From July 12 to 18, I visited San Marino and Italy, to participate in the Peace Bell ceremony with the help of many people. The ABSOLUTE PEACE event was organized by the San Marino & Giappone ISSHO-NI Cultural Association and supported by the United Nations Public Information Center, the Embassy of Japan in Italy, and the Consulate in San Marino. On the 14th, there was “Japan 1945, Images form the Trunk” photo unfolding ceremony, the UN Peace Bell ringing ceremony, the Peace Conference, and the screening of “Grave of the Fireflies” were held at the Rimini Municipal Museum of Fine Arts in Rimini, Italy. On the 15th, the Peace Dinner, the Bell Ringing Ceremony, and Peace Mapping were held at Piazza della Libertà in front of the Parliament in San Marino, and I was able to attend the Peace Dinner with Mr. &Mrs. Belluzzi, Minister of Culture of San Marino. A message from the Japanese Ambassador to Italy was presented. At the bell-ringing ceremony, I spoke about the history and significance of the UN Peace Bell, and rang the 90kg child bell of the UN Peace Bell, which had been already presented, to echo the sound of peace from the Italian peninsula and pray for absolute peace in the world.
Departure for Italy
the Rimini Municipal Museum of Fine Arts in Rimini , Italy
Piazza della Libertà in front of the Parliament in San Marino
After a hiatus due to the Corona Disaster, we held our first face-to-face study session in two years on May 21.
The lecturer was Mr. Takashi Kumon, Professor of Asia University and a member of the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association for the Preservation of the Peace Bells.
After the opening remarks by Ms. Takase, Director Katsura reported on the presentation of the Peace Bells to Ukraine and Russia,
Next, Mr. Kumon gave a lecture on the importance of “Being” education.
Mr. Onishi of the Festival Project spoke about international affairs, and the participants introduced themselves and spoke enthusiastically about their various jobs and activities.
Finally, Mr. Nakamura Hashigo, a Kabuki actor, showed a slide presentation titled “Prayer Bell for Peace,” which he created to convey the achievements of Nakagawa Chiyoji.
It was a wonderful and productive study session.
Activities during the consecutive holidays
On May 5, a consecutive holiday weekend, I drove from Tokyo to Osaka to participate in the carp streamer event at the Osaka Expo ’70 Commemorative Park. Dr. Satoshi Nakamura was very enthusiastic about the event, and I was glad that his wishes were finally realized this time. Everyone wrote their thoughts on the carp streamers, and I wrote, “May all the children of the world be at peace. We also held a bell-ringing event for the 4kg Peace Bell that we had brought with us. Children gathered and rang the peace bell in a curious way.
The next day, we traveled to Shikoku via Awaji Island to visit Warei Shrine and Taiheiji Temple. At Taiheiji Temple, there is a 400 kg “World Peace Bell” that was cast by Chiyoji Nakagawa, who collected coins from 26 countries after the war, and we were allowed to toll it. The sound was heartwarming.
After that, members gathered in Uwajima for a face-to-face meeting. We rejoiced to see each other again in good health after a long time.
On April 29, I gave a talk on the “United Nations Peace Bell” as part of a moral education class at Renkoji Elementary School in Tama City. I had a chance to meet Mr. Sekiguchi, the principal of the school, when he heard me talk about the Peace Bell at a small lecture five years ago. I talked about the UN Peace Bell, which was presented to the UN by a Japanese with passion and courage, and how it has become a symbol of world peace, and about peace.
The students rang a 4 kg replica of the “UN Peace Bell” to pray for peace.
On March 22, Representative Director Takase, Director Katsura, and Director Takai visited the Russian Embassy and presented Ambassador Mikhail Y.Galuzin with a replica of the “United Nations Peace Bell” in hopes for peace.
We explained to the Ambassador about the Peace Bell and gained his understanding. The Ambassador explained in detail for more than an hour the background and history of the current Ukraine issue. We felt the difficulty about war and peace and also the difficulty of equality of information.
The Ambassador said that Russia is also praying for peace, and he rang the Peace Bell and hoped that its sound would reach the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan and the White House.
We also prayed for world peace with the sound of the bell.
On March 18, Representative Director Takase visited the Embassy of Ukraine with Director Katsura. We presented a replica of the “United Nations Peace Bell” as a token of our wish for peace.
This bell weighs 4 kg, cast by melting down coins from around the world, and we held a ceremony at Kamakura Palace to mark the entrance of the bell, just as Chiyoji Nakagawa had done. Together with Minister-Counsellor Dr.Oleksandr Semeniuk, we rang the Peace Bell and prayed for peace to come to Ukraine as soon as possible.
In the reception room of the Ukrainian Embassy, there was a Doraemon donation box collected by Japanese children to support Ukraine, and we felt the children’s wish for peace.