Letter from Masahiro Sasaki
March 1, 2010
Dear Charles Pellegrino,
I hope this note finds you in good health. I remember your visit to my rural town, outside of Fukuoka City in Kyushu, Japan on July 18, 2008 and your thorough, detailed questions about my sister Sadako, down to the type of kimono she was wearing. I knew your questions did not arise out of mere curiosity. You conducted the interview without revealing the fact that you were a well known, best selling book author. You were the only (first) one from overseas who came all the way from the U.S for an interview.
I shared a story with you about a boy who asked me a question after I gave a talk in Vienna in Austria in 2004. His question was “which country dropped the bomb?” My response to the boy was “the name of the country no longer remains in my memory – it has been 60 years since the bomb was dropped and I believe God helped me erase all sorts of feelings that harbored and stood between us through all of these years.” The most important thing is to spread the heart of Omoiyari (Compassion towards others) among children and for their bright futures.
I had never told this story to visitors from overseas before I met you. Not only did you listen to this story but also wrote about it. Your sincerity deeply impressed and touched me and my family. I’ve come to entrust to you with my hope that you will write about Sadako and possibly help turn her story into a film.
I am also aware that you paid a visit to comfort Mr. Yamaguchi on his deathbed, an A-bomb survivor who survived the 2 bombings dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Your visit and caring for a survivor really touched the hearts of many people.
I would like to express my gratitude to you because I was touched by our meeting in 2008 and to extend my sincere consolation to you during these trying times. It is my sincere hope that you will be able to resume your writing as soon as possible.
I would like to conclude my note with a message to your three children, which is this – I want them to be proud that they have a great father! I have my trust in you, your strength and resilience, no matter how rough the situations you face.
Translated by Kazuko M.