Towards a world free of nuclear weapons and nuclear power
The World Hibakusha Exhibition (NPO No More Hibakusha) was founded by Ittetsu Morishita, who took photos of sufferers of radiation exposure (hibakushas) in Hiroshima and Nagasaki for over 40 years.
He and five other photographers who had been reporting on hibakushas from all over the world started holding this exhibition in 2002, and, ever since, have been showing their photos in and outside Japan.
Hibakushas, in many parts of the world, including Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl, nuclear test sites and uranium mining sites, are the clearest living proof of mankind’s folly.
The aim of the exhibition by the six photographers is to show the world hibakushas’ experiences and testimonies through photos, and to encourage more people in the world to join the campaign for a world free of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
The World Hibakusha Exhibition was suspended for 6 years because the founder Ittetsu Morishita fell ill, but it was resumed by his daughter, Miho Morishita, who held the ‘Urgent’ World Hibakusha Forum in Tokyo in December 2011 in response to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster.
Since then, we have held our own exhibitions, or invited others to do so, both domestically and internationally, with the addition of photos from Fukushima.
We are also planning to hold various events jointly with citizens’ organizations and artists as part of our campaign for a nuclear free world.
Message from Ittetsu Morishita
by Miho Morishita, the World Hibakusha Exhibition Representative
While I had been working as a care taker, I have met a number of aged people who have experienced the World War II. Many of the words I have heard from these aged people were their wanting for redemption, such as “As a human being, I have made horrible mistakes,” “I would like to make apologies.” They had passed away with feelings of remorse.
As a successor of Ittetsu Morishita, who has fallen ill and discontinued his work, I would like to restart the World Hibakusha Exhibition with words of apologies.
Apologies to the people Japanese army had inflicted tremendous damages on. Apologies not to have been able to prevent the wars including Vietnam and Iraq, and not to have been able to stop nuclear testing and usage of depleted uranium, which generated even more Hibakushas worldwide. Apologies to allow the constructions of nuclear power plants under the name of “Peaceful Use of Atom,” causing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident scattering radiation worldwide.
While conveying the messages of apologies as a Japanese national, I would like to introduce the World Hibakusha Exhibition as a material to look at the reality and think about the future, not wasting the lives of hibakushas in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and in the world.
We know that the Russian attack on nuclear power plants in Ukraine and nuclear threats are causing many of you to feel an unprecedented sense of urgency.
Although we, too, feel helpless, we have been thinking about what we can do as a non-profit organization, the World Hibakusha Exhibition, and have decided to provide you with a symbolic photographs.
These photographs, titled "Hibakusha: Hatsuko Tominaga" and "Hibakusha: Motoyo Fujiwara," are the work of Ittetsu Morishita, a photographer who took photographs of Hibakusha in Hiroshima and Nagasaki for nearly half a century and died last year. Ittetsu Morishita founded the World Hibakusha Exhibition 20 years ago with the aim of raising public opinion for a nuclear-free world.
The following two photographs are provided.
Photo 1: TOMINAGA Hatsuko
The white specks in her eyes are atomic cataracts.
A sharp pain runs through her body constantly, causing her to distort her eyebrows.
(1977, Eba, Hiroshima MORISHITA Ittetsu)
Photo 2: FUJIWARA Motoyo
When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Ms.FUJIWARA, who was helping to evacuate the city, was working near the Fukuya department store, 600 meters from the hypocenter.
Her five-year-old daughter and seventeen-year-old son died one month after the bombing. After that, she was alone and working hard, until becoming ill at the age of 91.
In this photo, you can see scars and burns on her arms and hands; they caused her much pain, especially in winter.
(1977, Hakushima, Hiroshima MORISHITA Ittetsu)
These photos, along with "Stop attacks on nuclear power plants!", "Don't use nuclear weapons!", "Don't threaten with nuclear weapons.", and "Peace in We thought that by having messages such as "Ukraine!" used together, we could contribute to sending a strong message around the world.
These photos are representative of a series of photos of A-bomb survivors that won the Grand Prix for the Peace and Nationality Award in the International Documentary Art Photo Contest "Humanity and Peace" to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the USSR.
I would like to think that it was some kind of mistake to use works that were appreciated by the Russian people on these occasions, but I am sure that many of the Russian people never wanted war either.
We, with all people, would like to overcome the nuclear crisis and see peace return to Ukraine.
If you wish to use them, please download the photos below.
We hope that these photos, which are filled with the thoughts and feelings of the Hibakusha, will be of some help to you.