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Silk Worm Peace Institute
Takashi Tanemori is one of the few survivors of the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima. He lost both of his parents and two sisters to the effects of that weapon, and became an Oyanashigo – a street urchin – who struggled to stay alive by searching waste sites and garbage cans for food, in the ashes of postwar Japan.
Bound by his oath to avenge his father’s death, Takashi spent eight angry years of dishonor and despair, and even attempted suicide. When he turned eighteen, he immigrated to the United States, where he suffered physical and emotional cruelty working in California's 'salad bowl' and as a captive patient in the state's psychiatric system. But a nurse took personal interest in caring for Takashi, became his guardian, and sparked the young man to pursue a life serving others through Christianity.
Takashi studied to become a Christian minister, and worked with several churches in the course of two decades, between 1968 and 1979, as a spiritual guide and a builder of congregations. Yet, despite successes, Takashi was unable to conquer prejudice in his congregations. Turning to reach the hearts of Americans through their stomachs, Takashi created a restaurant to support his family, but that struggle led to severe health challenges and again brought need to change the direction of his life.
While crossing the San Francisco Bay Bridge one morning in the summer of 1985, Takashi had an epiphany, which led him to reject his vow of revenge and instead devote himself to fostering forgiveness. He set a lifetime goal of helping future generations live in Heiwa - - peace, with harmony and equality.
Today, Takashi Tanemori’s purpose in life is exposing and defeating what he has come to know as mankind’s greatest enemy: fear and hatred that cause darkness in the human heart. As founder of the Silkworm Peace Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to international peace, he has fostered forgiveness and helping others overcome barriers.
Takashi is in his 70s and resides in Berkeley, California. He lives with his guide dog, Yuki, whose name in Japanese means “fallen snow on a moonlit night.” Takashi shares his life story through speaking engagements, writings, conflict resolution seminars, workshops on The Seven Codes of the Samurai (“Peace through Forgiveness”), his writing and artwork.