In a largely symbolic gesture, UNC sent two scholarly books to the University of Hiroshima in 1951 to help the educational institution recover from the loss and destruction of August 9, 1945. This exchange was recently marked by the University of Hiroshima with a reciprocal gift of four roof tiles that survived the bombing and were recently recovered from rivers around the city.
According to a press release from UNC Global, the tiles “have bubbly, scorched surfaces due to the 5,000°C (9,032°F) heat rays from the atomic bomb. Meant to be symbols that represent the devastation and lost souls, the tiles will be placed at four locations throughout campus, including the FedEx Global Education Center, the University Library, South Building, and the Department of Asian Studies located in New West. Each shard will be accompanied by a plaque detailing its significance and symbolism as an artifact of ‘an unforgettable tragedy’ that speaks of ‘the resilience of Japanese people and their commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons,’ as noted by Toshimasa Asahara, president of Hiroshima University, and Rebun Kayo, chair of the Association of Hiroshima University Students for Sending an Atomic Bombed Roof Tile.”
The exchange and its commemoration also prompted UNC to send symbolic gifts to Fukushima University this summer, including some scholarly books and a poplar tree, a gift that was recently acknowledged by the President of the university, Osamu Nittono.