Hawai'i Forgiveness Hero

Honored as the first Hero of Forgiveness
at the events in Honolulu, August 5, 2003.

Thomas Takashi Tanemori

He survived the Hiroshima atomic bombing at the tender age of eight while his parents, grandparents and two sisters perished. He later survived heart attacks, cancer and is now blind due to the radiation exposure from the bombs.

According to Takashi, “Everything I’ve experienced, each instant, has brought me to where I am now.” That “now” is peace and forgiveness.

Takashi Tanemori is a testament to the healing power of forgiveness. It has not been an easy path to navigate. “I hated Americans” after the war, he says. He wanted America to suffer as he did.

Takashi eventually immigrated to America with hatred in his heart and retribution in mind. But the compassion of a nurse during a hospitalization helped to transform his bitterness .

Later he experienced an epiphany when driving to an anti-nuclear rally. A mushroom-shaped cloud stirred up memories of the atomic bomb and a white butterfly flew onto his car’s dashboard…and then he remembered the dream he had the night before the atomic bombing, of a crane and butterfly that would share the healing message of following the light within, where peace and forgiveness resided.

Takashi has since founded the Silkworm Peace Institute, dedicating the foundation to promote forgiveness and peace in the world. He was awarded the Hero of Forgiveness recognition by the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance, bestowed upon those who have courageously and dramatically stepped forward to demonstrate and exemplify the concept of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.


Hawaii Forgiveness Project