After finishing an MA in Development Studies at Leeds University in England in 1995, Fumiko Ishioka spent two years working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She worked briefly at a Japanese NGO for international cooperation when her life took a sharp turn. In 1997, Fumiko met a group of people who were starting a Holocaust Center and her interest in human rights issues and education led her to join them; The Tokyo Holocaust Education Resource Center. Aimed at teaching young students tolerance, mutual respect, and compassion; Fumiko fit right in and took over as Executive director in 1999.
Through Fumiko’s tenacity and hard work, she managed to discover the story behind the owner of a plain old suitcase loaned to her by the Auschwitz Museum. Her quest lead her to Canada and the surviving brother of Hana Brady, the owner of the suitcase. Fumiko’s work has spurred the imagination of millions of children around the world and she was granted an honorary PhD in Education by York University in Toronto. Fumiko now travels the world speaking to children and adults alike about the need to learn from our past and present, encouraging children to become active citizens in changing and shaping their future.
For information on the Tokyo Holocaust Education Resource Center click here.