We started from Fujisawa City Hall in the morning, walked all the way to Chigasaki City by lunch time and finished in the afternoon at Hiratsuka Public Library.
The hibakusha from Chigasaki explained that the kids whose parents were killed in the war are the poorest of war victims. He shared that he was 2 years old during the bombing. His brothers and sisters lived with his uncle so they can be taken cared of. It was unfortunate that they cannot live together. He said the Peace March means a lot to him. He is now 70 years old and this is his 9th time to join the Peace March.
It was very nice to meet Chika again today. She helped me again with the translations. I also met a younger person today. She is Akko. Her full name is Akiko Watanabe and she is an active member of Young people’s democratic group in Chigasaki. I remember her name easily because a famous swimmer in the Philippines is Akiko Thompson. She also helped me with the translations. It helps a lot that she is from Chigasaki so she gave me more notes about the city.
She also explained to me that Chigasaki is famous for its beaches and surfing. That’s why we passed by several surfing shops along the way. I hope I could visit the beach when I have the chance to go back to Japan.
Akko also noted that the streets in Hiratsuka is wider and and the terrain flatter compared to its neighbouring cities. This is because Hiratsuka experienced carpet bombing during the Second world war in the same way that Tokyo was devastated also during the war.
Lastly, we had special guest marchers today. They are kindergarten students with yellow cap, yellow shirt, and the number 9 attached to the back side of their shirt. It seems they coloured the number 9 themselves. They are all very cute!
I lent my koinobori to one little boy so they can further enjoy the march. The kids gamely joined us in shouting ‘ii ne!’ and ‘imadeshoo! The little boy eventually asked Keiko chan if he can keep the koinobori because he wants to eat the candies inside the stick. A koinobori by the wayis a lantern with drawings of the koi fish. They are usually displayed during the annual Boy’s Festival.