We spent the evening in a ryoukan with the rest of the Shizouka through Peace Marchers. Spending the night in a traditional japanese inn would mean 3 things: (1) we have more fantastic than usual dinner and breakfast; (2) we sleep in a japanese style room (futon mattresses over tatami); and (3) there would usually be no coin laundry. I am an architect who is always excited about food and laundry can be dealt with easily, so for me ryoukans are awesome. 🙂
We had a briefing meeting over dinner. Masataka Ohmaki, Chief Secretary of Shizuoka Gensuikyo, explained the characteristics of the Shizuoka course. Many parts of Shizuoka are around Mt. Fuji so we will be walking around its foot for the next few days. He said there is a big US Camp at the foot of MountFuji. They usually refer to Mt. Fuji as Fuji san. We will also visit the Yaizu port where the Daigo Fukuryu Maru first docked after it witnessed the nuclear test at the Bikini Atoll.
Like in Kanagawa Prefecture, there would also be other smaller peace march courses in Shizuoka. For our part, we will be taking the main course which passes through Tokaido. Tokaido is the historical road from Tokyo to Kyoto where samurais used to travel during the Edo Period. Do means road in Nihongo so Tokaido is equivalent to Tokai road.
Ohmaki san also explained that there has been a split in the peace movement in Japan back in 1963 because of different opinions about the Soviet Union. I hardly understood what the issue was about. Perhaps it would be good to get more insights on this in another time. Ohmaki san noted that despite this split a long time ago, Shizuoka Prefecture peace movement remains united. There is strong cooperation between the local gensuikyo, hibakushas, the Coop, etc., even the religious groups. This afternoon, we met Yuko Ono, the leader of organization of various religions in Shizuoka.
Ohmaki san also shared that 60% of mayors in Shizuoka Prefecture sign petition against nuclear weaponsand that they aremembers of the Mayos for Peace organization.
Another characteristic of the Peace March in Shizuoka Prefecture is the collection of kampa (donations) during the march. Supporters can give donations as we pass by their street and there are designated collectors for the day. Ohmaki san noted that Shizuoka ken (prefecture) raises the most kampa because of this system. They were even able to raise as much as 1 million kampa in the past. A big portion of this is given to the hibakushas and also shared with other organizations.