On the evening of February 8th, JETAA NW were delighted to accept an invitation from a professor at Manchester University to the special launch event of an exhibition he has put together at Manchester Central Library. The exhibition aimed to give a deeper understanding and insight into the lives of children in wartime Japan, in particular those children who were evacuated. A few of our JETAA members were lucky enough to attend this special event.
During the first part of the evening, the exhibition was introduced by the professors who put it together. We were shown a DVD in Japanese with English subtitles about children evacuated from Tokyo at the end of World War II. It was a very moving film and particularly touched me as it turned out these children were evacuated to Toyama, which is where I was placed as a JET. After the DVD, one of the evacuees, now aged 81, gave us an account in Japanese of what life had been like for her and her classmates. It was incredible to hear a first-hand account of the evacuation process and how the children felt at the time.
After the introductory DVD and speeches, there was a drinks reception during which there was the opportunity for a special viewing of the exhibition alongside the organisers.
During the reception I had the chance to speak to one of the organisers and it turns out he is a former JET, placed in Shiga prefecture. We therefore managed to get a new recruit for JETAA NW!
It was a very eye-opening and thought-provoking exhibition, and I am very grateful to the professor at Manchester University for wanting to include JETAA in the special launch. I learned a lot about Japan and made some new fellow ex-JET acquaintances, so it was an all-around great experience.
The exhibition will continue until March 31st at Manchester Central Library. I recommend it to those who would like to know a bit more about the history and culture of Japan.
Thank you for reading this article. I will be in touch again soon with more updates from the NW and hope to see you at some of our events.
Kind regards, Corrina Ellis - North West Vice Chair.