Donate to the Preservation Fund for the Hiroshima Panels
The Hiroshima Panels have gained historical and social importance in recent years, and are highly valued both in Japan and throughout the world. However, the paintings have been facing serious problems from damage caused by the Gallery’s dilapidated exhibition halls and archival warehouse, which lack controls for temperature and humidity, as well as protection from UV rays, insects and dust.
On the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Gallery, we launched a fundraising appeal to preserve the Hiroshima Panels. We are now calling for support from all around the world.
Your generous support and donations will help us care for and preserve the Hiroshima Panels for future generations. You can donate as an individual, or through a foundation, trust or company.
All donations through this crowdfunding site (GlobalGiving) are tax-deductible for donors who are US taxpayers, and all projects on GlobalGiving.org have been pre-qualified for 501(c)(3) equivalency status. UK taxpayers paying in GBP are eligible for Gift Aid. More information is available here.
(As of Dec. 20, 2021)
Total 208,180,541 Japanese Yen
received in 6,902 donations
Messages from Supporters (in alphabetical order)
Eisaku Ando Sculptor
It is not often that “love and compassion” are truly materialized, especially in a world full of greed, ego and deceipt. The Hiroshima Panels are the rare example of such a thing. Those who stand in front of the Panels are emotionally moved by agony and sorrow, resentment and mourning. Then, they find the light of unconditional love deep in their minds. For the past 50 years, the Hiroshima Panels have brought the gift of “love and compassion” into the minds of millions of people in such a way. Now, what we can do for the next 50 years, is to materialize our love through the creation of the Fund for the Hiroshima Panels.
Makoto Aida Artist
Even if one were to dispense of their ideology and view them only as paintings, the Hiroshima Panels are a masterpiece and a singularity of postwar Japanese painting. During that period, there were no other paintings with such a clear intention to appeal to the international community. The sheer size of each painting and the persistence of their work depict to me their artistic pride and uniqueness, a combination of both their human mission and personal ambition. It is also very interesting for me to note that the Marukis (particularly Iri Maruki?), created works that both belonged to the modern genre of “Japanese painting,” but went far beyond the typical motifs of the genre such as flowers, birds and natural beauties.
Takashi Arai Visual artist / Photographer
Despite the GHQ’s strict censorship in the 1950s of information about the atomic bombings, it is said that Iri and Toshi Maruki themselves personally carried the Hiroshima Panels on their backs, and traveled to all parts of Japan to convey the reality of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Why, and for whom does art exist? This is the fundamental question that the Hiroshima Panels continues to cast. We have the responsibility to protect and pass on their legacy from generation to generation, not merely because of their extraordinary expression that transcends beauty or ugliness, but also as a source of Japanese contemporary art.
John W. Dower Historian
Future generations will learn about Hiroshima and Nagasaki mostly through powerful, unforgettable images. The collaborative murals of Maruki Iri and Maruki Toshi stand in a category by themselves. There is nothing comparable to this monumental project in portraying the nuclear tragedy from multiple perspectives. I am particularly struck by how presciently the Marukis’ work anticipates the enormous perils that threaten our existence today. One of these threats, of course, is war and the ubiquitous threats of new wars. The second is the destruction of the natural environment, seen most conspicuously in the drastic climate change that the U.S. government now chooses to ignore and even deny. And the third existential threat is nuclear destruction—a possibility now intensified by the U.S. government’s insane policy of “nuclear modernization,” an agenda the Japanese government endorses. The great artwork of Maruki Iri and Maruki Toshi thus speaks not just to terrible events of the past, but to the present and future as well. It cries out to be shared with the widest possible audiences.
Isao Takahata Film Director
The Marukis wanted to create true art. I think they suppressed emotionally charged scenes and pursued beauty, creating a single intense mass that appealed to the viewer. It is a miracle that a private art museum has been able to continue exhibiting “The Hiroshima Panels” for 50 years. I would like to express my heartfelt respect to all those who have supported the Maruki Gallery throughout the years. (At the ‘50th Anniversary Gathering of the Maruki Gallery’, October 28, 2017)
Okwui Enwezor Poet / Curator / Former Director of Haus der Kunst
The Hiroshima Panels played a central role in the exhibition Postwar: Art Between the Pacific & the Atlantic, 1945-1965 and should be preserved and shared with future generations in order to receive the input that artists and their work can have on understanding history.
Michiko Ishimure Writer / Poet
The Hiroshima Panels are a significant treasure, which must be passed on to future generations as long as humanity survives. I can only pray that the Maruki Gallery will receive great contributions. August 15th, 2017
John Junkerman “Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima” Film Director
I was stunned by the “Hiroshima Panels” when I first visited the Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels more than 40 years ago. I was concerned about nuclear war and had previously visited both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but it was only when I saw the “Hiroshima Panels” that I understood the reality of the atomic bomb victims. The human suffering of each and every victim － I never forgot the figures in the paintings, which were etched in my mind. The experience changed my life. The “Hiroshima Panels” need to be preserved and exhibited so that they can have a similar life-changing impact on future generations of young people from the country responsible for dropping the atomic bombs.
Tokiko Kato Singer
I will never forget the day that I visited the Maruki Gallery.
The screams in anguish coming from the Hiroshima Panels, and the reality of the atomic bombings is vividly depicted in this series of paintings.
I will never forget the experience of singing in front of the voices of countless people. The Marukis painted these works of art with all their strength. Let’s work together to preserve it.
International Steering Group member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Executive Committee member of Peace Boat
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted in July of 2017 as a result of many countries around the world recognizing the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. At the end of that same year, the Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN for their work in spreading awareness on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons, and on contributing to the realization of the treaty. I believe that people power will put these new legal norms into effect. Now is the time to share the ‘Hiroshima Panels’ with people all over the world.
Hitoshi Komuro Singer
Unthinkable collaboration was made between the two painters, Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki, both of whom had such strong individuality and talent. It is presumptious to think that the harsh criticism that comes from the intense acceptance and denial of each other’s expression may have enhanced their work to become something even stronger.Although we cannot meet the stern and kind Iri and Toshi Maruki any more, we will always be able to meet them through their remaining paintings.
Setsuko Kozawa Researcher (Modern History)
The “Hiroshima Panels” are paintings of the damage caused by the atomic bomb in 1945, as well as paintings of “witnesses of the war” from 1950 to today. Hence, the Panels opened the path to new horizons, and various encounters with the other. The “Hiroshima Panels” have been viewed in between politics and arts, and have suffered a lot as paintings. I believe that the meaning of the “Hiroshima Panels” as paintings will be understood by future generations. Let us build an ark for the “Hiroshima Panels” for this long journey.
Seiichiro Kuboshima Director of the Mugonkan Art Museum for Peace / Writer
Preserving the Hiroshima Panels means preserving the pledge of humanity to renounce war and the desire for peace. I fully support the movement for preservation.
Tsutomu Mizusawa Museum Curator/Art Historian
It was in 1950 when the “Ghost”, the first part of the “Hiroshima Panels” by Iri and Toshi Maruki, was completed and exhibited before the public. At that time, 5 years had already passed from the time when the two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since then, more than half a century has passed. Now it is our responsibility to preserve the “Hiroshima Panels” for the future generations.
Seiichi Motohashi Photographer/Film Director
It has been more than 40 years since I met Iri and Toshi Maruki at the Maruki Gallery. I recall that their active daily lives and interaction with the people surrounding them at this place were the inspiration for creating the Hiroshima Panels. In other words, without this particular place, there would be no Hiroshima Panels. I feel we can hear the messages from their works. We must carry on and hand over those messages they conveyed.
Yoshitomo Nara Painter / Sculptor
Over 70 years have passed since the end of the Pacific War. Although the killing in the battlefields ended, a variety of social issues emerged after the war. In the midst of it all, many people, including myself, are self-occupied just to live daily. I wonder if the sense of the reality of war is being lost. How much imagination do we now need to imagine the places and lives of people that were devastated by war throughout Asia? The Hiroshima Panels indeed keep anchoring the tragic past of the atomic bombings to the present day.
Mayumi Okahara Performer at the Opera Theater Konnyakuza
Several years ago, we held a concert at the Maruki Gallery. I wanted to sing in front of the Hiroshima Panels, so I recruited partners to sing together. 130 people – performers and audience together – gathered at the Gallery. It felt like the paintings were surrounding us fiercely, and at the same time watching over us gently. This time taught us what truth is, and what is most important. I believe it is our mission to pass on the paintings and this space to future generations.
Ken Oshidori Comedian/Journalist
I am fully supporting the Preservation Fund for the Hiroshima Panels. Since the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster, I have been supporting my partner Mako Oshidori in her reporting on the situation. Before Fukushima, I was leaving the responsibility of our society up to others. I am ashamed to think how ignorant I was on various social issues. Huge amounts of money are spent even now on tools for killing innocent people. It is not acceptable to just say, that we did not know. Also so that we can decide, on the future direction of our society. Let’s work together for the preservation of the Hiroshima Panels!
Mako Oshidori Comedian/Journalist
“It is very effective for Japan to tell the world that the radiation exposure from the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster is not serious, because Japan understands the horrors of radiation exposure through its experience of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Fukushima incident will be a model case for promotion of nuclear plants.” I was terribly shocked when I heard such comments while reporting at an international symposium for the promotion of nuclear energy. I recognized victims raise their voices, in order to prevent others from becoming victims in the future. I realised that otherwise, the victims may become perpetrators of a nuclear accident someday in the future. If we do not protect the Hiroshima Panels, we will also become perpetrators in the future.
I will do all possible to make a bright future! Thank you to the Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels, for giving the opportunity to participate in this important project!
Akira Sakata Jazz saxophonist
For a long time, it was my dream to perform in front of the Hiroshima Panels. This came true on August 6th, 2016. The paintings were far beyond my imagination, I was in astonishment. My eyes were glued to them and I was in total admiration for the Marukis’ humanity and the existence that sprung from the paintings. I could hardly play the saxophone. These paintings must be preserved. Humanity does not need nuclear bombs, or nuclear power. There is no need to wield power in the name of justice. Life is most precious. Even in the absence of war all living things are not equal, and extraordinary natural phenomenon can make us suffer. I hope that the Hiroshima Panels will remain available to be seen by all people.
Noi Sawaragi Art Critic
It is wonderful news that The Maruki Galley for the Hiroshima Panels is celebrating its 50th anniversary. While this is something to celebrate, at the same time, it is quite astonishing that paintings of such historical and civilizational significance have endured the passage of time for half a century without being preserved in facilities for exhibition and storage which could be comparing to those of the national and public museums. However, it will be difficult to conserve the paintings for another 50 years under these circumstances. Now is the time for starting proper conservation of the “Hiroshima Panels” being exhibited on the land loved by both Iri and Toshi Maruki.
Setsuko Thurlow Hiroshima survivor and ICAN campaigner
I first visited the Maruki Gallery some 50 years ago. Wearing padded kimonos, the Marukis welcomed me into their simple home and we shared a vegetable hot pot. I was moved by the overwhelming power of the Hiroshima Murals. The artists told me about the difficulties they faced during their first exhibition tour in the United States in 1970-71. I was impressed with how they remained committed to their vision.
As a hibakusha, I always try to give testimony that is as honest as possible, using vivid language. However, words are never sufficient. We hibakusha, with the support of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have used graphic panels and other resources to make visual appeals. We give our heart and soul to telling the story of the atomic bombs, employing all of the senses. In this effort, the Marukis’ Hiroshima Panels have had a powerful impact.
The current effort to raise funds to renew and improve the Maruki Gallery will make an important contribution to advancing the efforts of the hibakusha. I offer my wholehearted support.
Taeko Tomiyama Painter
The Hiroshima Panels by Iri and Toshi Maruki created after WWII are cultural heritage of the world, depicting the sorrows of war and the atomic bombings, and the nuclear threat. Therefore, I support this fundraising appeal. However, from the view point of both Japan taking a deeply reflective view of its past war responsibility and considering the future for centuries from now, I also suggest that a National Maruki Gallery should be established.
Peter van den Dungen General Coordinator, International Network of Museums for Peace
The anguished plea of the Hibakusha – abolition of nuclear weapons, and of war – remains unfulfilled. It is important that the brutal reality of war, first and foremost atomic war, is kept uppermost in people’s mind and will motivate people to raise their voices in protest and join the global campaign for nuclear disarmament and a world without war. The Hiroshima Panels have a vital role to play in this process of awareness, education, and action. For many visitors, these works, like all great art, are life-transforming.
Tadahito Yamamoto Senior Researcher in the Center of the Tokyo Raids and War Damage
When you call for donations, you realize that it is possible to call for help only when you have logic, imagination, support and friends. There are not so many places with all of these. The Maruki Gallery has always been like a lighthouse for us in civil society. I am nervous yet very excited at the same time, to witness the process from establishing the foundation to the reconstruction of the Gallery.
Kayoko Yamasaki Poet
The Hiroshima Panels by Iri and Toshi Maruki are the Japanese version of Picasso’s Guernica, a painting of prayer. ”Rescue” describes the line of people fled from a red space to a white, tranquil and bright space. At the border of red and white, a father stands holding a baby in his arm, and at the back of the line, a mother and a daughter sit, holding their hands together in prayer. The Maruki Gallery is a sanctuary for pilgrimage that transcends all national borders, languages and beliefs in today’s world, as the fires of war have not been diminished and the journeys of refugees continue. It is our task to preserve the Panels, which express the pure spirits of the victims.
Sayuri Yoshinaga Actor
It was November 2015 when my wish to visit the Maruki Gallery of the Hiroshima Panels came true. I was more emotionally moved than I had previously imagined. I could hear the screams and feel the sorrows of the victims who passed away on that day. Let us work together so that more people can see the Hiroshima Panels! What we can do now is to take responsibility of conserving and passing on the Panels to the next generation.