Sunday, April 19, 2009

“The Flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki” at Ueno

P4110080If you take a walk around the gardens of Ueno Shrine (in Ueno Park), you might run into this little statue which is very very easy to miss since it is a bit off the main walkway. The dove contains a little flame inside it which has been burning since the day it was brought here in 1990. While much smaller than the flame in Hiroshima, this flame has its source from that same flame as well as a flame from Nagasaki. There is a plaque explaining how the flame has two sources – a torch from Hoshino village (星野村) in Fukuoka prefecture and a fire in Nagasaki which was list by the rubbing of broken roofing tiles against each other. The torch I mentioned, in turn, originates from the fire in Hiroshima. After the news of the bomb reached the Hoshino village, Tatsuo Yamamoto went to Hiroshima to search for his uncle where he only found the rains of his house burning. He took the flame from the remains as a memento of his uncle and kept it burning. The flame, which initially was kept by Yamamoto out of resentment, turned into a symbol of his desire for the abolition of nuclear weapons and peace. A torch was built in the village in 1968 out of that flame and this is one of the sources for the flame at Ueno. There is a plaque which describes this and more right by the statue so if you are in the area make sure to stop by and read…


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