9th Study Group

On 18 November 2023, a study session entitled “Thinking about Palestine now” was held by the Association for the Preservation of the UN Peace Bell. The lecturer, a former news director of NHK, spoke from various angles and perspectives about the history of the division of the region, problems under international law that existed before the Gaza crisis, the current situation of it and the responses of various countries to it.

In particular, when she introduced the words of children from Palestine who had visited Hiroshima, they said, “I saw that Hiroshima, which had suffered the same way as us, had now become a city of peace. I was surprised and felt hope and aspiration.” These words made a strong impression on me. It reaffirmed for me that beyond the sadness, suffering and hatred that had been created, there are examples of peace being created right in front of our eyes.

 I was also impressed by the last question, which asked if the place to return to is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration was adopted for the principle of never repeating the horrors of the Second World War, and I was reminded that our seniors had properly laid the foundations for building the future.

We would like to continue to organize study groups like this to think about peace in the future. We look forward to your participation.

Director: Katsura Masanori


Memories of the Carillon Peace Gathering and Itami

9 November 2023, I attended the Carillon Peace Gathering in Itami City.
A concert commemorating the Day of the Bells of Flanders was held at the carillon tower erected on the ruins of Arioka Castle on the west side of Itami Station, with performances by Nakamura Kazuyo and Norisada Mari . The carillon was presented to Itami City by the Belgian city of Hasselt in 1990 as a symbol of peace and friendship. The weather was fine and many people gathered, and the sound of the carillon echoed in the blue sky.

A peace talk event followed at the Itami Municipal Theatre Hall, where I spoke about the Peace Bell and Nakagawa Chiyoji. Around 50 people attended the talk event. Most of them did not know about the UN Peace Bell, but there was one who knew Chiyoji directly. After the talk, the participants answered questions and rang the 4 kg peace bell I had brought.

 I used to live in Itami City for about two years when my family was struggling financially. My family of six lived in a rented room in a beer factory. I travelled one and a half hours hand in hand with my younger brother across fields and mountains to go to primary school. Itami is a place with deep memories.

 After taking commemorative photo, the event ended with everyone singing “Hometown” together. It was a pleasant time.


Representative Director: Takase Seiko 


Appearance on FM radio program

On 3 November 2023, I was invited to appear on the radio program “Thank you is a magic word by Omiya Hiroko “, which was recorded at UCAT(Uwajima Cable Television). I spoke about the activities of the Association for the Preservation of the UN Peace Bell, answering Ms Omiya’s questions. Hiroko and I are old friends, and the program was broadcast on 7 and 14 November.

Representative Director: Takase Seiko 



Visit to the grave

On 3 November 2023, we drove back to our hometown Uwajima. First, I rang the Peace Bell at Taiheiji Temple and visited the grave of Nakagawa Chiyoji in the hill behind the temple. My mother also rests there with him. I reported to my parents that I was doing my best for the Peace Bell activities. I could see the smiles on my father and mother’s faces.

Representative Director: Takase Seiko 



New encounters

On 18 October 2023, the Overseas Development Study Group organized by Kadota Sakae was held at the Book House Café in Kanda with about 50 participants. All the participants prayed in silence as the representative of them rang the 4 kg peace bell that we had brought, followed by a talk about the peace bell. Next, Utsunomiya Shuun, the great master Buddhist sculptor, who created the Ushiku Great Buddha, spoke about his training in India, then singer Oka Mihoko sang Waka (Traditional  Japanese poetry) by Motoori Norinaga and Shibusawa Eiichi, and Keiai University Professor Yabuuchi Masaki spoke on the theme ‘Japan will save the world’. There was a lot of content.


Bell-ringing ceremony at Taiheiji Temple

On 21 September 2023, a bell-ringing ceremony for the parent bell of the UN Peace Bell was held at Taiheiji Temple in Uwajima, the hometown of Nakagawa Chiyoji, by Director Ohno Jiro, Chiyoji’s grandson-in-law.

 The ceremony was attended by the temple’s chief priest, Hoshino Ryushin , ten general assembly members of Taiheiji and about 30 parishioners. After Director Ohno explained about the International Peace Day and the bell-ringing ceremony at Taiheiji, everyone rang the bell to pray for world peace.


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