Support our mission
 
Shima Takashi, in yellow, is greeted Dec. 13, 2011, by Capt. David Fluker, center, skipper of the Wasp class multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Essex, and Capt. Daniel Dusek, right, the ship's executive officer, as he arrives at the ship to present his most recent work for display. The 68-year-old  from Wakayama prefecture painted the Essex in elaborate detail to thank the U.S. military and the ship&'s crew for their participation in Operation Tomodachi.
Shima Takashi, in yellow, is greeted Dec. 13, 2011, by Capt. David Fluker, center, skipper of the Wasp class multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Essex, and Capt. Daniel Dusek, right, the ship's executive officer, as he arrives at the ship to present his most recent work for display. The 68-year-old from Wakayama prefecture painted the Essex in elaborate detail to thank the U.S. military and the ship&'s crew for their participation in Operation Tomodachi. (Matt Burke/Stars and Stripes)
Shima Takashi, in yellow, is greeted Dec. 13, 2011, by Capt. David Fluker, center, skipper of the Wasp class multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Essex, and Capt. Daniel Dusek, right, the ship's executive officer, as he arrives at the ship to present his most recent work for display. The 68-year-old  from Wakayama prefecture painted the Essex in elaborate detail to thank the U.S. military and the ship&'s crew for their participation in Operation Tomodachi.
Shima Takashi, in yellow, is greeted Dec. 13, 2011, by Capt. David Fluker, center, skipper of the Wasp class multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Essex, and Capt. Daniel Dusek, right, the ship's executive officer, as he arrives at the ship to present his most recent work for display. The 68-year-old from Wakayama prefecture painted the Essex in elaborate detail to thank the U.S. military and the ship&'s crew for their participation in Operation Tomodachi. (Matt Burke/Stars and Stripes)
Shima Takashi, left, a 68-year-old renowned painter from Wakayama prefecture, presents a painting he made of the Wasp class multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Essex to its skipper, Capt. David Fluker, right, Tuesday morning during a small ceremony in the captain's quarters. Takashi painted the Essex in elaborate detail to thank the U.S. military and the ship's crew for their participation in Operation Tomodachi.
Shima Takashi, left, a 68-year-old renowned painter from Wakayama prefecture, presents a painting he made of the Wasp class multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Essex to its skipper, Capt. David Fluker, right, Tuesday morning during a small ceremony in the captain's quarters. Takashi painted the Essex in elaborate detail to thank the U.S. military and the ship's crew for their participation in Operation Tomodachi. (Matt Burke/Stars and Stripes)
Takashi's painting of the USS Essex will hang in a passageway for the ship's crew and visitors alike to enjoy for years to come. The 68-year-old artist painted the Essex to thank the crew and the U.S. military for its aid and assistance during Operation Tomodachi earlier this year.
Takashi's painting of the USS Essex will hang in a passageway for the ship's crew and visitors alike to enjoy for years to come. The 68-year-old artist painted the Essex to thank the crew and the U.S. military for its aid and assistance during Operation Tomodachi earlier this year. (Terry Matlock/Courtesy U.S. Navy)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Shima Takashi thinks it’s impossible for the Japanese people to thank the U.S. military enough for rushing to their aid in the days immediately following the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Regardless, the spry 68-year-old artist from Wakayama prefecture did his best by presenting an original painting he had done of the USS Essex to its skipper Capt. David Fluker in a small ceremony Tuesday morning.

“The Japanese people couldn’t [thank them] enough so I wanted to thank the crew on their behalf,” Takashi said during a tour of the ship.

Much of Takashi’s work over the past 53 years has been focused on maritime scenes, according to his website. He photographed the Wasp-class multipurpose amphibious assault ship in August while visiting a Japanese ship at the base in Sasebo, he said, and began painting the detailed portrait soon after.

The renowned artist said he was nervous that some of the details might not be perfect because he had originally only photographed the ship from afar, but his fears were allayed when he saw the ship up close during his tour Tuesday.

“It was a true honor to receive this wonderful painting on behalf of Essex’s crew,” Fluker said. “Essex was honored to take part in Operation Tomodachi. Our sailors were eager to help our Japanese friends, and I am sure they will appreciate this token of friendship and appreciation for the hard work they have done.”

The painting will hang in one of the ship’s passageways so its vibrant blues and greens and resilient grays can be enjoyed by the crew and visitors alike, according to the ship’s public affairs officer Ens. Alexander Petit.

burkem@pstripes.osd.mil

Migrated
twitter Email

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up