A Woman’s Voice – Knuko Laskey

Kinuko Laskey
Kinuko Laskey

Today, I celebrated International Women’s Day by visiting Kinuko Laskey.  Even though she moved on from this existence on November 3, 2004, I feel her presence and fierce courage every time I stop by her memorial sculpture situated in Seaforth Peace Park, Vancouver.  The noise of traffic ebbs and flows in the background, yet there is a quiet solitude that welcomes those who pass by.

Kinuko Laskey’s journey was not for the faint of heart.  She was a “hibakusha”, the Japanese word to describe the victims of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Despite her physical injuries, she believed that peace was the only pathway for humanity.

Kinuko Laskey
Kinuko Laskey

Knuko Laskey

March 22, 1929 – November 03, 2004

(text on sculpture)

Kinuko Laskey was a sixteen-year-old student nurse who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. She moved to Vancouver in 1953. For many years she was unable to speak of her experience. In 1982 she broke her silence and began what became a lifelong work as a peace educator and activist. This bust honours Kinuko’s life and her work.

Sponsor: Vancouver and District Labour Council is proud to dedicate this monument to Kinuko Laskey’s memory

Sculptor: Keith Shields

8 Comments

  1. Ms Frances

    What a great lady. She suffered years of pain, lost her family and she must have relived the horror she saw as a young person multiple times. Yet, she used her experience to send a message for peace. Who better to tell the story and who better to mentor a whole world toward peaceful co-existence? Thank you, Knuko, for your example. And, thank you for this post–so very important and inspiring.

  2. Resa

    A wonderful tribute to a brave & enduring woman. Thank you, Rebecca! I feel that this is also a tribute to the desire for world peace, which man has not yet, achieved. Perhaps if women ran the world, it would be achieved.

    1. Clanmother

      Thank you, Liz. Isn’t it interesting that many think that strident voices bring about change. Yet, it is the quiet voice of deep understanding that gives humanity the most profound breakthroughs.

    1. Clanmother

      Thank you Gallivanta!! That she survived is a miracle. Knuko Laskey worked at Hiroshima Communications Hospital 1.4 kilometres from the hypocenter. This is what was written about her in her website: “Radiation sickness, loss of sight in her right eye, and many plastic surgery operations were the results of her ordeal.”

      As you know, when people experience such a traumatic event, the healing process is protracted. Their voice may be quieted for a while, but time heals and their voice grows ever stronger. Thank you for your visit and comments – very much appreciated.

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