It is nice to be back! We left the hotel early and Kimi chan drove us to the Tsushima City Hall. The Peace Marchers assembled at the entrance of the government office. There I met the rest of the through Peace Marchers of Aichi Prefecture. We also met Keiko chan, Run Yokoe, and Satake san. They were busy setting up the place.
Several minutes after, the some of the through peace marchers were led inside the city hall. I was curious what was happening next so Murata san told me in nihongo that this would be similar to the time when I thought we would go to the hospital but visited the Shizuoka City Hall in reality. The key words for me to understand him was byoin (hospital) and onaji (similar / same). 🙂 Experience must be the best teacher. 🙂
So inside a large meeting room was the Vice Mayor, and representatives of the mayor and city assembly. Each one gave us a message of support and then we introduced ourselves. Then they handed us the message in print, penants and kampa. It was a relatively brief meeting and then we went back to the entrance. The rest of the group was already singing. It was very nice. The kind Vice Mayor joined us outside. A member of the city assembly was also there. 🙂 They even walked with us within the vicinity of their office. I would like to note that wehave a big group of marchers today. Perhaps we will see the headcount in the Aichi Peace March website tomorrow.
We reached the Aisai City Hall by 10:30 am and had a break there. We were also welcomed by the Vice Mayor and a member of the City Assembly. They also walked with us as we left their city hall! I was beginning to feel tired this early because it has been 10 days break from Peace March. Today was like another break-in for my legs. I think I will be struggling again for the next three days the way I did on the first three days in Tokyo and Kanagawa.
We headed to another government building in Inazawa for lunch time. Our large group was led to a huge hall inside the government office. And there was our lunch waiting for us. We had onigiri (rice balls); sweet and tasty fish; oden; spinach with wasabi; corn and potato patties, and potato salad. Yummy!
We then walked in the neighborhood of a town called Heiwa. Heiwa means peace in Nihongo. We also passed by a peace hospital. My colleague Peace Marcher happily told me that we are doing the Peace March in the Peace Town and passed by a peace hospital. Sugoi! They also have street seals bearing the town’s name. 🙂 Each city / town has its own design. These are usually found on the road. I am not sure what they cover though.
We reached an open field at around 2pm. At the far end of the open space is a Peace monument. Organizers of the Peace March in Aichi Prefecture were already there ready to give us refreshments. It seems they go ahead of us to the next place for break time. So I always think it’s break time when I see them again. Thank you Aichi Gensuikyo. 🙂
Before we started walking, representstives from the union of social eelfare employees gave us a big bunch of oryziru (paper cranes). It looks like more than a thousand pieces tied in strings. It was also quite heavy. Sugoi!
As we resumed the march, I was given another assignment: I carried the lamp for the Peace March in Aichi. This lamp is always at the beginning of the march and Yoshi san usually carries it. Yoshi san reminded me to take care as the lamp is hot. I enjoyed holding it, but had to return it to him after some time as my arms were getting tired.
We reached the Inazawa City Hall by 3:20 and had a rest time before having a ceremony. The city office was very kind to provide a translator for me. It was also very nice that the Mayor and the chairman of the city assembly were there. They gave the message, penants and kampa.
The city mayor shared that he was born in 1945, same year as the bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Inazawa city is now declared as a peaceful city and a nuke free zone. They exhibit peace panels in the city hall lobby every August until August 15. August 15 is the anniversary of the end of war in Japan. He also gave words of encouragement to finish the march today.
The chairman of the city assembly also noted that Inazawa made its peace declaration on 1985. I remember him a lot for saying that being the only A&H-bombed country in the world, they know of the terror of nuclear weapons and that it is their nation’s responsibility to lead the fight for abolishing nukes in the world. He also stressed on the importance of passing on the stories and insights of the peace movement to the younger generations so they will not repeat the mistakes from the past.
Today’s march finished at a JR station in Inazawa City. It is much awaited for me because Run Yokoe told me yesterday that we will have suika (watermelon) at the end of today’s march. And so we did! 🙂 We even had real fresh wet towels. It was a nice closing ceremony with people having fun while listening to short speeches from the through peace marchers.
Yamaguchi san and I joined Kimi chan and two members of Shinfujin (both of them are named Sato san) in a car heading back to Nagoya for a party prepared by members of the Shinfujin. However, Yamaguchi san had to rest early as she was having a head ache. I hope she is fine and sleeping by now.
Yamaguchi san, by the way, is the relay Peace Marcher from Wakayama. As Keiko Sando chan marched through Tokyo & Kanagawa, Takuya kun for Shizuoka, Yamaguchi san will cover Aichi. She is a very pretty and graceful young lady. I would consider her as Aichi’s muse for the Peace March. 🙂 I look forward to the next days walking with her.
We had a good time with the members of Shinfujin. There was singing, good food and a little Q&A for me. 🙂 My interpreters for the evening were Sato Rumiko and Toshi Takagi. They have been very helpful. Toshi san told me that this was his first time to translate real-time for someone and that he enjoyed doing it. Nice news!
Lastly, the singer and guitarist of the evening told me that they have been to the Philippines 2 years ago and performed in a peace festival organized by local peace groups. I remember that well because my mother happily told me about it. There was a big delegation of artists from different countries. Japan had the largest number of participants. 🙂
Below are some snaps of the happy people we passed by.