Speaking at the United Nations

In November 2019 I spoke about The Last Cherry Blossom at the United Nations Bookshop in New York City. Click on the link to view a short teaser and view the full speech on the United Nations Bookshop official Facebook page.

Click HERE to watch my United Nations Speech Teaser.


Kathleen Burkinshaw is a Japanese American author, the daughter of a Hiroshima survivor and resides in Charlotte, NC. She’s a wife, mom, and owns a dog who thinks she’s a kitchen ninja. In 2019 she spoke about her mother’s experience in Hiroshima at the United Nations (NYC) and with her daughter on UN virtual events for the 75th anniversary of atomic bombing. In 2021, she had the honor of speaking at a Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum virtual event. Kathleen has presented to middle/high schools around the world for the past 10 years. She now serves on the Advisory Council at the International Center for Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma and on the Steering Committee for the Global Alliance Sustainable Peace & Prosperity for All, Hiroshima Japan.

She also has been a featured guest on NHK World Japan, Asian American Magazines, and on numerous podcasts. Writing gives her an outlet for her daily struggle with chronic pain from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. The Last Cherry Blossom (2016, English Edition), is now a United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs Resource for Teachers and Students. The Japanese translation from Holp Shuppan Publishing released August 12, 2022. The audiobook version(English) of The Last Cherry Blossom (Dreamscape Media) released on September 27, 2021.

The Last Cherry Blossom has been nominated for 2019 NC School Library Media Association YA book award,2019-2020 Volunteer State Book Award (Tennessee), 2018& 2016 Scholastic WNDB Reading Club selection, and Finalist for NC Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award, 2018 Sakura Medal, Japan, and SCBWI Crystal Kite Award(southeast region).

Click HERE to learn more about Kathleen through her Blog – Creating Through the Pain.

Segment on Newsroom Tokyo

In April 2020 NHK World-Japan, an international news station based in Japan, did a short segment on The Last Cherry Blossom in both Japanese and English. The English segment was on their Newsroom Tokyo TV program and the Japanese segment was on their Today’s 2020 TV program.

Click HERE to watch the English segment.

Click HERE to watch the Japanese segment.

NHK Backstories: “Hiroshima novel a hit with students on both sides of the Pacific”

In April 2020, in addition to my segment on Newsroom Tokyo, NHK wrote an article about The Last Cherry Blossom and its impact on students in both the United States and Japan.

Click HERE to read my article on NHK.

United Nations Professional Development Workshop Article

In November 2019 I was mentioned in a United Nations article about a workshop for high school teachers discussing nuclear threats. I was part of a Q&A on nuclear weapons at the workshop.

Click HERE to read the article.

Japan Times Article

In November 2019 The Last Cherry Blossom was featured in an article in the Japan Times, a leading newspaper in Japan.

Click HERE to read the article.

Kyodo News Article

In November 2019 I was featured in an article in Kyodo News, another major Japanese newspaper.

Click HERE to read the article.

United Nations Podcast

In January 2020 I was a guest on the United Nations podcast The Lid is On to speak about The Last Cherry Blossom.

Click HERE to watch the podcast.

Rafu Shimpo Article

The Last Cherry Blossom was featured in an article in Rafu Shimpo, the largest Japanese American newspaper since 1903. You can read the article in the picture below.

AAPI Resources

Please take a look at my blog post Am I ASIAN Enough? Am I AMERICAN Enough? (Hint: Yes! & Yes!). It is about my feelings and experiences as an Asian American and at the bottom I list some helpful AAPI resources.

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BOOK RIOT lists THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM as one of30 Fascinating Historical Fiction Books for Middle School Readers – October, 2018″    

Yuriko was happy growing up in Hiroshima when it was just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is only getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! And while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and Japan’s fate is not entirely clear, with any battle losses being hidden from its people. Yuriko is used to the sirens and the air-raid drills, but things start to feel more real when the neighbors who have left to fight stop coming home. When the bomb hits Hiroshima, it’s through Yuriko’s twelve-year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror.

This is a story that offers young readers insight into the Japanese culture, mindset, and daily life during WWII before the bomb was dropped-something that has not been done before. Based on author Kathleen Burkinshaw’s mother’s firsthand experience surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, The Last Cherry Blossom hopes to warn readers of the immense damage nuclear war can bring, while reminding them that the “enemy” in any war is often not so different from ourselves.  The Last Cherry Blossom, is nominated for 2019 NC School Library Media Association YA Book Award(MS), 2019-2020 Volunteer State Book Award, Finalist 2018 Sakura Medal, Japan, Finalist 2017 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, 2017 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award Finalist(southeast region), Honorary Mention New England Book Festival YA Book Award, and a 2018 & 2016 Scholastic WNDB Reading Club Selection

“…A resonating narrative of hope, resilience, and forgiveness told in the thoughtful voice of an ordinary 12-year-old who survives extraordinary circumstances…Burkinshaw deftly weaves in historical context to enhance her personal story.” —Shelf Awareness, Featured Review

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