Each year, on August 6 and August 9, community leaders and clergy gather together in peace and remembrance of the 1945 bombings on Japan during WWII. The bombs, which devastated Hiroshima and three days later, Nagasaki, brought an end to the war. This year marks 74 years since the bombings, and the peace that followed.
In Japan and around the world, peace ceremonies are held. On O'ahu, the ceremonies remember those who died and recognize the long-standing relationship between Hawai'i and Japan. The ceremonies also helps spread the prayer for everlasting world peace. A number of our clergy take part in the ecumenical services.
30th Annual Hiroshima Peace Ceremony
On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, officials in Hiroshima held a somber service, with the memorial bell ringing at 8:15 AM, the moment the atomic bomb exploded over the city.
In Honolulu, the Hiroshima Peace Ceremony was held at the Izumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawaii. The special guest speaker was Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor Lawrence Fumio Miwa.
“Every year in August I remember what I went through in the city that was completely wiped out by the bomb,” said Miwa. “And then when I got there in the morning of August 15 nothing was there. I was the only person in the city.”
Mayor Kirk Caldwell and students from Minami High School also spoke.
Bishop Daiya Amano from Izumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawaii performed a shinto purification and blessing before ringing the bell.
24th Annual Nagasaki Peace Ceremony
On August 9, 2019, the ceremony in Japan was held near to the location where the bomb was dropped in the Matsuyama neighborhood. The ceremony was attended by family members of the victims along with many other Nagasaki citizens. The Peace Declaration made by the Mayor of Nagasaki City delivered the city's wish for the establishment of lasting world peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons in Japan and beyond to the leaders of UN countries and to the rest of the world.
In Hawai'i, the 26th annual Nagasaki Peace Ceremony was held at the Myohoji Mission in Honolulu. This year's opening remarks were delivered by Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Obama's sister who serves as Consultant for the Obama Foundation.
Pictured above, the Revs. Keleawe Hee, Cn. Moki Hino andFr. Hee and Fr. Moki joined Bill Souza from the Royal Order of the Kamehameha, Haaheo Guanson, and Maya Soetoro-Ng (President Obama’s sister) at a very moving memorial for the 74th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki last week at the Myohoji Mission.
Moki: Last week I neglected to mention that I had the honor of participating at a memorial service for the 74th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. The service took place at Myohoji Temple in Nu‘uanu, and Bill Souza from the Royal Order of the Kamehameha asked me to participate and share my insights not only about living in Hiroshima, but also growing up two islands south of Tinian, where my father’s parents lived and where Enola Gay made the bombing run on Hiroshima and Boxcar made the bombing run on Nagasaki. At the service, I also had the honor of meeting Maya Soetoro-Ng, the sister of President Barack Obama.
Music was provided by the Royal Hawaiian Band. Guests were invited to ring the temple bell.
The event is hosted by the Nagasaki Peace Committee: Honolulu Myohoji Mission, Hawai`i Nagasaki Kenjin Kai, Royal Order of Kamehameha I Hawai`i Chapter I, Hawai`i Bahá'í Community, United Nations Associations-Hawaii Honolulu Chapter, Ceeds of Peace.