KEIJI TSUCHIYA Artist, Storyteller

Mr. Keiji Tsuchiya was born in 1928 in Fukuyama city in Hiroshima prefecture.  He was 16 years old and in the 10th grade when he applied to join the army.  When the atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945 he was stationed on the island of Edajima, 13 kilometers from Hiroshima city.  After the bombing that day at 8:15 a.m., he and his fellow soldiers were mobilized and sent to provide relief aid in Hiroshima.  He was demobilized on September 13, 1945.

Although he was ill with radiation poisoning immediately after he was discharged from the army, Tsuchiya was eventually able to attend college and became a science teacher. After a fortuitous meeting, Tsuchiya became interested in the work of horseshoe crab scientist, Mr. Hiroyuki Nishii. Discovering that horseshoe crabs were dying in great numbers because of the loss of their water habitat necessary for survival, Mr. Tsuchiya remembered how the last words of many the Hiroshima victims were “please give me water,” and he decided to further Mr. Nishi’s work.

Keiji Tsuchiya has devoted more than 40 years to the study and preservation of the horseshoe crab and its habitat, and is the founder of the Kasaoka Horseshoe Crab Museum, the only one of its kind in the world. He has been recognized by Japan’s Ministry of Education for his important contributions to marine biology.

Mr. Tsuchiya is as deeply committed to ensuring that the history of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is not forgotten. He joins delegations to the U.N. to appeal for nuclear abolition and regularly gives his testimony to students at public schools and universities. As the Vice- President of the Okayama Prefecture A-Bomb Sufferers Association, he secures health care for the survivors in his region.


Last year Mr. Tsuchiya published a children’s book of the paintings that appear in Witness to Hiroshima with his testimony written in language appropriate for younger children. In addition to painting, he also sculpts ceramic crabs.

“As long as human beings have a rational mind, the heart to love peace and the power to act I believe that we can achieve world peace."