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Visit to Suita City Peace Memorial Museum

On November 25, 2020, Seiko Takase visited Suita City Peace Memorial Museum as she learned

 that the UN Peace Bell was displayed.  

Taeko Sakaguchi, a  City Council member, and Takashi Nishiguchi, Councilar, Citizen’s Dept.

welcomed me and their staff showed me the display.  

Immediately next to the entrance was a panel display of the peace bell on the wall,

which was very conspicuous.

The book “The Story of the UN Peace Bell” was also on display.

The Peace Memorial Museum is a facility to share misery of war and importance of peace with future generations,  

and to encourage people striving for peaceful and nice society.

Visit to Koyasan Rengein

On Nov. 24, 2020, four of us, namely Yuko Furugen, Michio Takai, Midori Ono and Seiko Takase

had an opportunity to meet Taisei Higashiyama, the great priest, zengan at Koyasan Temple,

along with Masayuki Imada, chairman, Seiko Group Co. Ltd., who introduced us to the great priest.

We learned that the great priest travelled around the world actively striving for peace.

The great priest accepted my enthusiastic talk about the activities of our association with warm smile, then rang  

the miniature of the UN peace bell that I brought, and listened to the echo of the bell.

The fact that Kobo-daishi was born in Kagawa prefecture

and the peace bell was cast by Tada foundry located in Kagawa prefecture  

is milacurous coincidence, I felt.

The meeting lasted for over an hour squeezed out of his precious time.  

He was kind enough to take a photo together and to see us off at the parking.

We were impressed very much by his kind, friendly and tolerant personality.

On the way back, we stopped at superb view point to worship sunset.

 

Attending the Ceremony of 50th Year since Osaka EXPO’70

On Saturday, October 10, there was a ceremony in Osaka EXPO Memorial Park to commemorate the 50th year since EXPO’70 was held in Osaka, and Seiko Takase attended.

It was chilly as it rained just before the ceremony. When the ceremony began at 11 o’clock, the sky was clear and blue.

The ceremony started with singing a song Konnichiwa and dance on the stage, which also meant the start towards EXPO 2025 Osaka & Kansai.

Hirofumi Yoshimura, Governer of Osaka Prefecture, gave an opening address, followed by Ichiro Matsui, Mayor of Osaka City, and Keiji Goto, Mayor of Suita City.

Shinji Inoue, Minister in charge of EXPO, offered his congratulations.

The official wear adopted by 21 pavilions in Osaka EXPO’70 were introduced, and Junko Koshino, a fashion designer, gave a speech.

Kobukuro, a singer songwriter duo, joined the talk between Governer Yoshimura and Mayor Matsui.

It happened that Mayor Matsui offered Kobukuro an opportunity to write the official theme song for EXPO 2025.

The ceremony ended with singing a song Konnichiwa sung by all attenddees in unison.

 

The Peace Bell for Republic San Marino debuts in Kyoto

The Peace Bell for the Republic San Marino has been made, thanks to Yuko Furugen, and is shown at Kyoto HBS Museum.

It will stay there until November 25, when a special kabuki play “Heiwaninareya Inoruwakonokane” (“Aspire to Peace with this Bell”) will be performed by Hashigo Nakamura, a kabuki actor, as the grand finale.

This program is the one that was performed on September 21, 2020, when the 4th Ringing Ceremony was held in the Osaka EXPO Memorial Park.

The history of UN Peace Bell movement has been showing since July 11, 2020, at Kyoto HBS Museum, where the exhibition “Japan in the Trunk – War, Peace and Buddhism” had been held during June 9 through October 8.

 

50th Year’s Miracle since Osaka EXPO’70

A pleasant surprise happened.

Chiyoji Nakagawa made 150 replicas of the Peace Bell, weighing 1 kg each, in 1970, when the Osaka World EXPO’70 was held.

He sent them to U Thant, the Secretary General of the United Nations, leaders in 141 countries and interested parties.

One of them presented and owned by the director of the Midorinoyakata, the Japanese Pavilion, was returned to us after 50 years.

The former director and his wife passed away last year, and the Peace Bell, one of the articles left behind, was found by their family.

The Bell looks quite new and must have been treated carefully.

It is just 50 years since the Osaka EXPO’70 was held, and we are excited about it very much.

We are sincerely grateful for the kindness of the family of the former director.

 

 

Talk at Peace Gathering with Hibakusha

On October 13, 2019, we had an opportunity to talk at a peace gathering held at Ookurigawa Karugamo Hall of Community Center in Tama City. It was right after the 19th typhoon hit the area and people were busy with the aftermath, but there were over 30 attendees including Mayor Hiroyuki Abe. The meeting began with a strong message about peace by Mayor Abe. A woman, who is a Hibakusha, followed. She is over 80 years old and talked about her experiences. Children, under the program of Tama City to send young generations to the cities where A-bombs were dropped, reported on their trip. Then Seiko Takase, Representative Director, Association for the Preservation of the UN Peace Bell, talked about the origin of the Peace Bell. She mentioned the fact that a handful soil from Hiroshima and Nagasaki each was buried under the foundation of the UN Peace Bell site.

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