Bertha von Suttner – Life for Peace in Kyoto
Inspired by the ‘life for peace’ of Bertha von Suttner, several years ago three Japanese peace educators and activists decided to translate her great anti-war novel, „Die Waffen nieder!“, into Japanese.
No such translation had ever been made before.
An authentic and fluent Japanese text was produced.
Earlier this year it was published in a beautiful edition – in two volumes, like the original – by the Tokyo-based publishing house Shinnihon. In order to celebrate this event, an exhibition about Bertha von Suttner was held in the Kyoto Museum for World Peace at Ritsumeikan University during August 2011.
The exhibition consisted of two parts:
- the travelling exhibition (in Japanese translation) commissioned by the Austrian Foreign Ministry in 2005 (centenary of her Nobel Peace Prize), and
- five display cases (showing photographs, documents, letters, books etc. concerning Bertha von Suttner and her struggle for world peace).
The same museum organised a well-attended symposium on Bertha von Suttner on 20th August which was chaired by Dr. Kazuyo Yamane, who
- had taken the initiative for the translation, and
- who is a professor of peace studies at the university, and
- leading peace museum expert.
Peter van den Dungen, one of the speakers at the symposium, presented his proposal for a Bertha von Suttner peace museum to be inaugurated in Vienna in 2014, on the 100th anniversary of her death – and the start of World War 1. This occasioned a good deal of interest.
[The proposal is also the last chapter in the book edited in 2010 by Dr. J.G. Lughofer: IM PRISMA: Bertha von Suttner, “Die Waffen nieder!”. Wien-St. Wolfgang: Edition Art Science].
It is likely that the exhibition will also be shown in other peace museums in Japan.
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