—daughter of Rev. Kiyoshi Tanimoto, who was portrayed so unforgettably by John Hersey in his classic Hiroshima—travels with the group the entire time. We also meet with scholars, journalists, and peace activists. Students also participate in a broad range of public and private commemorative events and visit peace museums and relevant cultural and historical sites in Tokyo/Yokohama, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, such as the Tokyo Air Raid Museum, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, The Oka Masaharu Memorial Nagasaki Peace Museum, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, and peace parks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although the subject matter is serious, participants also have time to socialize and even attend a Hiroshima Carps baseball game.
Koko Tanimoto Kondo, Hiroshima
survivor and students from Japan

The course is led by Professors Peter Kuznick and Takao Takahara. Kuznick who has written extensively on nuclear history, is Professor of History and Director of American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute. Professor Kuznick’s “The UntoldHistory of the United States,” a 10 part documentary film series and tie-in book that he has coauthored with filmmaker Oliver Stone, was broadcast on Showtime in November 2012. Professor Takahara teaches international politics and peace research at Meiji Gakuin University. Kuznick and Takahara are assisted by Ms. Satoko Norimatsu. Ms. Norimatsu directs the Peace Philosophy Centre in Vancouver, Canada. Her book, Resistant Islands: Okinawa Confronts Japan and the United States, coauthored with Gavan McCormack was published in 2012 (second edition 2018) by Rowman & Littlefield. 
Koko Tanimoto Kondo speaks to students
at Shukkeien Park, where many a-bomb
victims sought refuge.

More information is available at
 or by contacting Peter Kuznick at

(All photos are from the 2011 tour. Speakers and events vary each year.)

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