Documentary of Atomic Bomb Survivors Meeting Pearl Harbor Survivors
Sakura & Pearls: Healing from World War II
In 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Abe and U.S. President Obama met in two historic meetings at Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor to honor the World War II casualties. Inspired by this show of friendship, a third historic meeting happened at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, away from the media frenzy, captured only by the cameras of this documentary. No politicians. No protocols. This was a remarkable and intense exchange between 2 Japanese atomic bomb survivors and 2 American Pearl Harbor Attack survivors as they met face to face to share their stories with their former enemies. What did they say? What happened when they met?
It took 75 years for sitting leaders from both Japan and the U.S.A to meet at the Atomic Dome and the U.S.S Arizona Memorial. The image of former U.S. President Obama hugging the crying Hiroshima Atomic Bomb survivor, Shigeaki Mori-san, made the cover of the New York Times, Japan Today, and countless other newspapers around the world. This powerful exchange of respect still reverberates today.
See what happens when I asked atomic bomb survivor, Shigeaki Mori-san, if he forgives Americans for dropping the atomic bomb on his family when he was only a child. Click the trailer below.
For those who missed my online presentation “Sakura & Pearls” for Pacific Historic Parks, here is the full talk followed by some excellent Q&A with the audience. It focuses on how I met an Atomic Bomb survivor at the Atomic Dome in Hiroshima who survived the bomb when he was only 4 years old. His name is Okihiro Terao-san and his house was less than 1/4 mile away from the epicenter of the bomb. Meeting Terao-san inspired my documentary “Sakura & Pearls: Healing from World War II” which is about Hiroshima Atomic Bomb survivors meeting American Pearl Harbor Attack survivors. For the presentation, click here!
From Left to Right: Koko Kondo (Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor), Everett Hyland (Pearl Harbor survivor, USS Pennsylvania), G. K. Hunter (Director, in the back, center), Jimmy Lee (Pearl Harbor civilian survivor), and Masahiro Sasaki (Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor) . Photo take at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center after filming their meeting.
Everett Hyland, a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor, attends a ceremony commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the attack Dec. 7, 2013, at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese bombers staged a surprise attack on U.S. military forces in Hawaii. The day after the attack, before a joint session of Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked for a declaration of war against Japan and the U.S. officially entered World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Diana Quinlan/Released)
Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor, Shigeaki Mori, hugging former US President Obama. Rights of photo featured Shigeaki Mori-san.
Director G. K. Hunter with Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor Okihiro Terao at the Atomic Dome in Hiroshima.
Rev. Taiken Akiyama doing a blessing of a Pearl Harbor survivor at the Shingon Mission in Haleiwa, Hawaii.