2022 Foreign Minister's Commendation Ceremony for Ms. Hiromi Peterson
On Tuesday, November 1, 2022, Ms. Hiromi Peterson, Toka Shodo Calligraphy Instructor, received the 2022 Foreign Minister’s Commendation at the official residence of the Consul General of Japan in Honolulu. The award is in recognition of her contribution in promoting Japanese language education and Japan-US peace and friendship through youth exchange efforts.
Ms. Peterson had been a Japanese language teacher in Hawaii since 1980 and co-authored Volumes 1-5 of the Japanese language textbook, “Adventures in Japanese”, designed for junior high and high school students. As a second-generation survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Ms. Peterson included themes of war and peace in her publication focusing on her own family’s atomic bomb experience as well as co-author’s family’s Japanese internment camp experience, and has promoted Japanese language education in conjunction with peace education. Her work of thirty years spans five volumes that are now used at a majority of high schools across the U.S. In addition, she was acknowledged for her work in developing "Hiroshima Peace Scholarship" in 2009. Since then, she has contributed greatly to the promotion of Japan-US peace and friendship through annual youth exchanges between Hiroshima City and Hawaii.
At the ceremony, Deputy Consul General Izawa delivered a congratulatory message followed by the conferment ceremony. Ms. Peterson also delivered a speech. In her speech, Ms. Peterson stated that all of her activities began by following Punahou School's challenge and efforts to provide the best education for their students. She conveyed her gratitude to the teachers who co-authored the textbooks, including the 100 or so volunteers from Japan and Hawaii and her late husband, who supported all of her activities from the beginning. She also expressed her desire to continue to be involved in nurturing future peacebuilders.
The program for the Conferment Ceremony was as follows:
• Opening Remarks – Deputy Consul General Mikio Izawa
• Conferment of the Commendation – Deputy Consul General Mikio Izawa
• Recipient’s Speech – Ms. Hiromi Peterson
• Guest’s Speech – Dr. Jim Scott, Past President of Punahou School
• Congratulatory Address – Ms. Kyoko Hijirida, Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawai’i