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Paper Lanterns

Tōrō nagashi (灯籠流し) or "lantern floating" is a ceremony practiced in Japan in which participants float paper lanterns down rivers, representing the safe passing of loved ones into the next life. The ceremony is performed in many places and on many dates, but notably it happens yearly at Hiroshima, to commemorate those who perished in the atomic bombing.

Paper Lanterns is a documentary film about Shigeaki Mori, an atomic bomb survivor who has spent over 40 years investigating the 12 American prisoners who died in the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, Japan. Brought to nationwide attention when President Barack Obama gave him a hug during his 2016 visit to Hiroshima, Mr. Mori has become a symbol of the friendship between the U.S. and Japan. The film depicts Mr. Mori's journey to recognize the American POWs, and highlights the sadness of losing one’s precious family, regardless of country, as well as the friendships made by sharing the sorrow and hope for world peace. The Japan Society of Boston supported making this film under the direction of Barry Frechette and producer Peter Grilli.

In May, 2018, Mr. Mori visited the United States for the first time, and came to Boston for a screening and discussion event at the MFA, supported in part by the JSB. We thankfully acknowledge Shigeaki Mori and Paper Lanterns for being a bridge between the US and Japan, in order to not let the memory of this tragedy fade away.

Find out more, and follow Mr. Mori's visit to America on the Paper Lanterns website

View the trailer here


The Japan Times
When Japan Strikes the Right Cord
By Roland Kelts, June 2, 2019

The Harvard Press
‘Paper Lanterns’: The back story of a World War II documentary
By Carlene Phillips, January 31, 2019

The Japanese Historian Honoring Hiroshima’s American Dead
By Julian Ryall, May 20, 2016

NHK World - Japan
Atomic-bomb survivor calls for nuclear abolition

June 1, 2018

A Hiroshima Survivor's Unusual Quest Reaches Lowell
By Adam Reilly, May 29, 2018

NBC Boston
Lowell Honors Man Who Memorialized 12 American POWs Killed in Hiroshima
By Alysha Palumbo, May 28, 2018



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