tv Sadako Crane Donation to the Truman Library CSPAN January 2, 2016 12:00pm-12:54pm EST
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> you are watching american history tv, all weekend on c-span3. >> coming up next on the presidency, harry s truman welcome -- welcomes the for the donation of a rare paper crane became the symbol of peace and reconciliation after world war ii. dying,ne was voted by a 12-year-old girl who was two years old when the americans dropped the atomic bomb on hiroshima on president truman's order. she put her hopes in a japanese legend that promised one wish in cranese for 1000 origami . it inspired children around the
world to phobia cranes and send them to her memorial. we will your next from clifton truman and her brother. the event was hosted by the harry s truman presidential library, it is just under an hour. >> good evening. it is my pleasure to welcome you here for a wonderful program. welcome to the library. it is always great to see people here. we are delighted to have you this evening for a program we think you will enjoy. we have had a wonderful day here at the library. we are the recipient of a special guest from japan and you'll hear about that tonight. i will not go into too many details other than to welcome you and introduce the panel. you have programs in front of you. to the immediate left is clifton truman daniel, the eldest grandson of harry s. truman.
he is the honorary chairman of the truman library institute board. it is great to have him here. seated to his left, is mr. sasaki, the brother of sadako sasaki about whom you will learn about in this program. i also want to introduce, myoto who will be doing some translating tonight. there will be a little bit of a delay, but you will enjoy the remarks. she is the deputy director for educational programs for the japan society of new york. it is a great pleasure to have her with us. i also want to introduce yuji sasaki in the front where a -- front row who will be doing a musical program later.
now, i will turn to clifton to hear his remarks. clifton: thank you for being here. this starts with thank you. thank you for being here and to yuji and masahiro becoming all the way to the states and the german library. we toured our grandparents home them wherecould show i peeled up the linoleum. [laughter] i will tell you about the nickname he has given me, bad boy. [laughter] clifton: the thank you also goes to kurt and the staff of the records and administration.
two alex, and the staff of the library institute, every one of them, in making and putting this together and asking for the crane. all of them have been open, excepting, helpful, they have made this a wonderful experience. i would like to extend that thanks to john sherman and the board of the truman library institute. there are members of the board, past members, who had fought in the pacific during world war ii. not all -- i did not only catch any flack for this, but they behaved with empathy and honor and i am grateful for that. i am also grateful to the citizens of missouri and kansas city and independence, because it is not just my legacy that is at stake, it is yours. my grandfather's legacy belongs
to all of us. i really appreciate you being here and i appreciate this acceptance of this gesture. the first part of the story is a story of the teacher. my grandfather never talk to me bombings, andic to be fair, i never asked him to. outisited my grandparents here in the last thing i wanted was a history lesson. grandpa would give you one if he could catch you. [laughter] clifton: so i do not ask about the bombings or anything else. i learned about them from my textbooks, as most of you did. they had a picture or a page or two, not much. a picture of the mushroom cloud, facts and figures, but nothing about what happened to the people on the ground. in 1999, my son wesley who is now 26, he was 10 years old and he came home with a book.
sadako and the 1000 cranes. she was a real little girl who lived in hiroshima. she was two years old when the bomb destroyed the city. she and her family escaped unscathed, they were lucky. but nine years later, she was diagnosed with radiation induced leukemia. in an effort to help yourself, she followed a japanese tradition that says if you fold 1000 origami paper cranes, you are granted a wish for good health and a long life. she folded about 1500 cranes during her months in the hospital, but she died of leukemia in 1955. her friends and family and schoolmates raised money to build a monument to her and all children who had been killed, wounded, and sickened by the bomb.
that was the first human story i had seen out of hiroshima and nagasaki. i remember telling wesley, that i thought it was important for him to understand his great-grandfather's decision but , equally important for him to understand the price that was paid in hiroshima and nagasaki. wesley said he liked the book, he liked it because he said it was realistic, it did not have a happy ending. but his teacher did not just give him the book. she did not just teach the story, she taught them japanese history, culture, she took them to a japanese restaurant. they had a japanese tea ceremony. i came home one afternoon and found him in the living room wearing a kimono. [laughter] clifton: with green tea and sushi on the coffee table behind him. the two of them, his teacher and wesley, brought japan into our
lives and changed our lives. that is what brought me here tonight. and that teacher, rosemary barilla, is sitting in the front row. [applause] clifton: and before i go on, this is the book. not the book, but one of the books wesley brought home with the story in it. and my wife, who is also sitting in the front row next to rosemary, polly found that these at a half-price book store, 6-7 of them and said here. you are doing this now you will , need these. and we took them home and i think this was the last one we had and i was flipping through it to see if we had -- to remind me of something and i opened the
back and i found "barilla," stamped inside. and i thought what we would do, we signed this and thought that we would give you back your book. [applause] clifton: to go on that story, i , mentioned a couple of japanese journalists, because on the anniversary of the bombs, if you are related to harry truman you get phone calls. and i mention this to a couple of japanese journalists and that story got to japan and then i got a phone call from mr. sasaki who was in the state on business. we talked for a few minutes and all he said was, i think it is interesting that you and your sister read my sister story,
maybe we could work together one day and maybe we could meet. maybe if you would consider coming to japan. and i said, sure. and nothing happened for six years. we made that connection and that was great. and then six years later, 2000 2010, weas in 2004, met at the world trade center in manhattan, the tribute center, where they were donating one of the last cranes to the center as a gesture of healing. during that conversation, we met at a conference room upstairs, and during that conversation he took out a small box and from it he took a tiny paper crane and said, that was the last one she folded before she died. would you come to hiroshima and nagasaki? and i said yes. the minute i said it, he said, ok if you're going to do that we will give another one to the uss
arizona memorial in pearl harbor, which we have done. it was almost simultaneous. i went to hiroshima in 2012 with my wife and son and in september he took the crane to the pearl harbor uss arizona memorial. so they brought that full circle for me. the trip to japan was wonderful. it was difficult at times. we met, in addition to going to the -- attending both ceremonies in hiroshima and nagasaki, we we met and listened to the more than two dozen survivors and they are remarkable people. despite what i have been -- what they have been through, they reached out with only one thing in mind, without anger, without incrimination, they reach out simply to tell their stories so the rest of us
understand what it is like to live through a nuclear explosion. masahiro in hiroshima, there was a mr. ito and he lost his brother in hiroshima and his son at the world trade center. and at the end of the day, on august 6, 2012, mr. ito created a lantern to his brother and son and invited polly and me to go down to the river and light that lantern and send it down the river as a message to the lost souls. he prayed to his brother to find his son, because they still have not found his remains in the ruins of the center. and another survivor we met, mr. mori, i don't know how many of you know this, but mr. mori, there were 12 americans who died in hiroshima. they were prisoners of war.
and two of them survived the bombing for a time. they were in the basement of a building and they survived. they had horrible radiation poisoning and died a day or two later. mr. mori was working on something else and found out that people were drying pictures of americans after the bombing. and he spent 20 years of his life and his own money, tracking down the american families of those flyers, so that their loved ones would know what finally happened to them. because of the secrecy of the warm, because of the bombs, nobody could sell them for sure what happened. so i found in hiroshima and nagasaki, i found great kindness, openness of this idea of me being there. sahiro, iintroduce ma
would like to say that i have been enormously proud of you and all of you in this city and country and of the truman library for the way that they have been accepted on this visit here, so thank you for that. and now i would like to introduce you to masahiro sasaki who reached out to me in kindness to help me understand what that is like so that we never do it to each other again. thank you. [applause]
mr. sasaki: good evening ladies and gentlemen. i am masahiro sasaki. [speaking in japanese] please allow me to speak in japanese. [speaking in japanese] mr. sasaki: usually i do not , usually icript speak without a note. but in order for me to convey our message accurately, please allow me to use this script at this time. [speaking japanese]
mr. sasaki: i am very grateful and honored to be here and have this day coming true, the day i have been really looking forward to and planning for, to be -- grateful to be invited here today. [speaking japanese] mr. sasaki: actually, the donation we have today was made --e possible greatly by mr. he -- who was not here today. because of him, the state has come true. [speaking japanese]
mr. sasaki: i would also like to express our sincere gratitude equally to all of the people who are working at the truman library who made this day possible so that we could donate sadako's crane. thank you very much. [speaking japanese] mr. sasaki: the significance and the reasons why we are donating the cranes to various parts of the world is for us to wish to have the true end of war in our hearts, that we would have between the united states and japan. [speaking japanese]
mr. sasaki: i am an atomic bomb survivor, but i never had animosity toward the united states or ill feelings towards this country. ond i can tell you that sadak would probably share the same feeling. so we share and convey in our hearts this message to the president truman today. [speaking japanese] mr. sasaki: i am convinced and would like to believe that the message in our hearts has
mr. sasaki: so during the time we are standing at the site, i felt it was very necessary for us to understand president truman's position at the time, when he faced a very difficult decision to drop the bomb. but at the same time, we would like to honor that also his humane feelings he may have exhibited at that time. we would like to honor that as well and share this photo to say to him, to please rest in peace forever. [speaking japanese]
chance to see the paper cranes she folded, it reminds us how fortunate we are to experience our daily lives, such as a a beautiful morning, we can be very grateful. if we have this compassion at step, that can be the next to bond as, to unite as for a grander peace. that is one of my hopes, to achieve this. [speaking japanese] mr. sasaki: compassionate heart, in japanese, it is translated as "you" rather than "me." [speaking japanese]
are doing, which will teach you and why the fallen paper cranes have helped people in a difficult situation and help them access pencils to write, which means education, and help them access bread, which i believe he means food today. -- food to eat. we would like to explore that possibility that why floating -- why folding paper cranes would make that movement possible. [speaking japanese]
mr. sasaki: so far, we have donated paper cranes to the center in new york city. city and austria, brazil, iran, okinawa, and cities within japan. particularly i would like to mention that mr. daniel helped us get in touch with the national park service and that really helped us to donate one of the cranes at the site and with that, that signifies the
mr. sasaki: we met mr. daniel for the first time in 2000 -- in may 2010 in new york city and we believe that mr. daniel is the one that truly understands the meaning and significance of the story and he was the one to understand the whole thing the most and we are very grateful to meet him in new york. [speaking japanese] mr. sasaki: regardless of the fact we never met before then, we felt an immediate bond.
i do not know why, but i felt an immediate bond with you. [speaking japanese] mr. sasaki: during our meeting, the first meeting with mr. daniel, he shared with us his desire to have a better understanding of the effect of the bonds and also he would like to have a better understanding of how the survivors survived to -- up to today. that is what he shared with us a very sincerely during the meeting. [speaking japanese]
mr. sasaki: i also did a research to have better understanding of president harry truman and i was able to access one document that really showed me his human side and that was at the national archives from the administration. [speaking japanese] mr. sasaki: the document i was able to read was actually the
response, the response to a one senator who had sent a telegram to president truman saying that, "our people of the united states believe we should continue to strike the united -- strike the japanese until they are brought to their knees." and here is what he responded to the senator and i will read exactly what it said, "on august ninth, 1945. is terriblyjapan cool and in uncivilized nation, but i cannot bring myself to believe that.
we should not have saying that in the same manner. regret the necessity of wiping out -- because of the big headedness of the nation and for your information, i am that going to do it unless it is absolutely necessary. it is my opinion that after the russians enter into war, the -- japanese will shortly my object is to save as many american lives as possible, but i also have humane feelings for the women and children of japan. sincerely yours, harry truman." [speaking japanese] mr. sasaki: so this correspondence probably took
war, a big scar, that is what the word is -- scar, that is with the war does. if that scar is still affecting us, regardless of who did it, maybe we did not do it, but people in the past day, we really have to admit the mistake we may have had at that time in regards to the attack on pearl harbor without giving the warning. we did have to reflect on our action. [speaking japanese] mr. sasaki: so this heart reflects the mission and activities of the legacy. [speaking japanese]
mr. sasaki: so i think this kind of thinking is intentional and something we need in order to have a better mutual understanding of the people who are actually seeking for the end of war in our hearts. that goes beyond the differences we can see in the education of these two countries, in japan and the u.s. [speaking japanese] mr. sasaki: what i like to do is prepare and create the
environment where we can talk about the common understanding related to the war in the past for the future generations. in order to do so, we would like and facilitate a paper grain for educators for both countries as quickly as possible. [speaking japanese] mr. sasaki: so, we need a mr. daniel to be part of this initiative and he will continue to work with us. [speaking japanese]
mr. sasaki: the world is watching us right now this historical moment. we would also like to create an environment where we can forgive one another. [speaking japanese] mr. sasaki: i am certain that today is the day and actually the real starting point for the end of the war in our hearts. mr. sasaki: our goal must not be peace in our time, but peace for all time.
he is a singer and songwriter from japan, he will perform a song he has written. and he is a brand-new father. he shared a picture with us tonight. we are very happy about that. as he is coming up, i will invite you to look at the screens on either side of the stage. we will display the crane for you to see what was donated today. this is what was folded by sadako, this is one of the last ones we understand. he is going to sing his song, go ahead. [applause] host: he will sing that song in japanese as he wrote it, but then at the end, he will sing one first coachella in english .ee it -- a cappella
[applause] yuji sasaki:[speaking japanese] >> i am sorry that i presented this song in japanese, i wonder how many of you listen to best understand japanese? understand japanese? it is good to see that there are hands up. for those of you who do not know japanese, i would like to present some verses in english.
yuji sasaki: she has gone from can we this earth but her memory lives on so please remember her when you hear this song i will keep the darkness from -- like rainine we will meet once again say a prayer for peace on earth keep the world safe from harm may you tell them paper cranes shine hope on everyone say a prayer for harmony
we hope the wings of peace we will keep you safe forever the wings of peace will keep you safe forever ♪ yuji sasaki: thank you so much. [applause] host: thank you. what a beautiful tribute. it is touching to realize that you wrote such a beautiful piece for your aunt that you have never met. i am sure your father and others would agree that you captured her life and her mission. you honor the spirit of her tradition. and thank you for coming from japan to share that with us. in a few minutes when we exit
, you will have the opportunity to see this crane you see on the screen. it is very small and we invite , you to take a moment to look at it and see how carefully it was put together. it is always a great day for a museum or institution like ours when we received a significant donation, anything that helps us tell the story of harry truman better, with more impact or audience. when we can talk about themes in his life or the decisions he made. that is always a wonderful thing for us. withe to tell you today, particularly poignant because of the effect it had not just on the institution, but the effect it had on all of us who got to participate. experiencencredible theme to personally sit at
truman grave with a man whose life was so significantly altered by the decision that president truman made. he stood there at that grave bowed,s head exemplifying the theme he spoke about, you before me. your needs and interests ahead of my own. can you imagine what kind of place the world would be if citizens everywhere could embrace that kind of a message. it was a powerful moment for all of us to be a part of that. clifton mentioned that as sadako folded those cranes as part of a tradition that said you would be a wish and that was assumed that it would be longevity and good health. outourse, that wish turned
not to be. but if you think of her wish as they wish for peace, there were things she said that indicated it was in her heart, that today and days like today, that suggests that her wish is still being granted and coming true. we appreciate so much dissipating in this kind of event. as we conclude, we invite you to go out the way that you came in, into the lobby and enjoy looking at the crane. before we adjourn, there is one final thing that needs to happen. mr. daniel will teach you all how to speak a little bit of japanese. at the conclusion of that, we will exit the auditorium and meet you in the lobby. clifton: thank you. and thank you for those kind words. i do not know much japanese. i know enough to get by.
but there is a saying at the end of an event or something you have done together, there is a saying that means well done. we got through it, we did it well, congratulations, it wraps all of that up. everybody in the group says it together and we all clap for each other. the japanese, when you finish something, everybody claps. will let me teach it to you and we can all say it together and give ourselves a round of applause and we ended the evening on a good true -- in the -- traditional notes. [speaking japanese] we will slow that down. [laughter] first part is "oats" "karya" "sama" "deshta"