Main Peace Park
Main Peace Park
We left the lower Peace Park, crossed the river and followed this path. Turning right, we went up a steep set of stairs. At the top was a plaque on the wall. This remain shows part of the wall which surrounded the Urakami Branch of Nagasaki Prison which exploded here when the A-bomb exploded.
Left and right, we were in a huge space.
Protection of Our Future: This was presented by the City of Middelburg (The Netherlands), Nagasaki’s sister city, as a contribution to the “World Peace Symbol Zone” planned by Nagasaki City. The statue shows a mother protecting her infant-child from danger, representing that we must protect not only the present generation but also the coming generation as well so that the people of the world can live in peace together. 1983
Around the park are various memorials given to the city as a gift of friendship, mainly by the ex-communist states of Eastern Europe.
This monument was presented by the city of Porto, Portugal, in 1978 as a symbol of peace in commemoration of the sister city affiliation. In the monument is inscribed “Homage of the City of Porto to the Atomic Victims of the Sister City of Nagasaki - - November 1978. We couldn’t read the next one as it was in Polish and Japanese but it was a gift from Poland in 1986.
Some bushes given as Friendship Blossoms by the USA in 2013.
School children were visiting the Park. The Peace Bell but first, to our left the Fountain of Peace.
The Fountain of Peace where we gathered our wings.
We headed toward the Peace Bell, met by a ‘survivor’, could this man – assuming he was twenty at the time, really be ninety-two........ OK let’s run with it and see what happens.
Our new friend insisted I pour water whilst posing, and then he wanted to take a picture of the two of us.
He handed us a card with ‘his story’ and showed us a copy of a newspaper article.................
Could this man really be a survivor ????
We did manage to get a picture of the Peace Bell on its own - but only just.
We left our ‘new friend’ and as we walked we saw to our right and left remains in very straight lines.
Site of the former Urakami Branch of Nagasaki Prison, it was built on a site of 20,000 square metres, with its offices covering 13,000 square metres. It was located between 100 and 350 metres north of the hypocenter of the atomic bomb, and was the closest public building to the hypocenter.
At 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, the explosion of the plutonium bomb killed 18 staff, 35 facility residents and 81 inmates (including 32 Chinese and at least 13 Korean inmates) at the prison. In total 134 people died here. The wall surrounding the prison was 4 meters high, 0.25 meters thick and made from steel-reinforced concrete; it was reduced almost to its foundations. The wooden office buildings and kitchen were blown apart and burned down completely, save for a single remaining chimney.
The prison plan and shortly after the atomic bomb.
Time to make our way to the memorial that dominates the Peace Park, created by sculptor Seibou Kitamura.
Heiwa Kinen-zo or Peace Statue was erected by the citizens of Nagasaki in August 1955, on the 10th anniversary of the devastation of this city by the atomic bomb. Thanks to contributions from Japan and abroad, the ten meter bronze statue, which was designed by Seibo Kitamura, was dedicated as an appeal for lasting world peace and as a prayer that such a tragedy would never be repeated.
The elevated right hand points to the threat of nuclear weapons, while the outstretched left hand symbolizes tranquillity and world peace. Divine omnipotence and love are embodied in the sturdy physique and gentle countenance of the statue, and a prayer for the repose of the souls of all war victims is expressed in the closed eyes. Furthermore, the folded right leg symbolizes quiet meditation, while the left leg is poised for action in assisting humanity.
The face does not look Japanese because it is a “Person who goes beyond human races.”
We leave the Park, passing the Peace Crane and go in search of the Cathedral. One backward glance as we walk around the back of the statue.
ALL IN ALL A PARK TO REFLECT