Marii Hasegawa

Marii Hasegawa
Marii Hasegawa
Born 1907
Hiroshima, Japan
Nationality Japanese
Known for peace activist, national president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Successor Naomi Marcus
Religion Buddhism

Marii Hasegawa (born 1918) is a peace activist, known for her fifty years of work with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, including serving as its president during the Vietnam War.

Hasegawa was born in Hiroshima, Japan. Her family moved to the United States in 1919, after her father, a Buddhist priest, was assigned to serve Buddhists in California. She attended University of California, Berkeley.[1]

In 1942, Hasegawa and her family were interned at a War Relocation Camp by the U.S. Government. They were forcibly kept for three years, and in 1945 Hasegawa was released and moved to Philadelphia.

While in Philadelphia, Hasegawa began work with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), peace-seeking non-governmental organization which had vehemently opposed the internment of Japanese Americans and helped to relocate and readjust freed Japanese. She would hold varying roles within WILPF for the next fifty years, such as the chair of its Membership and Extension Committee from 1960 to 1965, its consultant to committees from 1965 to 1968, and its national president from 1971 to 1975.[2] During her presidency of the organization during the Vietnam War, Hasegawa organized protests against the war and led a peace delegation to North Vietnam in that capacity.[3][1][4]

Hawegawa received the Niwano Peace Prize in 1996. She now lives in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and is still active in social justice issues.[4]


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