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.
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.
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.
On October 4, 2019, we had an opportunity to give a talk at Showa Gakuen, which is located in Nakano Ward, Tokyo. Showa Gakuen is a school to provide special support for young people who suffer from developmental disorder or some kind of weakness. The primary objective of the school is to nurter good aspects and power to live in order for them to enjoy youth. Everyone listened to the talk for an hour eagerly, asked questions and/or expressed opinion. They rang the Peace Bell and seemed to be impressed with the wonderful sound of the Peace Bell. The headmaster of the Showa Gakuen said to Seiko Takase “Do you know why students listened to your talk very eagerly? That is because they understtod your message.” She was very pleased to hear that comment.
On January 18, 2020, we had opportunity to give a talk at Minami Tsurumaki Elementary School, the same area where the office of our association is located. There were two sessions. The first session was for about 80 parents, and the second session was for 530 children. It was a snow-falling cold day, but both parents and children eagerly listened to the talk. All of thep arents rang the Peace Bell. Because of limited time, not all of the children rang the Peace Bell.
On December 5, 2019, Seiko Takase gave a talk at Uwajima City Municipa Mimaki Elementary School, Takao Seike the headmaster, in the morning, and Uwajima City Municipal Yusu Elementary School, Keijo Ueda the headmaster, in the afternoon. It is said that there were many school boys and girls in the past, but these days the number of children has been decreasing because of depopulation and declining birthrate. School boys and girls, however, were full of vigor and eagerly linstened to Takase’s talk on the Peace Bell. It was a pleasant surprise for her to see all children expressed impression and/or asked questions. School headmaster and teachers watched the boys and girls with warm smile and the classroom looked shining to Takase’s eyes.