Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard
Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard
Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard
Item#: PIC-810
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Running Time: 58 minutes
Grades 9 - Adult
Produced by Shizumi Shigeto Manale
Written and Directed by Bryan Reichhardt
Scene Selection • Closed Captioned


Recommended. Explores an act of kindness from American school children to their Japanese counterparts, and the simple, joyful gift given in thanks during the period after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.“
– Educational Media Reviews Online

"This well-made documentary would be an excellent resource for high school classes studying history and social studies and is recommended for public and school libraries. The brightly colored images of children at play in fields of flowers, a stark contrast to their war-ravaged home, speak movingly of the children's hopefulness and resilience.“
- School Library Journal

"A message of hope for humankind. One American’s revulsion at the horror of war was turned by his church into an act of charity towards innocent children suffering in the aftermath of the atomic bombing. That kindness was rewarded by the brave children at the Honkawa Elementary School, who would let neither the memories of war nor the difficulties they faced in daily life darken the beauty and optimism they carried in their hearts."
– Allen S. Greenberg, United States Consul General, Osaka-Kobe,Japan

"Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard is unique in that it portrays an aspect of the Hiroshima story that is very important and rarely heard. It is vital that East and West understand each other. This film makes a powerful statement, bringing us all closer together."
– Harriet Fulbright, Former Executive Director, The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities

"A story rooted in the past but set in present day, Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard tells the tale of two communities on opposite sides of a World War who exchange unexpected gifts after a horrific human tragedy, and the children's drawings that represent the legacy of a simple act of kindness. (The film) is about hope in the face of horror, the possibility of reconciliation between bitter enemies and the unwavering optimism of children."
– Japan Information and Cultural Center, Embassy of Japan, Washington, DC

"Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard chronicles the remarkable story of an American Christian minister who was inspired to preach about nuclear destruction, the reaction to his sermon that prompted a gift from American youngsters to school children in Hiroshima, and the stunning drawings that those children sent to the Americans as a token of their thanks. Teachers and older students alike will appreciate hearing firsthand from the survivors of this horrific tragedy, and be reminded of the lasting effects of kindness and generosity, as well as the capacity for forgiveness and reconciliation."
– Dr. Anne Prescott, Director, Five College Center for East Asian Studies

"For most people in the United States and Japan, the lesson of the August 1945 bombings is that such weapons must never be used again. The devastation led to a lasting alliance, as well as memories such as the one shown in Pictures From a Hiroshima Schoolyard — in which former students from the Honkawa school, 60 years later, recall the gift of art supplies from the All Souls Church in D.C."
– Washington Post

“A moving and powerful film showing how caring gestures can renew friendship between countries after a devastating war. Through the children’s drawings, the film gently and seamlessly moves from war to peace as the drawings are rediscovered and celebrated and connect the children’s past to their present lives in Hiroshima."
– Kathy Koury, Executive Director, Children's Creative Project, Santa Barbara County Education Office


Official Selection, Washington West Film Festival
Official Selection, Global Peace Film Festival



All prices include DVD and limited PPR
• K-12 Schools, Public Libraries & Community Groups: $79
• Colleges, Government, Business: $195
• Colleges, Government, Business (with DSL): $295

Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard presents the aftermath of the first atomic bomb through the remarkable drawings and stories of surviving Japanese school children who were part of an extraordinary, compassionate exchange with their American counterparts after the war.

In 1995, a parishioner of the All Souls Church in Washington, D.C., discovered a long-forgotten box containing dozens of colorful drawings made by Japanese children from the Honkawa Elementary School in Hiroshima just two years after their city was destroyed. The surprisingly hopeful drawings were created and sent to the church nearly 50 years earlier in appreciation for much-needed school supplies received as part of the church’s post-war humanitarian efforts.

The Honkawa school was just 1100 feet from ground zero on August 6, 1945. Nearly 400 children died in the schoolyard that fateful morning. Surviving students and teachers describe the horror of that day and reflect on their difficult lives amidst the rubble of their decimated city, as well as the hope they shared through their art.

Classes resumed soonafter in the window-less concrete shell of the remaining Honkawa school building to provide some sense of normalcy. The film features recently found archival footage that shows what life was like in the weeks and months after the bomb fell and how Hiroshima gradually recovered.

The rediscovered drawings were restored by members of the All Souls Church, who several years later embarked on an emotional journey to Japan to exhibit the artwork at the Honkawa school and reunite the surviving artists for the first time with the drawings they created as children.

The artists and church members reflect on the lessons that resulted from a compassionate exchange nearly 70 years ago between American and Japanese children following a bitter and devastating World War.


Producer Shizumi Shigeto Manale has authored a fictional book based on this story for Grades 8 and up, available from Pelican Publications: Running with Cosmo Flowers: The Children of Hiroshima" target="_blank"