Today we had our opening at a Coop branch in Kamiooka, Konan Ward. There were around 100 attendees in the morning and this increased in the afternoon. Speeches were delivered by a hibakusha from the area, the local gensuikyo, and by ladies from Coop.
On a lighter note, the weather was kinder today. It was dry and the sun was just enough. Plus we had chilled watermelons when we had a short break at a Coop branch. It was absolutely refreshing. Fukushima san taught me that watermelon in nihongo is called suika. I kept asking him if the name of the Suica card was based from the watermelon. He laughed and said no. Hahaha.
A brief note on everyday life in Japan: The Suica card is a reloadable card you can use for many public transport modes in Japan. It similar to the Nol card in Dubai, but you can also use this like a debit card in some stores in Tokyo. My mother lent me her card for the Peace March. She’s been using it since 2001.
We finished by lunch time at the Tsugita Eki (station). And resumed at a pretty neighbourhood park at Kanazawa Ku (ward). Messages of solidarity were delivered by the leader of an organization of Article 9 advocates (he is also the son of a famous actor in Japan) and a representative of the Shinfujin (New Japan Women’s Council).
It helps a lot that towns and cities we passed by have parks and playgrounds. We use these places for gathering the marchers, and having a break. It is also very nice to see kids and mothers really use the playgrounds. It seems to be a standard element in the neighbourhoods. Usually, there are toilets around and if there is none, one can find a kombini (convenience store) nearby. The kombinis usually have toilets. I hope someday there would also be more of these pocket parks in the Philippines.
This night, we stayed in a traditional Japanese inn together with the through Peace Marchers of Kanagawa ken. It was a first for me. The inn, Deguchi-sou, is in Miura City overlooking the sea and Fuji Yama (Mount Fuji). All the ladies stayed in one room with tatami mats and high ceiling. The men stayed in another room just beside ours.
We had a dinner of many delicacies from the sea. That was a lot of protein for one night. It looked like this:
After dinner, the through Peace Marchers of Kanagawa (Kanokesan, Itousan, Fukushimasan and Suzukichan) signed Muratasan’s large banner. Muratasan has a good hand at drawing. He made the images on the banner himself. Sugoi!