All posts filed under: Peace

Heiwa no Daitō, The Great Pagoda of Peace

Over the years, I have seen this building rising from the treetops on our way to and from the Narita airport. Though it does not appear in the story of my middle grade novel, Somewhere Among, a rendering of it by Alessandro Gottardo made its way onto the cover. Its Japanese name is Heiwa no Daitō and its English name is The Great Pagoda of Peace. The two-roof building is a tahōtō, a Japanese structure called a unlike pagodas in other Asian countries. It stands 190 feet high and sits on top of a hill on the grounds of Shinshoji Temple in Narita City. Underneath the ground floor of The Great Pagoda of Peace, a time capsule, scheduled to be opened in 2434, holds messages of peace from 11 world leaders. A Peace Festival is held each May.

Peace Doll

Over twenty years ago, as I was getting off the train at my station, a woman handed me the paper doll encased in a plastic sleeve. A slip of paper on the outside says,”May Peace Prevail on Earth.” We have used it as a Christmas ornament ever since. I was surprised by the English and have always wondered about it. Was the woman handing out dolls to foreigners she saw on the train? Did she have dolls with the Japanese translation to give to Japanese people? I once found a link to a Japanese group who was giving peace dolls away. I cannot find it now, but it may have been linked to the group who created Peace Poles and Masahisa Goi of Japan. When I started writing for children, I searched for a way to use this doll in a story. After the 2011 earthquakes and tsunami of Japan, a story found me.  It turned out to be a story set in Japan 2001. SOMEWHERE AMONG, my first novel, debuted in April 2016.

Story Playlist

Many songs influenced the writing of Somewhere Among. I have included links to some of them. I listened to these four songs almost daily: two songs, “Inochi no Namae” (the Name of Life lyrics) and “Itsumo nando demo” (lyrics Ghiblink) from Hayao Miyazaki’s movie Spirited Away, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, were played on TV and radio so often after the release of the 2001 movie in Japan, U2’s “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” (2000), was a filler between shows on Japanese cable in the weeks before September 11, and this solo version of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”  was quiet, reflective comfort during the months after September 11. The up-tempo version came out in 1968 when I was eleven, the age of the main character, Ema. Those song titles became poem titles or influenced poems along with two Beatles’ song,  “With a Little Help from My Friends” (1967) and “Let It Be” (1970). The Beatles’ “Ob-la-di Ob-la-da” (1968) provided the title and structure for the poem about the Sports …

Bullying and Resolving Conflict

ANTI-BULLYING DAYS & WEEKS & MONTHS Across the world, days, weeks and months have been set aside to spotlight bullying. Here is what a few countries are doing. Let’s add to the list. Australia        National Day of Action Against Bullying & Violence Canada Safe Schools   Pink Shirt Day Canada Scotland UK Anti-Bullying Week resources UK The Diana Award Stand up to Bullying Campaign video message from Prince William USA   Blue Shirt Day World Day of Bullying Prevention ARTICLES Bank Street College of Education  Social & Emotional Learning through Literature Edutopia Resources to Fight Bullying and harassment at School Edutopia What Neuroscience Reveals About Bullying By Eucators Psychology Today article What You Can Do stopbullying.gov What to do when your child is being bullied in Japanese school RESOURCES The Center of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at Rutgers University has an extensive list of links to materials for teaching and guiding students in conflict resolution skills. Click here. Harvard Graduate School of Education         Bullying          Making Caring Common Project TELL Japan Outreach Anti-Bullying ASSOCIATIONS …

International Day of Peace for Peace One Day

International Day of Peace is on September 21. The 2017 theme is Together for Peace, Safety, Respect & Dignity For All.  For information about 2017 events, check here and the UN Peace Day Facebook page.  For more information check the Facebook page for Peace One Day as well as their websites and the other links below. History On September 7, 2001, the United Nations unanimously adopted a fixed date, September 21, for International Day of Peace (originally sponsored by the United Kingdom and Costa Rica for the third Tuesday of the month of September.) The U.N. also defined International Day of Peace as a day of ceasefire and non-violence. These proposals were introduced by U.N. members from Costa Rica and the United Kingdom after two years of international lobbying by Jeremy Gilley, the founder of Peace One Day, and his team. Four days later, on September 11 International Day of  Peace for 2001, Kofi Annan, the then Secretary-General of the U.N., was scheduled to make the announcement at a press conference at the Peace Bell outside …

Promoting Peace

Many opportunities for peace and conflict resolution educational programs and activities can be found through the following links: President John F. Kennedy’s address to the U.N. assembly September 20, 1963 Articles & Papers Creating Classrooms for Social Justice   Dr. Tabitha Dell’Angelo       Edutopia The Importance of Thank You Notes   Parents’ Choice Peace Education in UNICEF Susan Fountain, 1999 Peace News:   Children as Leaders Lessons from Colombia’s Children’s Movement for Peace The Guardian “Time to Give Peace a Chance in Schools” Books, Materials, and Ideas Jane Addams Association Book Awards The Center of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at Rutgers University has an extensive list of links to materials for teaching and guiding students in conflict resolution skills. Click here.  A Curriculum of Peace: Selected Essays                                                                                                 English Journal editor Virginia R. …