The Peace Marchers met at the Kamonomiya Station. Akikosan showed up and gave us gifts. She gave me this important paper translated in English. I hope to share it with you when I have more writing time.
Our first break was at Odawara City Hall where public office representatives delivered the Mayor’s message. Another hibakusha delivered her wish for peace. She has been walking with us since this morning. She was 3 years old when exposed to the bombing in Nagasaki. She said she did not really understand what was happening that day because she was very young and too tired to care. She now lives in New York and gamely joined us for the march today.We were able to talk after her speech and thanked me for joining this year’s Peace March. Wow! 🙂
From there, we marched our way to Odawara Station and took a break from there (where you can get on a Shinkansen – bullet rain). We had a group shot with some new people we met during the day. The guy holding the banner gave me a new koinobori (a lantern of koi for the boy’ festival). His name is Takayaki Kusayanagi. He wrote his name and contact on the koinobori so it was like a koinobori meshi (name card). I gave the previous one that I received at Kamakura temple to a pre-school kid who marched with us the other day. He said asked Keiko chan if he can keep it so he can eat the candies inside the stick. 🙂 So cute!
We resumed the March at the Manazuru Town Office. We started at around 2 pm and I feel lucky to catch a power nap on one of the massage chairs in the lobby. There were 3 chairs so Muratasan, Keikosan and I had one each. But only Keikosan’s chair seemed to be the only one turned on. We didn’t bother to explore it more. It was great enough even when turned off. I hope I did not snore in the Town Office. 🙂
This afternoon, the leader of Manazuru Democratic Association delivered a message instead of hibakusha. Even though he is not one, he was still a witness to the Second World War. He said he was born in Manazuru and was 14 years old back then. Having experienced war himself, he wishes that no war will happen again. He also said that his daughter-in-law’s father was also a hibakusha from Hiroshima. His son and daughter-in-law could not conceive a child because she inherited defective genes from his parents exposed to radiation. He also expressed his disapproval of Prime Minister Abe’s intention to revise Article 96.
The great thing about this segment was that the Mayor himself was there to give his message of support even on a Saturday. His name is Kazauki Uga. I did not really understand all of his speech in Nihongo but he seemed to speak with conviction. Fukushima san explained to me at the latter part of his speech that he also disapproves of nuclear weapons and that nations should sit down and talk instead. He also gamely walked with us while sporting the ‘ii ne’ thumbs up gesture. 🙂
We finished early today at 3 pm at Manazuru Eki. Yatta! (yey!) It has been quite a long time since we last finished early so this is a welcome break. We have been walking up to 430 pm for the past few days so this a bit of pleasant surprise!
This is our last night at Kanagawa Prefecture. The Peace Marchers together with the Peace March organisers from local Gensuikyo are spending the night at Shiroyama-bekkan, another traditional Japanese inn at Manazuru town. Tomorrow Murata san and I will be walking with the Kanagawa team until lunch time and continue the march with the Shizuoka team.. I surely will miss them. They had become like family. 🙂
We had a well prepared dinner of sashimi, flavoured rice, tempura, prawn and vegetable soup cooked on a paper bowl, and many other yummy things. Here’s how it looks.
Here are some more photos of the day:
(Photo 1-2) I saw several signages indicating the elevation of the area above sea level. This is perhaps part of safety measures for tsunami. The course is now in an area near the Sagami Bay leading to the Pacific Ocean.
(Photo 3-4) We passed by a bridge overlooking a baseball practice field for elementary students. They were waving at us! These kids in baseball uniform were the nearest ones. 🙂
(Photo 5) Kasakisan giving an introduction in the morning. Keiko chan in foreground.
(Photo 1) Murata san and Keiko-chan re-enacting that funny moment when they were looking for each other at different sides of the door. 🙂
(Photo 2) Keiko chan making a very nice doodle on our thank you letter for the Kanagawa Peace March team. I am with two very good artist: Murata san and Keiko chan!
(Photo 3) We have desserts in the ladies’ room. The transparent box contained traditional Japanese sweets made of sweetened beans glazed with agar agar jelly. It’s dairy-free, cholesterol free! The yellow box contains light, creamy, fluffy cheese-cakes in bite sizes.
(Photo 4) I was amazed by this dish. The vegetables, prawn and soup rests on a piece of paper supported by a strainer. It is cooked over a mini-stove. It did not burn nor fell off. Magic!