自分らしく生きて

His family from the left Mr. Tagawa Masahisa ( his son ) Shimako ( his mother ) Junko ( his wife )
Juichi Tagawa(41)
Asaminami ward, Hiroshima city

We must reconsider the present educational system.
One of my pupils came to me and muttered, "When I helped a classmate who had been bullied, all the other classmates began to ignore me. You always taught us to be friendly with everybody, didn't you? " A first grader gave these words.
I felt something was strange and out of order. It seemed to me his simple words presented us with a question about the Japanese educational system after World War II. "Therefore, I wish to do my utmost in educating children all the more now.
I wish to cultivate a broad, considerate, and free mind which is receptive to the world,"
said Mr. Tagawa.


The days at the Hamburg Japanese School in Germany
Seemingly resembled but unlike countries, Germany and Japan
After returning to Japan from Germany where he worked for three years as a teacher at the Hamburg Japanese School from April, 1981, Mr. Tagawa began to teach his pupils a sense of internationalism. Two years ago, he co-published a book compiling his own educational practices. His report in the book was highly evaluated as 'a practice of international understanding rooted in the local area' and won education awarding from the National Education Study Union.
Also, he took a graduate school entrance examination of the School Education Study Department, Hiroshima University at 38 years old and passed the examination.
In March, 1995, he received his master's degree as the oldest student in his class.

Mr. Tagawa said, "In Germany, if one only utter words doubting about the historical fact of the Nazi genocide of Jewish people, it is a crime. German and Japan, both which were defeated in the war, are respectively related to Auschwitz and the A-bomb by which a great many civilian lives were sacrificed.
Where did this difference of consciousness for peace emerge from, even though they experienced a similar history? The answer is education, I think."
He continued, "When I visited a school class in Germany for the first time, many things surprised me. First of all, during radio gymnastics lesson, at most schools, pupils didn't stand in line, nor did anyone give a command. The reasons were as follows; to force a person to a norm is meaningless; to give a command reminds us of the army."
"Pupils stand on the ground freely and exercise at their will. I'll never forget the delightful smiling face," he added.
The second thing, which surprised Mr. Tagawa was their remarkable curriculum.
The way of carrying out lessons and the choice of learning materials depended exclusively on the teachers. Teachers themselves decided what to teach their pupils after deliberate consideration.
He said, "I was very surprised at their method of teaching, but the biggest surprise was the pupils' ability of speaking and criticizing. Even the youngest students spoke their opinions freely and furthermore criticized their teachers when they didn't agree with them.
German teachers told me with a smile that it was their highest honor to educate pupils who would straightforwardly resist against them."
The entire war was reflected and made use of in the schools. For example, the national system which produced 'Hitler', the carelessness, and lack of self-direction of the people who easily bowed to him.
The three years in Germany were very precious for Mr. Tagawa.

I always felt my mother's prayer for me.
Mr. Tagawa's mother experienced the bombing in Nakahiro-cho, which is 1.4km apart from the center of the explosion. Mr. Tagawa was born in 1955, ten years after the bombing, but he also suffered aftereffects of the A-bomb. He suffered from tuberculosis of the lungs at the age of 17 when he was in the third grade of senior high school.
Nevertheless he overcame the disease by strengthening his determination in faith. This experience made him decide to become a teacher and devote his life to the education for peace.


Various memories of his mother has been etched in his mind. His mother had gone through many trials and tribulations, such as the failure of family business and the aftereffect of the A-bomb, her alcoholic husband and his death.
"But she was always cheerful and raised five daughters as well as me being the youngest desperately. She was, however, only once dreadfully strict to me. That was when I was suffering from tuberculosis of the lungs. She scolded me, with tears in her eyes, saying that I must fight with my sickness courageously and she wouldn't forgive me if I cry unmanly. After scolding me, she averted her eyes.
" Mr. Tagawa never lost heart at all, because of the compassion of his mother who sometimes adopted the attitude of detachment toward him with a bated breath while watching him warmly.
"Whenever I look back on my life, I think I have been always protected by the prayers of my mother. I can't be a greater educator than my mother however hard I may study."


With Mr. You Ming Zhe/front

With Hiroshima Youth Peace Committee members in Korea/the third from the left

At a Chinese Hall in Malaysia/center

Talking with citizens of Chinese descent in Singapore/the right
Friendship cherished throughout the world.
Mr. Tagawa visited fifteen countries in Europe, four Asian countries such as South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and China. He observed first hand various faces of their people, cultures, life and historical views. "Many times I heard it was said, 'How we wished another A-bomb drop in Hiroshima!' I was also bitterly criticized many times by Asian people because of their anti-Japanese feeling. I was often tempted not to listen to their criticism.
At the same, however, I won many friends and built irreplaceable friendships. Among them is Mr. You Ming Zhe, a Chinese friend of mine."
Mr. You was bombed while he was studying at Hiroshima University. He was seriously injured and returned home with a lot of difficulties, only to find his friends and his acquaintances were killed by an invading Japanese army. His native town was destroyed to pieces.
He has been suffering for fifty years from after effects of the A-bomb, such as an internal organ disease, feelings of extreme weariness, anemia and so on.
The Japanese government, however, made neither allowances nor compensation for Chinese and other Asians, including Mr. You, who had experienced the bombing. The government also pretended. to be ignorant of their responsibility for the invasion and they were so mean as to try to hide their deeds and to hush up the pain of the people who had suffered from the bombing and the invasion.
But Mr. You, talked to Mr. Tagawa with a smile when they first met. "Hiroshima is my second hometown. The friendship I cherished with the people of Hiroshima will never change," said Mr. You.
A warm feeling came into Mr. Tagawa's heart. The friendship once built will never be destroyed no matter what may happen ...."I was very, very happy to hear his words," said Mr. Tagawa.,
"I learned the true meaning of integrity as a human-being from him." Mr. Tagawa, who persistently has been telling 'a heart of peace' in the classroom, sometimes makes use of the opportunities to tell his experiences abroad as well as the misery caused by the bombing. Hearing the story of Mr. Tagawa, one boy murmured, "The world seems becoming narrower and narrower. All of us are friends."

Tsunehiro Tomoda Etsuko Kanemitsu Satoshi Umesako Jung Bok Soon Kunisou Hatanaka BACK