Commemorative Ceremony at the Honolulu Myohoji
On the 9th of August the 26th Annual Nagasaki Peace Ceremony was held at the Honolulu Myohoji. The participants came together transcending the differences of religions. With the performance of the Royal Hawaiian Band, together with Motonobu Shiba, the President of the Nagasaki Kenjin Kai, the participants sang the “Bells of Nagasaki” and prayed for the victims and pledged for peace.
Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, the sister of the former President Obama, touched on Dr. Ryu Nagai, who was engaged in peace activities as a physician and a Christian, and who was also the model for the “Bells of Nagasaki.” She appealed to the participants about the importance of creating a peaceful world without atomic bombs and expressed the hope that their small efforts will continue to extend beyond generations.
The souls were memorialized through respective methods beginning with Marsha Rose Joyner, who engaged in peace activities in Hawaii for many years and is the Awardee of the Nagasaki Peace Prize, Kahu Canon R.K. “Moki” Hino of The Cathedral of Saint Andrew, and Rev. Takamasa Yamamura of the Honolulu Myohoji.
The ceremony was also attended by the Honorable Koichi Ito, Consul General of Japan in Honolulu, Ikaika Anderson and Kimberly Pine of the Honolulu City Council. They strongly emphasize the significance of holding this ceremony to pledge for peace each year.
Messages for peace were also offered by representatives of the Bahai, which could be referred to as a modern world religion, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. Joanne Tachibana of the U.N. Association of Hawaii, emphasized the peace movement to eliminate nuclear weapons that uses the sunflower as its symbol.
At 11:02, a silent prayer was offered. Rev. Yamamura gave a performance of “Ave Maria.” And following the performance of a memorial hula, the participants struck the bell and prayed for the repose of the souls and peace.
From the August 14, 2019 edition of The Hawaii Hochi
Translated by Mr. Dean Makinodan