On August 6, 1945, eight-year-old Takashi Tanemori was playing hide-and-seek with friends in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb fell less than one mile away.
The blast killed his parents, a brother, a sister, and other members of his family. Takashi, whose father was of samurai class, became an Oyanashigo—a street urchin, who survived by scrounging from garbage cans and refuse piles.
He vowed to avenge his family’s deaths, but over the course of many years he had a change of heart and chose instead to devote himself to a path of peaceful wisdom and helping others. Recently he visited the Asian with his guide dog, Yuki (in Japanese, “falling snow under moonlight”).
“In marveling over the exhibit of Miyamoto Musashi,” Takashi said, “I was reminded of my reading of The Book of Five Rings, and an important basis of Musashi’s philosophy: Nurture the heart, and the brain will follow.
“It’s important to remember the root of the word Samurai is saburi, which means ‘servant’ or ‘attendant,’ Takashi went on. “I learned from my father that I should live my life in service to others. This is a central Samurai teaching.”
Takashi Tanemori lives in Berkeley. He is an artist, a poet, and the author of Hiroshima: Bridge to Forgiveness (2007)
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