Saturday, August 5 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Tenri Cultural Institute – 43A W. 13th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
The organizers of the Peace Art and Photo Exhibition at Tenri Cultural Institute will show the documentary film Paper Lanterns, directed by Barry Frechette and produced by Peter Grilli, together with short films The 71st Summer of Comic Artist Nishiyama directed by Yoshiki Tanimoto and Journeymation Article 9 directed by Hiroshi Onishi.
Paper Lanterns (60 min. 2016)
English and Japanese with English subtitles
In the summer of 1945, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. On August 6, “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima, and three days later, “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed. What few people know is that 12 American POWs were on the ground in Hiroshima, 1,300 feet from ground zero. Two of the twelve Americans were Normand Brissette of Lowell, Massachusetts, and Ralph Neal of Corbin, Kentucky.
On that same early August morning, a young Japanese boy, Shigeaki Mori, would witness the explosion. He would survive that day, but his life would be changed forever. Mori would go on to document the events of that day and the thousands who were lost. Through his research, he would find evidence of the 12 American POWs and would spend more than 35 years tracking down their stories, not as enemies, but as humans who suffered in one of history’s most tragic events. To honor them, like all the others who suffered as victims that day, he worked tirelessly to track down each family and try to give some closure and even solace by letting them know what happened, and to have each airman recognized at the Hiroshima Peace Museum, named as victims of the atomic blast. What would drive this man to spend so much time and effort to recognize them? To reach out to their families and provide comfort. And offer closure.
And that is exactly what Shigeaki Mori did. Normand and the other Americans were just a few of the more than 100,000 people who died following the bombing. Normand shared the same fate as the Japanese. His story is their story. But one man has stood up to give the 12 their voice. One man looked at them not as just as a symbol of those who had dropped the bomb, but as victims. They were sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers. And they deserved to be treated as such. No matter what uniform they wore. That is Shigeaki Mori’s legacy.
In conjunction with the screenings and photo exhibition, there will be an origami workshop by the Origami Therapy Association and a musical performance by Anacoustic Mind.