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The Vow from Hiroshima: Film, Advocacy, and Nuclear Disarmament
4:00pm - 5:00pm ET


Setsuko Thurlow was just 13 years old when she survived the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Many of her friends perished in the attack, and their deaths shaped her future. She pledged that no one else should have to suffer their fate. Ever since, she has fought for peace and a nuclear-free world. A Hibakusha, as survivors of the atomic bombings are known in Japan, Thurlow is an advocate for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the organization leading the charge to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

For her advocacy, she was honored with the chance to give the acceptance speech for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of ICAN. Now, Thurlow’s life and work are the subject of a critically acclaimed film, The Vow from Hiroshima. This documentary follows Thurlow through her decades of activism up to 2017, when she finally achieves one of her dreams: a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

Join Perry World House and the Center for East Asian Studies to discuss The Vow from Hiroshima with its producer, Mitchie Takeuchi; its director, Susan Strickler; and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ President and CEO, Rachel Bronson. This conversation will be moderated by Frederick Dickinson, Director of the Center for East Asian Studies and Professor of Japanese History at the University of Pennsylvania.

PLEASE NOTE: Registered attendees will receive the details of how to watch the film in advance in their confirmation email. If you registered before Wednesday, April 13, the details will be emailed to you separately. The link and password to watch the film will remain valid from Wednesday, April 13 until midnight on Wednesday, April 20.


Rachel Bronson is the President and CEO of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, where she oversees the Bulletin's publishing programs, management of the Doomsday Clock, and a growing set of activities around nuclear risk, climate change, and disruptive technologies. Before joining the Bulletin, Bronson served as the vice president of studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She also taught "Global Energy" as an adjunct professor at the Kellogg School of Management. Prior to moving to Chicago, Bronson served as senior fellow and director of Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Earlier positions include senior fellow for international security affairs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and adjunct professor at Columbia University. Bronson's book, Thicker than Oil: America's Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia (Oxford University Press, 2006), has been translated into Japanese and was published in paperback in June 2008. She earned a B.A. in history at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University in 1997.

Susan Strickler, director and producer of The Vow From Hiroshima, has been a successful director and producer of network soap operas. Directing over 750 hour-long episodes for shows like The Young and the RestlessGuiding Light and Another World during her 22-year career, she has won both the Daytime Emmy Award and the Director’s Guild of America Award. As a Quaker and a feminist, Susan is passionate about bringing Setsuko’s inspiring story to as many people as possible.

Mitchie Takeuchi, creator and producer of The Vow From Hiroshima, is originally from Hiroshima and now lives in New York City. By day, she is a media business consultant. She is also a Fellow of Youth Arts New York /Hibakusha Stories, a UN NGO, and a member organization of ICAN, the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Takeuchi's grandfather, Dr. Ken Takeuchi, the founding president of the Red Cross Hospital in Hiroshima, and her mother, Takako, both survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which makes Takeuchi a 2nd generation survivor. As a teenager, she volunteered to assist Leona Row, the director at the World Friendship Center, and together they created a group project to translate the anti-nuclear classic Unforgettable Fire: Drawings by Atomic Bomb Survivors that was published by NHK in 1977.


Frederick Dickinson is Professor of Japanese History and Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Born in Tokyo and raised in Kanazawa and Kyoto, Japan, he writes and teaches about modern Japan, on empire, politics and nationalism in East Asia and the Pacific, and on World History. He is the author of War and National Reinvention: Japan in the Great War, 1914 - 1919 (Harvard University Asia Center, 1999), Taisho tenno (Taisho Emperor, Minerva Press, 2009) and World War I and the Triumph of a New Japan, 1919-1930 (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Currently, he is working on a global history of modern Japan. Dickinson has received grants from the Japanese Ministry of Education, the Fulbright Commission, and the Japan Foundation and was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a Research Scholar at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies. He has held visiting professorships at Swarthmore College, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kyoto University, and Kwansei Gakuin University. He received an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Yale University and holds an M.A. in International Politics from Kyoto University.

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