“Shadow pictures” created by Hiroshima residents depict the city after the atomic bombing

by Junji Akechi, Staff Writer

A shadow picture workshop on “Living in Hiroshima After the Atomic Bombing” was held at the Hiroshima Women’s Education Center on June 21. About 30 participants, including students from Hiroshima Johoku Junior and Senior High School, took part in the workshop and made shadow pictures under the instruction of artist Yuko Hamasaki, 40, from the city of Kawasaki, near Tokyo.

Shadow pictures are produced by gluing black paper cutouts in the shape of people and objects onto translucent paper held in place by a wooden frame. When light is shone through the back of the paper, these silhouettes appear on the screen.

The workshop participants created their shadow pictures after viewing the work of Ms. Hamasaki and others for guidance. Ms. Hamasaki’s work depicted the black market that arose on the streets of Hiroshima in the aftermath of the atomic bombing. Shintaro Oka, 14, a ninth-grader at Johoku Junior High School, expressed enthusiasm about making his own shadow picture. “I was very surprised to learn that the streetcars in Hiroshima began running again just three days after the bombing. I want to make a shadow picture of a streetcar.”

The workshop was hosted by the “Modest Wishes Shadow Pictures Exhibition” group, led by Kyoko Heya. Ms. Hamasaki, who is also a member of this group, crafts images of Hiroshima in her work. “I want to convey the strength of the citizens of Hiroshima, who lost everything, but never gave up on life,” said Ms. Hamasaki.

The shadow pictures created by workshop participants will be displayed near Motoyasu Bridge on August 5-6.

(Originally published on June 22, 2008)

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