In 2011, Steve Leeper, Chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and a director of the Hiroshima International School introduced Walter Enloe and Serene Enloe to the Green Legacy Hiroshima project. Walter, a teacher, grew up in Japan and for years was Principal of Hiroshima International School and the co- founder of the 1000 Cranes Club with Steve. Serene, a teacher, was born in Hiroshima and attended the International School. Together, father and daughter, invited the Avalon School in St. Paul and advisor Jo Sullivan, a childhood friend of Steve, to become the first North American institution to join the project. In the summer of 2015 Serene returned to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, sister-city of St. Paul, to photograph the surviving Peace Trees of Hiroshima. Over the past five years the students have experimented with various seeds and discovered that the only trees to thrive at Minnesota’s latitude is the venerable Ginko. On June 6, 2017, Peace Day at Avalon, they distributed their first trees to peace parks and public spaces throughout the region. Like the founding of the 1000 Cranes Club over thirty years ago, students reach to their locale and the world to share their fervent desire for peace through working to contribute to a world that values justice and equity for all peoples, and sustainable environments for future generations. These roles of active citizen and earth steward are a hallmark of the Avalon School community.
Breaking The Fall and its companion text, Touched Ground Zero (2016) bring to closure my journey with the dawn of the Atomic Age and my life experiences with the Ground Zeros of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fifty-five years ago at age twelve years I first moved to Japan and then Hiroshima where my parents were to live for some thirty years. Those formative years were greatly colored by Hiroshima. After five years in the summer of 1966 we returned to the United States at the height of the Cold War through the USSR from Siberia to Moscow and Leningrad and then on to divided Germany and Holland, spending an afternoon at my heroine Anne Frank’s home. We arrived at my grandparents’ home in the deep, bleak South, the “hot war” summer of continuing racist violence and Mississippi “burning” with thousands of children and young people through their marches and sit-ins, voting drives and freedom schools, fighting through direct action to be nothing more or less than American citizens with full rights and responsibilities. Through those encounters I had the privilege and the “drive” to question human nature, good evil, made in God’s image, American?
Deeper Learning, Deeper Leading: Inside Avalon School
“Project-Based Learning (PBL) is the curricular core of Avalon. With PBL, students literally design their own education as they brainstorm, design, and execute independent, student-initiated projects. With guidance from advisors, PBL allows students to engage deeply in their study while learning independence and self-direction.” Deeper Learning, Deeper Leading is a Avalon Community project celebrating the school’s first fifteen years. The project engages members of the community to document the “Avalon narrative,” and the project includes a hard-copy and e-book text to be used in critical and celebratory forums in 2017
This special volume on the experiences and examples of language teaching and cultural immersion from the Concordia Language Villages (CLV) was created as a project honoring the founding and development of the Villages over fifty years ago. Inspired as parents and educators by the Villages and the transformational experiences of our own four children (Isaac, Serene, Jeffrey, and Luke), we wanted to share the impressive and extensive background of this experiment in global understanding with larger world audiences. It is an example made even more poignant and important by events in Europe and elsewhere in these difficult years of the early 21st century.
Touching Ground Zero brings together stories of a journey that began over fifty-years ago, culminating in a series of projects and creative constructions published in a variety of formats From the age of twelve in 1961 I moved with my family to Japan and then Hiroshima and those experiences indelibly touched and marked everything that was to follow. I write elsewhere of being an impressionable twelve year old, a victim of the racism and ethnocentrism of the Cold War, fall-out from world of holocaust, the century of death and world war. For the next thirty years my family lived in Hiroshima and continue today to be touched by those formative experiences. My parents worked with local churches and were deeply involved in developing and sustaining Grace Rehabilitation Center for disabled, productive adults. My own family moved to Hiroshima in 1980 where Kitty and I were teachers for eight years at Hiroshima International School. Our children Isaac and Serene, attended Japanese schools and the International School. Both are teachers and years previously worked for Concordia Language Villages. Isaac taught for several years at Kyoto International School; Serene returned to Hiroshima last summer to film the sacred and a-bomb scared “Peace Trees” of Hiroshima, whose photographs and drawings grace this text.
11th Day Prayer for Peace, Our Lady of The Presentation Chapel, Sisters of St. Joseph St. Paul, Minnesota, In honor of the 60th year St. Paul- Nagasaki Sister City Partnership In loving memory of my mother born on 9-11, a teacher with my father for the Presbyterian Church for thirty years in Japan and Hiroshima Years ago, February 25, 1981 I was a teacher and principal of Hiroshima International School. I decided that day would be a school fieldtrip and I invited all the school’s children and parents to join me that morning in Peace Park to hear Pope John Paul II. We stood some twenty yards from him and listened to his appeal for peace in the world at the height of the Cold War. He spoke in 9 languages. He saidWar is the work of Man War is Destruction of Human Life War is Death To remember the past is to commit oneself to peace To remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki is to abhor nuclear war To remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki is to commit oneself to peace
The End of War: Papa’s Coming Home or as translated, “Papa’s Coming Back to You,” is one of those examples from the aftermath of war, in which the truths are often stranger than the fictions. It is a personal and poignant story of a Japanese soldier in China (Manchuria) at the end of World War II longing to get home to be with his children. It is a personally told and illustrated series of pictures and its format is kamishibai (literally ‘paper theater’) in which the story is illustrated on one side of the paper with the story narrative (and in this case an English translation circa 1949) written on the other. The 20th century represents a great paradox of the human condition. The scientific and technological achievements of the end of the industrial age, whether with light, matter, or the human organism and ecosystems are powerful achievements. The dawning of the postmodern information age holds unimaginable promise. In Martin Luther King Jr.’s words we, “we have dwarfed space and chained time.” But what characterizes an undeniable truth of the past century is a paradox of the human spirit, our inhumanity to our fellow human beings. In the words of Dr. King, “the world is more and more of a neighborhood. But is it any more of a brotherhood? If we don’t learn to live as brothers and sisters we shall perish together as fools.”
St. Pete Blue was originally developed in 2005 from “intersecting” materials collected or developed in 1969 in St. Petersburg, Florida while I was a student at Eckerd College (“FPC”). One set of ephemera is from 1968-1969 when I was part of a project team, led by my roommate graphic artist David Wise, to create, develop and publish an avant garde yearbook that eventually took the form of loose-leaf, inter-connected papers of photographs and narratives stored in a square, cardboard container. The “idea” for this format derives from our studies with one of our literature professors, Bob Detweiler, of the following artists’ works, among others: William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch (1959), loosely connected vignettes that could be read in any order. Julio Cortazar’s Hopscotch (1963, 1966) whose chapters could also be read in any order. There was John Barth’s postmodern essay, “The Literature of Exhaustion” (1967). And his novel Lost in The Funhouse (1968) which opens with “Frame-Tale,” a “story” in which “ONCE UPON A TIME THERE” and “WAS A STORY THAT BEGAN” are printed vertically, one on each side of the paper. It is intended to be cut by the reader and the ends fastened together (after being twisted) into a Mobius strip ( a loop with no beginning or end). John Cage’s experiments with music and experience, and even Kerouac’s Visions of Gerard (1963) with its existential jazz riffs of illusions and realities, were also influential as we took their ideas to create, to invent, to explore, to experiment seriously with ‘text’. The second ephemera set is a “catalogue” of some twenty pages from the fall of 1969 based upon the literary effects of Jack Kerouac found in his bedroom/study following his death, and catalogued by Bob Detweiler with my assistance. Together these materials may form an auto-ethnographic expression of whatever meanings you may make of the semiotic experience here-with-in.
Living With The Bomb @ Ground Zero
This is a collection of articles and essays, some written thirty years ago, others written or revised over the years and a few written most recently. Some are co-written or written by people who have impacted me personally. All focus in some way on the postmodern Nuclear Age rising out of the atomic ashes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All signify journeys to come to terms in some way with nuclear psychic dread, with humanity’s inhumanity, and with both fear and hope in the present for the future. I first moved to Japan as a child and at age fourteen moved to Hiroshima City, over fifty years ago. I then returned years later to be the principal teacher for eight years at Hiroshima International School. Those experiences have touched and even colored the rest of my life.
The Saint of Nagasaki: Takashi Nagai: Loving Others As Himself
I first heard of Takashi Nagai while living in Hiroshima and have been an admirer of his life-work ever since: doctor, father, researcher, man of God, and teacher. In the 1980s I was principal of Hiroshima International School and served for several years on the Board of Directors of the World Friendship Center (WFC). The WFC was founded on August 6, 1955, the tenth anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, by Barbara Reynolds, an American Quaker activist, author, and peace educator and the noted “peace surgeon” Dr. Tomin Harada. Barbara and her family lived a number of years in Hiroshima beginning in 1951 where her husband worked for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Committee (ABCC) studying the effects of atomic radiation on children. The WFC, staffed by volunteers, serves as a bed and breakfast for visitors, and as a gathering place for hibakusha (a-bomb victims), local citizens and visiting peace activists. Years later in 1975 Barbara established the Peace Resource Center at the Quaker affiliated Wilmington College in Ohio; the Center houses the largest collection outside Japan of materials related to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The End of War: Papa’s Coming Home or as translated, “Papa’s Coming Back to You,” is one of those examples from the aftermath of war, in which the truths are often stranger than the fictions. It is a personal and poignant story of a Japanese soldier in China (Manchuria) at the end of World War II longing to get home to be with his children. It is a personally told and illustrated series of pictures and its format is kamishibai (literally ‘paper theater’) in which the story is illustrated on one side of the paper with the story narrative (and in this case an English translation circa 1949) written on the other.
A Japan Guide to Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Welcome to the wonderful world of Japanese culture, as introduced to children all over the world through Eleanor Coerr’s Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes. Through Sadako’s story we learn of her tremendous courage and her fervent desire for peace and her hope that the world would become a better place, most equitable and just.
Nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive power, in the unspeakable human suffering they cause, in the impossibility of controlling their effects in space and time, in the risks of escalation they create, and in the threat they pose to the environment, to future generations, and indeed, to the survival of humanity. Nuclear weapons cannot not be ‘uninvented’ but they can and must be outlawed, just as chemical and biological weapons, landmines and cluster munitions have been declared illegal. Nuclear weapons, the most inhumane threat of all, should likewise be outlawed The Hiroshima Declaration on The Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, November 2011
An adaptation with permission of the author Nasu Masamoto of Children of The Paper Crane (1984), translated by Elizabeth Baldwin, Steve Leeper, Kyoko Yoshida (1991). The Sadako Sasaki story and her struggle with the A-bomb disease.