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Hiroshima for Global Peace

Peace That Remains As A Record
Photo Messenger Who Continues to Take Pictures of Hiroshima

Hiroshima is a place where all matters of peace-related events are held year-round, including peace memorial ceremonies and lantern-floating, peace organizations assemblies, and friendly sports games. Photographer HASEGAWA Jun has been closely shooting such events for about 30 years.

Mr. Hasegawa first encountered photography when he was in elementary school. His teacher was developing photos he had taken of children at school, and when Mr. Hasegawa lent a hand, he had “found it interesting to see the exposed scenery appear on paper.”

Although he knew early on that he wanted to pursue a career in photography, he was left with a physical disability due to an illness he suffered as a child. He received some opposition from photographer AKIYAMA Shotaro, who told him it might be difficult for him to pursue a career in photography. However, partly due to the encouragement of HAYASHI Tadahiko, one of Japan’s leading photographers, and partly due to his cousin who took photos as a hobby, he attempted it in his own way while learning from those around him. At the age of 17, he became the youngest person to be selected for the Prefectural Art Exhibition, which led him to pursue a career in photography.

After graduating from high school, he entered Osaka University of Arts. He enrolled in the Department of Photography and said that he had the fortunate opportunity to study under some of Japan’s leading photographers, such as  IWAMIYA Takeji, HAYASHI Tadahiko and MIKI Jun. He also expanded his knowledge by assigning himself the task of reading two books a week in areas he was interested in, such as photography, history, and politics. Afterwards, he remained at the university as an assistant, and also served as a part-time lecturer. While teaching, half of the time he was in a position similar to that of a freelance photographer, taking commissioned photos. After he left the university, he supported himself as a photographer. He made his living through photography, primarily shooting celebrities and sports.

What made him start taking photos on the subject of peace was a TV show in which OISHI Yoshino, TSUCHIDA Hiromi and HAYASHI Shigeo, who photographed female survivors of the atomic bomb, appeared. He had always wanted to someday take photos of Hiroshima, so he began to do so on the subject of peace.

At times, he visited the atomic bombing sites and survivors with newspaper reporters who were passionate researchers of Hiroshima’s history, expanding his expertise. Furthermore, after meeting and studying under ENARI Tsuneo, a photographer whose subjects included Japanese war brides living in the United States and orphans left behind in China, Mr. Hasegawa realized that he could not shoot press photography in the same way, and decided to focus on documentary photography instead.

Mr. Hasegawa speaking on how famous photographers have had a large influence on him.

When he was fortunate to be able to photograph Mother Teresa, whom he had always wanted to photograph, he brought along a photo taken from inside the Atomic Bomb Dome, hoping to help her realize her previously expressed wish to see its interior. Mother Teresa said to Mr. Hasegawa, “Let’s try to create peace to the extent that each of us can.”

©2024 Jun Hasegawa

Mother Teresa, who Mr. Hasegawa longed to photograph for many years.

Mr. Hasegawa said, “Most of the photos I have taken on the subject of peace have not been published anywhere. I would like to donate the works I have taken up until now to the city someday. I hope that I can repay the people I’m indebted to around me through photography.” Additionally, his dream for the future is for young photographers who will continue to capture photos of peace to be nurtured.

“I think young people today have gotten plenty of peace education, but I also feel that their education is in a way too one-size-fits-all. I want them to use their own efforts to look for peace, to ponder what peace is with their own minds, and find their own answers. I want them to read a lot of books and learn about history, rather than just accepting the information that is handed to them,” he said in encouragement.


Born in Hiroshima in 1957. After studying photography at Osaka University of Arts and other places, he returned to his hometown in 1986. He is active as a freelance photographer. Positing himself as a “photo messenger,” he continues to shoot peace-related events and happenings in Hiroshima. He is a founding member of the Japan Photographers Association (JPA) and the Japan Photographic Copyright Association (JPCA), and a member of the Atomic Photographers Guild.



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