Voices from Japan

Youth Rising for Peace 2012 > Community Peacebuilding > Education & Learning
Broadcast on February 11, 2012
With Mariko Komatsu & Yuka Saionji

Mariko Komatsu

Coordinator and Translator, Project NOW!

Mariko Komatsu was born and raised in Hiroshima up until her graduation from high school. She moved to Montreal then to Toronto and lived in Canada for 10 years as a student and school teacher. Mariko was very surprised to learn that anybody from all corners of the world knew her hometown and had plenty to say about it ~ not only related to the A-bomb destruction but also the remarkable reconstruction like a phoenix. That experience fuelled her to be positively and proudly vocal about her heritage. Having worked in Sierra Leone and various NGOs, Mariko is now back in Hiroshima and pursuing the ways to keep on the legacy of the past wars and many efforts of the citizens through Peace Education and hosting various open events where people meet and freely exchange their thoughts for peace. Project NOW! is currently her main focus where young artists and likes gather to chat and communicate their thoughts for peace and nuclear abolition in various art forms. Project NOW! has just published the art book titled “NOW”, calling to people “Switch on, Imagination”. Her next project is creating an interactive exhibition of “memories” is opening soon in downtown Hiroshima.

Yuka Saionji

Spoke at UN General Assembly in Feb. 2012

Yuka was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan but have lived in the United States and Germany during her childhood years. She has a degree in Law from Gakushuin University (Japan). Yuka has two published book in Japan. She works with youth around the world with projects for peace. Yuka is a deputee chairperson of a spiritual organization called “Byakko Shinko Kai” which was originated in Japan over fifty years ago. It is an organization dedicated to world peace and raising the consciousness of humanity founded by Yuka’s grandfather Masahisa Goi. He advocated a universal peace prayer “May peace prevail on earth”. Byakko believes in the divinity of all humanity and hosts interfaith events such as “Symphony of Peace Prayers” where we invite religious leaders from different religions to lead us in their peace prayer. She also works at the sister organizations of Byakko called the Goi Peace Foundation. She is also a board member of NPO “miratsuku” working on communication and community building after 3.11 earthquake in Japan. Yuka is also a member of the “Evolutionary Leaders” working in service to conscious evolution.