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The Schmoe House, Houses for Hiroshima Project, Grand Opening Ceremony - Hiroshima, Japan

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The Schmoe House, Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Japan.
An exhibition facility affiliated with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

On 5 September 2012, Hiroshima City decided to turn Schmoe House, a branch of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, in Eba-nihonmatsu, Naka-ku, which was originally built for hibakusha by volunteers led by Floyd Schmoe (1895-2001), a special honorary citizen, into an exhibition facility affiliated to Peace Memorial Museum. It opened on 1 November 2012, and introduce foreigners and Japan volunteers who helped Hiroshima in postwar years of recovery.   The Grand Opening ceremony also commemorated a group of Seattle volunteers who traveled to Hiroshima to build houses in the wake of the atomic bomb more than 60 years ago. 

The Schmoe House was built in 1951 as a wooden bungalow with floor space of 55 m2. It displays picture panels and other things to honor achievements of Floyd Schmoe, Dr. Marcel Junod and others.  Many young Japanese volunteers from Tokyo and Hiroshima joined the project.  While in Hiroshima, the volunteers lived at a church headed by a Methodist minister, Rev. Kiyoshi Tanimoto.

The Schmoe House is the only remaining one among the 21 houses the volumteers built from 1949 to 1953 with the money donated in the U.S. as a house or a meeting place for hibakusha (A-Bomb survivors).  Houses were also built in Nagasaki, the other city that suffered a nuclear attack.  Rev. Brooks Andrews said his father returned to Japan in 1951 or 1952 to help with the Nagasaki effort.

Floyd Schmoe first traveled to Hiroshima in 1949 to build houses for bombing survivors as part of a four-person delegation that included Rev. Emery Andrews, a longtime pastor of Seattle's Japanese Baptist Church, and Ms. Daisy Tibbs-Dawson, who still lives in Seattle.  The fourth delegation member was Ms. Ruth Jenkins.

Yosh Nakagawa and Rev. Emery Andrews' son, Pastor Brooks Andrews, (who is the interim senior minister Seattle Japanese Baptist Church) traveled from Seattle to Hiroshima for the opening of Schmoe House.   Members of Schmoe's family, friends of Mr. Nakagawa and Rev. Andrews, and a number of Japanese Americans also attended the opening.

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mhomma — Last modified Apr 24 2013 1:24 p.m.


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Major support by The Nippon Foundation