San Diego-based clinical psychologist, Dr. Akiko Mikamo, grew up in Hiroshima listening to her father, Shinji Mikamo, tell stories of his and his father, Fukuichi’s post atomic-bombing journey like bedtime stories.
It was her mission to tell their story, not as victims, but their day to day human experience to survive and what can be gained from these unfortunate circumstances.
Dr. Mikamo published “8:15 – A True Story of Survival and Forgiveness from Hiroshima” (2019), formerly as “Rising from the Ashes” (2013), to spread the message of resiliency and forgiveness for betterment of humanity. Very few detailed accounts of Hiroshima survivor have been presented in this format in English before.
Weaving audio and video recordings from interviews Akiko Mikamo conducted with her father Shinji Mikamo, archival images of the aftermath of the first use of atomic weapons against humanity, as well as reenactments spoken in Hiroshima dialect, new film “8:15” (2020) is woven together in an innovative documentary format of the bombing of Hiroshima.
Directed by J.R. Heffelfinger, scripted by Akiko Mikamo, Nini Le Huynh, and J.R. Heffelfinger, film “8:15” (2020) runs for 50 minutes.
“8:15” is a remarkable true story about the resiliency of the human spirit, compassion and forgiveness.
After the successful special screenings at famed Hatchoza Cinema in Hiroshima for the 75th anniversary of the bombing, “8:15” has been invited to participate in the Academy Award qualifying Nashville Film Festival in October 2020.
The Story of “8:15”
August 6, 1945, begins like any other day in Hiroshima during World War II. As Shinji MIkamo, a Japanese teen, helps his father, Fukuichi, prepare their home from its roof for the government ordered demolition, there is a blinding flash. As Shinji turns back toward “the sun exploding,” a fireball sends him into darkness. The first atomic bomb has just shattered Hiroshima, killing over 70,000 civilians instantaneously.
Covered with severe burns and wounds, each waking moment was unbearable as the two search for safety under the sweltering summer sun. Everywhere they turn, death surrounds them with no hopes of help in sight. Shinji even wished for death to escape from his excruciating pain, but Fukuichi’s powerful words and will pushed Shinji to fight for his life. When their paths diverge, Shinji longs for his father’s presence.
It is narrated in English by Japanese actor, Sotaro Tanaka, intertwined with Shinji Makamo’s audio and real life interviews, layered with live action reenactments using visual effects, archival footage and photos to tell his moving true story of survival, resilience and forgiveness.
“8:15” shares a survivor’s message of love and power of forgiveness, reminding the world that our worst enemies of yesterday can be our best friends of tomorrow.
Cultural News to feature Dr. Akiko Mikamo at virtual meeting on Oct. 1 at 4:00PM & 7:00PM
Cultural News Editor Shige Higashi will interview Dr. Akiko Mikamo at virtual meeting via Zoom on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 4:00pm in Japanese, and at 7:00pm in English.
To participate in virtual meetings with Dr. Mikamo, register your name at https://www.culturalnews.com/meetings
Dr. Akiko Mikamo is a clinical, forensic, and sport psychologist as well as an executive coach and educator in San Diego.
In August 2010, with Dr. Mike Inoue, then Honorary Consul General of Japan in San Diego, Mr. Ikunosuke “Mike” Kawamura, former Kyocera executive, Dr. Mikamo started the San Diego – Worldwide Initiative to Safeguard Humanity or San Diego-WISH to host the 65th anniversary memorial service for victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Every year since then, San Diego-WISH is hosting International Peace and Humanity Day, 4:00pm PDT, Aug. 5, at the Yokohama Friendship Bell on Shelter Island in San Diego, and a ceremonial floating of paper lanterns in a silent prayer for world peace at the Coronado City Council Chambers and Community Pool to coincide with Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days.
In 2014, Dr. Mikamo received the Award for Exceptional Services for World Peace and Humanity from the World Peace and Prosperity Foundation at the House of Lords in London.