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Photographer Mark Edward Harris—capturing images of the Japanese Olympics and ten-year odyssey chronicling Tōhoku tsunami’s aftermath

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Mark Edward Harris
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Naomi Osaka

Photographer Mark Edward Harris says “the Games of the XXXII Olympiad were historic even before tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the flame in the caldron with her relay torch”.

The concept of bringing athletes from every corner of the earth together to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games, held in the middle of a global pandemic seemed absurd to many. Mark Edward Harris award-winning photographer chronicled for national publications the incredible success of the Tokyo Olympics.

Since Harris was particularly conscious of the historic nature of the Games taking place during the middle of a pandemic. He would often cover three events around the megalopolis then work into the wee hours editing the resulting images.

Harris also shares insights about his ten-year quest to chronicle the aftermath of the Tōhoku tsunami and the region’s recovery.

Harris's photographic Olympic images were featured in a six-page feature in Newsweek, numerous international publications and more than 100 television interviews.

Funding for Journeys of Discovery is provided by Nashville's Big Back Yard economic initiative focused on rural communities in the southwest quarter of Tennessee and the Shoals Region of Northern Alabama.

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Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.