All posts tagged: Peace

Somewhere Among

Set in Japan 2001. Ema is an eleven-year-old American-Japanese girl; bi-cultural, bilingual and bi-national with an American mother and a Japanese father. Ema has lived in Japan all her life, has attended Japanese public school, has done well and has friends that she has to leave for a few months because of her mother’s difficult pregnancy. She and her parents go across Tokyo to stay at her grandparents’ house. Ema’s grandmother takes care of them and makes sure that Ema knows the finer points of Japanese culture. Ema is miserable trying to keep peace between her grandmother and mother,  to keep cool in the summer heat, and to keep up her studies. She finishes the schoolwork for the semester under her grandmother’s nose and in front of the television. It is always on; her grandfather never misses the news. Things heat up even more for Ema when a bully at the neighborhood school that she has to attend in the fall makes her life miserable as well. Waiting for the sibling she has always wanted, …

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 Japanese 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.

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. …

Japan-U.S. Friendship

GIFTS OF TREES, 1910 – present You may know the long and interesting history of Japan’s 1912 gift of the Washington, D. C. cherry trees. But did you know that in 1915, three years after the gift of cherry trees, the United States government sent seeds and saplings of dogwood to Japan? They were the first dogwood  trees in Japan. Gifts of Friendship (Japan Joint Issue) stamps were issued on April 10, 2015 to commemorate the 1915 gift of dogwoods. After World War II ended in 1945, cuttings from the cherry trees in Washington, D.C. were sent to Japan to restore the Tokyo collection that had perished during the American bombing attacks during the war. The two countries’ tree giving continues through the United States-Japan Bridging Foundation Friendship Blossoms Initiative. To read about the history of the National Cherry Blossom Festival check here at National Geographic’s press room. The last original dogwood and Ambassador Caroline Kennedy Taft’s Gift of Dogwoods to Japan Grew Up in Avon U.S. eyes 3,000 dogwoods for ‘sakura’ anniversary U.S. Embassy …

Mayors for Peace August 2001

On August 2, 2001, the 5th World Conference of Mayors for Peace opened first in Hiroshima. Events were also held in Nagasaki. Approximately 220 people participated from 63 cities and two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from 28 foreign countries and from 44 municipalities in Japan. Nine countries participated for the first time, including Pakistan, which conducted a nuclear testing in 1998. Discussions included what cities and citizens should do to eliminate nuclear weapons. The issue of violence among children was discussed for the first time at the conference. Participants resolved to make the 21st century the ‘century of humanity,’ a century in which “peace is realized not through violence but through reconciliation, cooperation, reason and conscience.” Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi of Hiroshima City, the chairman of the conference, gave a speech in English at the opening ceremony saying, “The 20th century was an era of war. We hope to make the 21st century a century of peace and humanity. We must not forget that cities are expected to play an important role towards that goal.” Morishima Michio …

Hiroshima on August 6, 2001

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan visited the annual Hiroshima Memorial Service for the Dead and the Peace Memorial Ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park in 2001. There was a moment of silence and a release of doves. Hiroshima’s Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba gave a “Peace Declaration,” and children gave a “Commitment to Peace.” Prime Minister Koizumi stated, “Being the only country ever to have experienced nuclear devastation, Japan observes its Peace Constitution, firmly maintaining the Three Non-Nuclear Principles. Japan is also continuing to appeal to the international community for the abolition of nuclear weapons and realization of a permanent peace so that the horrors of nuclear weapons never be repeated.” 2001 Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba’s Peace Declaration 2001 BBC News photos of Hiroshima August 6, 2001 Hiroshima Memorial Service Washington Post Japan marks 56th anniversary of Hiroshima USA Today Education Hiroshima and Peace program for undergraduate and graduate students General Children’s Peace Monument Tower of a Thousand Cranes Hiroshima Peace Site   Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Website Hiroshima Peace Media Center Media Message from Hiroshima Official Trailer …

Nagasaki on August 9, 2001

Mayor Itcho Ito of Nagasaki City read “The Nagasaki Peace Declaration” and warned that “the nuclear threat is now on the verge of expanding into space.” Ms. Sanae Ikeda, an atomic bomb survivor, gave a “Commitment to Peace” and a children’s choir sang “Kora no Mi Tamayo” (“The Spirit of Our Children”). Prime Minister Koizumi stated, “Being the only country ever to have experienced nuclear devastation, Japan observes its Peace Constitution, firmly maintaining the Three Non-Nuclear Principles. Japan is also continuing to appeal to the international community for the abolition of nuclear weapons and realization of a permanent peace so that the horror of nuclear weapons may never again be repeated.” Prime Minister Koizumi noted, “As regards the atomic bomb victims, I will continue to devote myself wholeheartedly to promoting support measures while taking into full consideration the circumstances of the atomic bomb victims who are advancing in years.” After the end of the ceremony, Prime Minister Koizumi went to Megumi no Oka, a nursing home in Nagasaki, and visited some of the patients. Nagasaki …

Pearl Harbor Memorial on December 7, 2001

President George Bush marked the 2001 anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor by declaring December 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. He flew to Virginia to give a speech aboard the USS Enterprise. He focused mainly on the threat of terrorism, but commented on the current relationship of Japan and the United States saying, “Today our two navies are working side by side in the fight against terror. The bitterness of 60 years ago has passed away. The struggles of our war in the Pacific now belong to history.” transcript of President Bush’s speech from Washington Post USS ARIZONA  MEMORIAL  Oahu, Hawaii The state of Hawaii and local businesses helped 600 New York City police officers, fire and family members of victims of September 11 attend the Pearl Harbor memorial services. The USS Arizona Memorial was closed to the public for ceremonies for Pearl Harbor survivors, their families, and guests. Twenty-one survivors from the USS Arizona attended with other veterans of Pearl Harbor, many wearing garrison caps with their ships’ names. Flowers were …