Welcome

My name is Masaaki Murakami. I’m a 25 year-old guide at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. 
I graduated from university three years ago.
Currently, I’m working part-time at night and serving as a guide at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park every afternoon (except on rainy days).
There is a reason why I am doing this.
I first started working as a guide (or rather, first started coming to the Peace Park) two years ago. It was in April, and I was in the fourth year of university. The truth is, at first I wasn’t thinking at all about becoming a guide. I came to the Peace Park because there were a lot of foreigners there, and I wanted to work on my English. So, I came to the park and did things like folding cranes with foreign visitors.

While I was folding cranes I learned things from the park guides and read some of the park’s printed materials, and little by little I became a guide, too.
At first, I think I was more concerned with simply having the people who had journeyed from far away to see Hiroshima enjoy themselves than with telling them about the atomic bomb.
However, as I became a guide and learned more, I realized my own ignorance. I had been born and raised in Hiroshima, yet I knew nothing. I had been in the park a few times, but I didn’t know a thing about the Atomic Bomb Dome, the cenotaphs, or the memorial tower.
At the same time, as I talked with survivors of the atomic bomb and continued to learn about Hiroshima’s history, I came to realize: “These are things people need to know. We need to communicate these things to others. This is important.”
The man who is teaching me about the atomic bombing is Kosei Mito, who was in-utero when the bombing occurred and who has served as a volunteer guide every day for 10 years.
As a guide, the motto goes like this: “Conveying the facts in a way that is accurate, easy to understand, and resonates in people’s hearts.”
I am always conscious of these words.
As I guide people in the park, I can feel the importance of the information carried forward by younger generations. This is because the atomic bomb survivors and the guides who have told Hiroshima’s story until now are aging and passing away, and right now is our only chance to take on their knowledge and memories.
Also, there are some things we are able to convey by virtue of being young. I think this because sometimes visitors of my generation, younger generations, or my parents’ generation tell us that we were very easy to understand and that our feelings came through to them. Of course, it isn’t easy, but we are able to convey the story of the atomic bombing without having experienced it ourselves, and I feel that is what we must do.
Because of these thoughts, this is the path I chose once I graduated from my university.

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