Hiroshima and Hope for the Future

August 6th was our annual From Hiroshima to Hope commemoration, and the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. It’s held on the lawn at Green Lake, just past the Bathhouse Theater, going counterclockwise around the lake path from the community center.

From Hiroshima to Hope

Native American storyteller & flutist Gene Tagaban told us the story of Raven bringing light to the world, followed by an appearance by Raven (with the accompaniment of a taiko drummer).

Gene Tagaban as Raven

The Seattle Kokon Taiko group was next.

Seattle Kokon Taiko

They were really impressive! Here’s a clip by lesvictor on YouTube of “Rites of Thundering”, which they performed at the commemoration as well:

There was also an interpretive dance piece of a Hiroshima widow and White Lightning. Video by subversivepeacemaker:

Mona Akmal, a young woman who created Dreamfly Projects, starting schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, spoke of how much the children inspired her.

Mona Akmal, Dreamfly Projects

We also had poetry from students in El Centro de la Raza‘s Hope for Youth Program.

Hope for Youth Poets

Gene Tagaban played some flute music as preparations were made.

Gene Tagaban

Then there was a Buddhist blessing (there was a Christian one earlier in the evening).

Buddhist Blessing

Lanterns were lit and a procession to the lake, starting with the monks and Hiroshima survivors.

Procession to Green Lake

Then the lanterns are floated on Green Lake, which is always beautiful.

Lantern Floating on Green Lake

According to the program the lantern floating ceremony “is an adaption of an ancient Japanese Buddhist ritual, the Toro Nagashi, in which lanterns representing the souls of the dead are floated out to sea and prayers offered that the souls may rest in peace.”

I hope one day soon the world bans all nuclear weapons.

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