Staff Reports, recently published: on March 18, 2015 -Takashi Tanemori is schedule to arrive and speak at First Unitarian Church, 600 NW 13, in Oklahoma City. The program was open to the public.
Mr. Tanemori presented a free public lecture at the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave. in Norman, in conjunction with the museum’s new exhibition, Beyond the Battlefield. The event was followed by a book signing.
“My story demonstrates how a heart twisted by hatred and revenge can be transformed by forgiveness, evolving to a path of peaceful wisdom and the essential work of healing human hearts,” Tanemori said in a news release.
Elyssa Faison, associate professor of Japanese history and women’s and gender studies at OU, met Tanemori several years ago at a presentation at the Berkeley Center for Japanese studies. Faison was influential in bringing him to the OU campus.
“It is a privilege for us to be able to host Mr. Tanemori here at OU,” Faison said. “There are not many atomic bomb survivors still living today, and even fewer who are as active and willing to share their stories as he is. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most people in the OU community.”
Tanemori was a child at the time of the Hiroshima bombing, and he lost most of his family in the explosion. He moved to the United States at age 18 and worked as a farm laborer. When people discovered he was an atomic bomb survivor, he was hospitalized and used for medical experimentation, according to the news release. He later turned to Christianity and attended seminary to become a pastor. He lives in Berkeley, Calif.
Today Tanemori is an activist, lecturer, poet and artist. His artwork primarily depicts scenes of war and personal memories from the bombing. Several documentaries and short films about Hiroshima feature Tanemori and his story of survival. He is legally blind and is accompanied by an assistant and a service dog.
The OU College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of History, the Religious Studies Program, the College of International Studies’ Department of International Area Studies and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art are sponsors of the event.
Beyond the Battlefield: Depictions of War is on display at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art until May 10.