When my mother toured Japan in 1970 and I went along, our train went through the outskirts of Hiroshima but she didn’t have a concert scheduled there so we didn’t stop. That trip is always on my mind this time of year anyway. Her song against nuclear testing, “What Have They Done to the Rain” was popular there. One day we found a little old-fashioned street behind our huge modern hotel, and I, being a fabric junkie at the time, pulled us into a traditional fabric store. I found a bolt of white cloth with folded paper cranes printed on it in blue, and bought it. When I got home, I made banners from it, mounted on bamboo poles, to carry in peace marches and hold at Hiroshima Day ceremonies. I passed them on a while ago, but I think I’ll be making some paper cranes next week to take to the ceremony in Berkeley where people decorate paper lanterns and sail them on the lagoon at Aquatic Park. This year it will be on Saturday, August 7, starting at 6:30. More info here: http://www.progressiveportal.org/lanterns/

My mother wrote letters to the editor pretty regularly, and my father did too. Here’s one of hers from 1956 on nuclear testing.

1199 Spruce St.
Berkeley 7, Cal.
June 16, 1956  
Editor San Francisco Chronicle
Dear Sir:
    I see by your paper that the H-bomb missed its target by four miles “due to human error.” What other kind of error can we depend on? And when will our military stop acting as though the atmosphere were their personal toy and not the property of the whole world’s peoples and a precious heritage to be passed on to coming generations intact as it came to us?
Yours sincerely,
Malvina Reynolds.

A bit ago I got an email from Japan:

I am 21 years old and a singer in Japan who likes folk music.
The other day, I bought a CD of Pete Seeger "The Essential Pete Seeger " and I did like a song "Little Boxes." and I found out that the song was written by Miss Malvina Reynolds and I decided to buy her CDs: Sings The Truth,  Ear to the Ground, and Malvina Reynolds .

I ordered these three CDs on Amazon.com and now I was getting information about her; and I found your blog.
So, I decided to send e-mail.
I am so glad that I could know her. She is one of my favorite singers. Now I am really looking forward to getting her CDs.

I replied: 
Did you know that my mother toured Japan with Tsunehiko Kamijo in 1970? I realize that's before you were born, but I understand he is still well-known in Japan. I wrote a little about it in my blog at 
but maybe I should write more.

So here is a little more. And maybe next Hiroshima Day a little more too.

©2010 by Nancy Schimmelhttp://www.progressiveportal.org/lanterns/27174DFE-9217-4BD2-873B-BB98D95B612D.html
Hi Nancy,
I like the mixture of personal story and other people's input like the young woman from Japan.  What a wonderful life you have led.
Olga Loya
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 04:19 PM
Photo by Steve Freedkin from the 2009 Peace Lantern Ceremony at Berkeley’s Aquatic Park.
Thursday, July 29, 2010