Born in Hiroshima on August 31, 1932. On August 6, 1945 exposed to the atomic bomb at Tsurumi-cho, 1.5km away from the hypocenter, at the age of 12, while demolishing wooden houses for fire prevention as a mobilized student. After the war, became a staff member at the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. At the same time, continued to appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons as a kararibe (A-bomb witness) while suffering from aftereffects and discrimination.
In March 1962, was chosen as one of the members for the 1st World Peace Pilgrimage. Accompanied by Ms. Barbara Reynolds, organizer of the event, made a 5 month trip to 14 countries including the US. Britain, France, Germany and the former Soviet Union against nuclear tests. Visited the UN headquarters in New York and handed the message of Hiroshima to the former UN Under-Secretary-General Ralph Bunche. Also in Geneva, handed the message to 18 representatives at the 18th National Disarmament Conference. Stayed 40 days in the US and told her story 183 times.
In 1964, visited 6 European countries and the US along with Ms. Barbara Reynolds to hold the exhibition of Hiroshima & Nagasaki A-bomb Photo Posters. Also in 1982, stayed in the US for 2 months to show “50 Pictures Drawn By Atomic Bomb Survivors” sponsored by Hiroshima Appeal Committee, when the Second Special Session on Disarmament Conference was held at the UN. Held the exhibition 68 times and told her story to more than 110,000 people.
On May 31, 1993, retired after 27 years of service at the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation.
In April 1996, organized a study group with college students and teachers to tell stories of A-bomb survivors to visiting Japanese and foreign students and educators, and to guide them around the Peace Memorial Park in Japanese and English. Coordinated visitation at public high schools in Hiroshima for educators from public schools in Chicago who pay an annual visit to Hiroshima. Opinions on education of history and peace have been exchanged between the Japanese and American teachers through this program.
In July 1997, created English-version website “Miyoko’s Room”
In November 1998, began to hold peace education classes for school children using picture-phone equipment in Japan.
In May 1999, completed English and Japanese version website “The Spirit of Hiroshima” featuring survivors’ experiences, Peace Park guide, nuclear issues and so on. In the same year, visited Holland and Germany for peace activities. In The Hague, Holland participated in “Hague Peace Appeal Conference” and introduced updated web site. Also supported “Abolition 2000” campaign calling for petition for nuclear abolition.
In May and June 2000, cooperated with sponsor, the UN/NGO Disarmament Commission, to hold an exhibition of “The Atomic Bomb & Human Beings” during the Millennium Forum near the UN headquarters and told her atomic-bomb experience. Had picturephone classes through the internet with three schools around Detroit in the U.S. In November 2000, conducted the first picturephone classes for overseas students, connecting schools in Hiroshima and Detroit.
In September 2001, gave an account of her A-bomb experience in an online motion picture clip. This clip can be found at this website. Other A-bomb survivors give an oral account of their experience. In this clip, Miyoko addressed the problem that because atomic-bomb survivors are getting old,it is becoming more difficult for them to make overseas trips to talk about their experience.
In September 2002, participated in a “Victims Speaking Tour” held in the U.S. on the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on N.Y.p
In January 2003, talked about her experience as an A-bomb victim at the venue of the Asian Society Forum and nearby schools. The forum was held in Hyderabad, located in the mid-southern district of India. Twenty thousand people participated in the forum.
In September 2003, participated in the Hiroshima & Nagasaki A-bomb Exhibition held at Emory University, Reverend Tanimoto’s alma mater, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Forty eight photo panels and 41 drawings were displayed. Talked about her A-bomb experience at junior & senior high schools and universities 7 times to about 1,160 people for 4 days.
November 2004, gave the third distant lecture to some 100 listeners of Lakeside high school in Ohio State. Some other local schools asked distant lectures but cancelled, because Matsubara realized her physical limits, since it required more than one-hour speech besides time difference between Japan and the USA.
Soon had a traffic accident and got badly hurt her right leg which caused her eight-month hospitalization.
Since then, her distant lecture for elementary and junior-high schools in the USA has been discontinued.
April 2006, talked about her A-bomb experience to 63 graduate students studying at Kennedy Administration Graduate School at Harvard University who came to Japan on a study tour and during the tour visited Hiroshima.
September 2007, attended the 7th Symposium, “The Arctic Mirror of Life- Religion, Science and the Environment” held in Greenland in the Arctic and spoke about her A-bomb experience to about 160 participants.
September 2008, attended the “A-bomb Exhibition and the Abolishment of Nuclear Weapons” Seminar sponsored by Volda University in Norway. During the 4 days in Norway, presented talks about her A-bomb experience to about 700 elementary, Jr. & Sr. high schools, university students and others. At the seminar, Mr. Geir-Lundestad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and the Mr. Ole-Danbolt-Mjos, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee expressed their gratitude and encouragement to us who are involved in peace activities, in their presentation.
Since retired from the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation in 1993, visited 11 Western and Asian countries and stayed in those countries for 506 days. Held photo exhibitions of Atomic-bomb and told her A-bombed experience 413 times to some 35800 people in order to appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Matsubara, Miyoko. Pictures Drawn By Atomic Bomb Survivors Tour America. Ed. Hiroshima Appeal Committee. Tokyo: Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) Publishing Company, 1983. Video (NHK VHS) “This Is Hiroshima: A-bomb Pictures Go To America” Published by NHK Service Center.