Photojournalist Shimada Kousei arrived Friday to a friendly welcome by members of the National Nuclear Commission and the Japanese community in Majuro. It was Shimada’s first visit since before the Covid pandemic.
Shimada and his late wife, Taniko, lived in Delap for over six years in the mid-1980s into the early 1990s. He focused his photojournalism on the displaced population of Rongelap, documenting the move from Rongelap to Mejatto in 1985 and through his continued visits over decades, has chronicled the life of many in the Rongelap community.
He has published a number of books on the Marshall Islands.
Asked how many times he’s visited RMI, Shimada paused for a few seconds, then replied: “More than 30.”
Local photojournalist Chewy Lin expressed great enthusiasm about the opportunity to meet Shimada for the first time, an event that took place over lunch at the Flame Tree last Saturday — amidst much picture taking, of course, and Shimada autographing one of his books for Chewy. An older-younger generation photojournalist meeting that was enjoyed by both gentlemen.
Shimada is in town for another week or so and is planning a return in July with the hopes of visiting Mejatto Island.