The Hiroshima Salon is different every time. Every time, it includes different themes with new guests at other places.
It is an event, in which I discuss with my guests personal experiences and reports about the atom bomb in Hiroshima, atom bombs worldwide, but also the friendship between Japan and other countries and world peace. Simultaneously, the audience watches my video recordings and interviews, which I have conducted personally in Hiroshima, Fukushima, Tokio and Germany.
Sometimes, we sing Japanese songs in between, we dance Japanese dances, cook Japanese meals – anything to experience Japan, to be closer to this culture. The participants are always a diverse group, from “cosplayers” to activists. It sounds crazy but I try to think about world peace with others in my own way. With this intension, the Hiroshima Salon has been staged more than 40 times in more than 10 cities.
The History of Hiroshima-Salon (Chronic)
Oktober 18,2010 Schauspielhaus Hannover, Ballhof 2 Premiere ‘Little Boy-Big Taifoon’
The play ‘Little Boy-Big Tyfoon” by Japanese author Hisashi Inoue celebrated its world premiere in 2008 in Japan. Sachiko Hara became attentive to the play and proposed it to Schauspiel Hannover as Hannover is Hiroshima’s twin city. The premiere at Schauspiel Hannover took place on September 18, 2010 – it was also the play’s European premiere. For this purpose, Soeren Voima (Henschel Verlag) and Sachiko Hara collaborated on the German translation, which was published in Fachmagazin Theater der Zeit, issue 10/2001. Subsequently, the play was also staged at other theatres, for example at Deutsches Theater Berlin. Furthermore, Sachiko Hara directed it herself as part of a theatre project of the Japanology department at Hamburg University. Moreover, she directed and coordinated numerous readings of the play in various cities with amateur actors. This is part of her peace work.
From January 13. until 11.03. 2011 Schauspielhaus Hannover, Ballhof 2 ‚Hiroshima-salon‘ after every performance of ‚Little Boy-Big Taifoon‘
The Hiroshima Salon premiered on January 13, 2011 at Ballhof2. The Hiroshima Salon started out as complementary programme to the play “Little Boy-Big Taifoon”. After the performance at Ballhof1, the audience was invited to attend the Hiroshima Salon at Ballhof 2. On a big cooking isle I prepared the Hiroshima speciality “okonomiyaki”. The guests ate Okonomiyaki and drank green tea while I told them about my research journey in Hiroshima in summer 2010. I continued this Salon as cooking show until March 2011.
From Oct. 2011 until June 2012 Regular performances of Hiroshima Salon at Schauspielhaus Hannover, Ballhof 2
After the catastrophe in Japan’s northeast on November 3, 2011, I took a break for a while. At the restart in October 2011 I had completely changed the content of the Hiroshima Salon. It was about current topics like fear, sadness and endless worry. At that time I tried to tell the feelings of the Japanese honestly. In preparation, I travelled around Japan with a Geiger counter in summer 2011, and I recorded my journey, my family and friends with a video camera. Interviews were also included, such as those with the head of the German-Japanese Society, cosplayers and various people in Hanover who supported Japanese affected by the disaster.
March 03, 2012 Deutsches Theater Berlin in the context of ’Sperrzone Japan. Ein Jahr nach Fukushima.’
I have created a Berlin version of the Hiroshima Salon with this programme. Here, the programme is called “After the catastrophe”. On the same day, the premiere of “Little Boy-Big Taifoon” took place at Deutsches Theater Berlin.
On April 26,2012 Schauspielhaus Hannover: Hiroshima-Salon special: Cosplay-Karaoke Show
My goal was to get the attention of younger generations for Hiroshima Salon, which is why I invited numerous cosplayers in Hannover. There, I have seen many cosplayers in the streets. Most of them are interested in Japan because of the animes. I thought they would be the connection between us and younger Hanoverians. More than ten amazing cosplayers sung their favourite songs (mostly in Japanese) and danced. We also discussed what we could do for the victims of the catastrophe in Japan. “First remembering, and then retelling”, one of the cosplayers said. “We belong together”, said another one. At the end of the show we sung “One Piece” together.
April 26, 2012 Schauspielhaus Hannover: “Hiroshima-salon Tschernobyl Special” with Tatjana Bulava
On April 26, 2012, I invited Tatjana Bulava, an old collegue from the “Threepenny opera” (dir. by Nicoals Stemann). She told us about her experiences during the Tschernobyl catastrophy for the first time in Germany. At the time she had studied at the conservatory for music in Kiev, and what happened that very day and afterwards was really strange and crazy. It is a very personal and impressive account. After she had told us her story, we played music together, she with her button accordeon and I with my singing. We played two Japanese songs and one Russian song.
May 2012 Schauspielhaus Hannover: ’Hiroshima-Salon Fukushima Report’ with Nis-Momme Stockmann
In May, I invited the playwright Nis-Momm Stockmann as a guest. He had visited Fukushima shortly before and in the salon, he told us about the current situation in Fukushima and also about his encounters with local people. Mrs. Chisako Kusaba, a Japanese teacher in Hanover, also told us about the current activities around Fukushima.
June 5, 2012 Schauspielhaus Hannover: ‘Sayonara Hiroshima-Salon ’
On June 5, 2012, the last Hiroshima Salon for the time being took place at the Schauspielhaus Hannover. With a completely sold out show, young and old guests sang a lot and exchanged different opinions about Fukushima. The situation in Fukushima looked very difficult at that time and we said: “We send positive energy from Hannover!” That was the slogan.
August 3, 2012 at Goethe-institut Tokyo: ‘Hannover-Hiroshima-Salon’
This was the name of the salon at the Goethe-Institut Tokyo. There, more than 150 spectators, who previously knew nothing about the town twinning between Hannover and Hiroshima, attended the salon. They were enthusiastic about the history and the partnership between the cities. The two salons in Japan became a particularly beautiful memory for me. I noticed that the Hiroshima Salon is very popular, also in other places besides Hanover.
August 6, 2012 at office of Dr.Inais in Hiroshima: ‘Hannover-Hiroshima-Salon’
The Hannover-Hiroshima-Salon in Hiroshima was held in the office of Dr. Inai, the current director of the International Youth Conference for Peace in the Future. More than 60 people attended. Each of the spectators had already had a lot to do with the youth exchange between Hanover and Hiroshima; one person had flown to Hanover with Mr. Hayashi in 1968. Others had accepted exchange children from Hannover. They were very happy to hear from Hannover again and to see Mr. Hayashi on video. They were happy that I was organising the Hiroshima-Salon in Hannover. We wanted to try to develop new peace building through the partner cities.
November 30 – December 1, 2012 Hannover, Galerie Lunar: Hiroshima-Salon Fukushima Special
The Hiroshima Salon was held in a gallery for the first time. The programme was very varied with lectures, performances, a concert and video exhibitions. I also presented videos about Fukushima residents, which I shot on location in the summer of 2012. Furthermore, I performed a solo performance called “A doll in water”. Furthermore, cosplayers danced, and sang Japanese songs. The small gallery was filled up on both winter.
June 3, 2013 ‘Hiroshima-Salon 2013 Special 45 Years Children and Youth Exchange between Hannover and Hiroshima’ in the Theodor-Lessing-Saal at Volkshochschule Hannovers
Hiroshima-Salon 2013 Special: 45 Years Children and Youth Exchange between Hannover and Hiroshima’ in the Theodor-Lessing-Saal at Volkshochschule Hannovers in cooperation with the friendship circle Hannover-Hiroshima.
December 15, 2013 Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg Malersaal: ‘Hiroshima-Salon in Hamburg’
After the reading “Little Boy-Big Taifun” by Bettina Stucky, Michael Weber, Christian Tschiener and me, I showed videos of Mr. Hayashi, Fukushima residents etc. The Hamburg audience was very active and there was a lively discussion about nuclear politics.
February 4, 2014 Pavillon Hannover: ‘Hannover is Hiroshima’s only Partner City in Europe’ with the Freundschaftskreis Hannover Hiroshima
The Hiroshima Salon as a programme of the Freundschaftskreis Hannover-Hiroshima. The Freundschaftskreis has been active for a long time with the intention of spreading Japanese culture in Hannover. This time many members participated. Sold out and successful!
June 25, 2014 HAU1 Berlin: Hiroshima-Salon ‘Japanese women in Germany – at the Fukushima catastrophe’
First time in Berlin. The topic was “Japanese women in Berlin during the Fukushima catastrophe”. Japanese women in Germany had problems at that time because the Japanese and German media reported about the disaster in a completely different way and because they were usually the only Japanese women in their surroundings. I invited my Japanese friends in Berlin and they told honestly about the event as perceived by them. Japanese women do not often have such opportunities to express their emotions, so it became a unique programme.
October 26, 2014 Haus der Religion Hannover: ‘Charity Event Hiroshima-Salon for the victims of the die Landslide disaster in Hiroshima’
On August 20, 2014, after days of heavy rainfall, 74 people died in Hiroshima in a landslide. More than 1000 inhabitants had to seek refuge in emergency shelters. We wanted to express our deepest sympathy for the victims and the survivors of this catastrophe and, therefore, we organised the charity event HIROSHIMA-SALON.
April 12, 2015 tear powszechny Warschau: ‘Hiroshima-Salon’ in Warschau
For the first time in Poland! Lukas Chotkowsli and Maja Kleczewska, with whom I worked in Hamburg for “Tempest”, invited me to Warsaw. That was a very special experience. “Little Boy-Big Taifun” was translated into Polish by the great translator Karoliny Adamczyk and read by four wonderful actors and actresses in the Theatr Powszechny. In the salon, as always, I talked about Mr Hayashi, about Hiroshima and also about Warsaw-born Marie Curie, missionary Maximilian Kolbe and Zenon Zebrowski, who all did amazing work in Japan. The audience was very curious.
June 9, 2015 Hannover Schauspiel: ‘Hiroshima-Salon 2015’ ’70 years after the World War II’
Many guests, many cosplayers, many Japanese women, a very varied audience! With Sushi and tea! Trailer: https://vimeo.com/451289149
October 2, 2016 Hannover Schauspiel: ‘Hiroshima-Salon 2016’
The programme included the reading “Little Boy-Big Typhoon” performed by three wonderful ensemble actors, a guest talk with philosophy professor Nobuyuki Kakigi of the Hiroshima City University, the exchange student Ami Kawara from Hiroshima, Mrs. Birgit Merkel and more. Of course, the best sushi from a three-star restaurant and green tea were served. Finally, the biggest Japanese karaoke show in Hannover took place.
January 20-21, 2017 Theatre Performance ‚Little Boy-Big Taifoon‘ with Japanology Students of the University Hamburg (Directed by Sachiko Hara)
Japanology students of the Hamburg University performed the play “Little Boy-Big Taifoon”, which I directed. With great support from the teacher Mrs. Saki Sugihara, this incredible project was realised. The students first read the play in class, and I led the acting workshop and then the rehearsals started. The rehearsal process was very difficult. All students spoke Japanese very well, but speaking on stage is something entirely different. I was very strict and the atmosphere was not always relaxed. But after the performance everyone probably noticed that it has a special meaning to perform a play concerned with the history of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The audience was very enthusiastic. Exchange students from Japan also took part and helped me a lot; they practised the Japanese dialogues with each student. One survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb,who is living long time in Hamburg,came to the performance and gave a speech. That was very impressive. She had never thought that she could experience such a performance in her life in Hamburg.
July 25, 2017 Hiroshima city university in Hiroshima. Presentation, Hiroshima-Salon and Theatre Performance of ‚Little Boy-Big Taifoon‘ in Hamburg’
July 26, 2017 Kobe Universität: Presentation ‘How to talk about Hiroshima with the World?’
April 4, 2018 Haus der Jugend Hannover: The Hiroshima-Salon Workshop ‘How to narrate Hiroshima today? What else should we know?’ with a Delegation from Hiroshima.
The Hiroshima delegation from Hiroshima visited Hannover. I led the workshop, which is practical for future peace work from Hiroshima. We read quotes by current activists like Malala, the victims of the Bikini Atoll, the pilot of the Enolla Gay, etc. Then we thought collectively about how we can tell others about Hiroshima today. The second part was karaoke and a music show by members of both cities.
August 5, 2018 Hiroshima, Dr.Inais Office: ‘The Hiroshima-Salon Workshop: How to narrate Hiroshima today? What else should we know?’
First performance of “Hiroshima Monster Girl”, my solo performance based on my experiences as Hiroshima embassador since 2010. After the performance, there were two more parts: we did a review of the salon since 2011 and afterwards we had a talk with interesting activists – Paul Koch from Braunschweig, Heidemarie Dann from Büchel Aktion and the journalist Riho Taguchi – about the latest news concerning nuclear problems. For the time being this was the last Hiroshima Salon at the Hannover Schauspielhaus, but who knows? It was sold out and Hannover is and will always be Hiroshima’s twin city!
Hiroshima-Salon as FAQ Room presented by Schauspielhaus Hamburg. 1st part: “Hiroshima Monster Girl” 2nd part: Talk with Inga Blum (ICAN,IPPNW Germany) and Heidemarie Dann (Büchel is everywhere). After the performance there was a livid discussion about nuclear weapons. Now I noticed that I can directly address the nuclear phase-out and the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons-free with my performance. And thanks to Inga, it came to a cooperation with ICAN Germany. This is a new beginning! I am happy.
July 7, 2019 Büchel Atomwaffenfrei Festival Read Performance of ‚Little Boy-Big Taifoon‘
I was invited by ICAN and it was the first time in Büchel for me. People from all over Germany gathered there to demonstrate against nuclear weapons. The workshop included the collective reading of the play “Little Boy-Big Taifoon” (first part). The next day we read and sang on stage in front of 600 people. I said: “Invite me to your city! I go everywhere. We read the play “Little Boy, Big Taifoon” from the beginning to the end and I will tell you about my Hiroshima experience. I want everyone to really know and understand what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” After this event, I received many invitations from different cities. This was the beginning of a new phase of my peace work.
August 6, 2019 Reading of ‚Little Boy-Big Taifoon‘ in temporary Hiroshima Place next to St-Petri Church in Hamburg.
Mr. Paul Koch, the great nuclear phase-out activist, invited me to Braunschweig. I visited Asse and Konrad, where the nuclear waste interim storage facilities are. In Asse I was up to 700 metres underground. It was a strange world. The guided tours in both facilities were very instructive. I also heard from various activists how they and other people continue to fight there to this day. However, there is no end in sight regarding this activity. On the last day I played the performance “Hiroshima Monster Girl” in the Red Hall in Braunschweig Castle. The people were thrilled. Afterwards, there was a discussion with various activists. I have to think about how to bring such valuable experiences to Japan. Because of Hiroshima, the world looks different and I have a special relationship with these people. It is like an adventure for me.
Part 1: Performance ‘Hiroshima Monster Girl Part 2: Talk with many guests. Mia Gandenberger (ICAN Switzerland) talked about contemporary problems ensued by nuclear weapons in the world. Rodo Cortes talked about his experience in Japan during the Fukushima catastrophe. Masato Yamamoto talked about his support for women in Fukushima. Mayumi Miyata played the Sho, the japanese traditional flute for a Japanese Emperor’s music! It was very beautiful. And Mr. Helmut Lachenmann played the piano and told us about his old friend, Gudrun Ensslin and his play “The Girl with the Sulfur Woods”. I hereby thank Mrs. Yukio Sugawara for her help!
November 15, 2019 At Friedensfest in Stadtkirche Kusel. Reading of ‚Little Boy-Big Taifoon‘
I was invited to Kusel in Rhineland-Palatinate, to attend the peace festival at the Kusel town church. I presented “Little Boy-Big Taifun” by Hisashi Inoue and my little speech about Hiroshima. Kusel has no theatre and stands between two big American military bases. Many inhabitants have something to do with the bases. Many keep silent about it, but the fear is there, as they do not know what is happening inside the bases. The protestant church Kusel organised the peace festival for the first time, and it was full. The play was read by 8 people, from 16-year-old students to an 80-year-old woman. The people listened highly concentrated. I rediscovered again that this theatre piece has an enormous power which reverberates in the hearts of the people. No matter where, no matter how far away from Hiroshima.
The second Hiroshima Salon in Zurich. Part 1: Monster Girl. Part 2: Talk with Mrs. Kazu Huggler, the fashion designer and shop owner “Kazu” at Ankerstrasse. She also runs the label Three Cranes Association which is making an effort to work with women in Rikuzentakada, where severe damage was caused by the 2011 tsunami. Another guest was Mrs. Aya Domenig, director of the film “When the sun fell from the sky”, the documentary film about her grandfather, who had worked there as a doctor after the atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima in 1945. We served “Okonomiyaki”, a very popular food from Hiroshima, which Pepi, the cook of our canteen, fried. Sake was also available. This time it was also completely sold out. Nice!
ICAN Germany invited me to Paris to play my performance in the ICAN Paris Forum. The performance was played in English for the first time. More than 300 people from all over the world were there, among others Mrs. Setsuko Thurlow. She was the one who gave me a lot of inspiration for my performance. Therefore, I was extremely happy to see her and to receive a lot of praise from her. I have received many more invitations from all over the world. I try very hard to show my performance all around the world.
July 03, 2020 Bad Kreuznach: A reaing ‚Little Boy-Big Taifoon‘ with ‘Aktiv für Frieden’
The peace working group ‘Active for Peace’ in Bad Kreuznach invited me. They have been working against military bases and nuclear weapons for a long time. The readers were very energetic. After the reading, we talked about nuclear problems. The Lord Mayor, who has just joined ‘Mayors for Peace’, also attended the event.
July 04, 2020 Büchel Atomwaffenfrei Festival Read Performance of ‚Little Boy,Big Taifoon‘
Like last year, a workshop and the reading of the play “Little Boy-Big Taifoon” took place. Inga Blum said: “With this play we really know why we are here. So this reading is very, very important “, I think so too.
August 6, 2020 Hamburg St.Petri Read Performance of ‚Little Boy-Big Taifoon‘
This time we read the whole play. Despite it being hard to hear because of the street noises in the centre of town, the people stayed on and listend. The readers were powerful and very concentrated. Hopefully next year again!
Hiroshima-Salon Online Ep.1.
In the first episode, Sachiko talks to former mayor Herbert Schmalstieg about world peace and town twinning.
Maria Shiiba is a young woman from Hanover. She worked as a voluntary social year in an old people’s home in Hiroshima. What did she experience?
#hannover #hiroshima #stadtpartnerschaft #sistercities #freiwilligessozialesjahr #mariashiiba #sachikohara #yannikböhmer