My last day!.. Whaaaa. Sugoi!
It was a mixed feeling of happiness that we were about to finish Kanagawa Prefecture Peace March in a very high note, and all went smoothly with about a thousand of marchers in 13 days. And of course I’m a bit sad because I will be missing my everyday buddies.
Last night, I gave some tips to AJ and he was warmly welcomed by Kanagawa Gensuikyo and my fellow marchers. I’m excited to march with him today, because this is the first time to have our Youth Relay Peace March Handover.
We will start our march today at Yugawara tourist hall. Whenever I see Tanaka-san, he always taps my shoulder and move his head as if he’s also saying that he will miss me…haha.. I do feel the same because Tanaka-san was one of my close gesture buddy. We usually communicate by gestures, and we really did understand each other. I hope he also learned some English from me. Before we end our day, he will give me our departure time.
We have a lot of Peace Marchers today. Maybe they are also excited with the turnover ceremony that will happen today. And they are very proud of their achievement in making the kanagawa peace march successful.
I see the show of force from the COOP and they have their Peace flags. Sagami Gensuikyo, the Shinfujin, the Nihon Hidankyo and many more.
Okuma-san also made his presence felt when I heard his guitar.
We started our march on a very high note. We marched thru the streets of Yugawara and Okuma-san provided the guitar, AJ played his bongo, and I played the tambourine. We played the peace march songs while walking. It was really a great experience and our combination was great.
We stopped at a local park near the Yugawara town office. This is also the last town of Kanagawa. We were welcomed by the city officials and this is also the chance for AJ to get the feel of the Peace March and to know the walking pace and the weather.
We had our Chinese bento for early lunch because they said the turn over ceremony is very spontaneous. We are all excited.
Akira Matsudaira and Okuma-san performed together some songs with two singers on the side. AJ and I also had the chance to jam with Okuma-san. We walked a bit thru the downtown area and eventually arrived at another park where marchers from Shizuoka welcomed us. I was nervous and excited.
Together with Kasaki-san and Takano-san, we greeted the Shizuoka Gensuikyo and all the counterpart groups. There is also the music group with Okuma and Akira-san. I was moved and emotional to see them clapping at us.
As for this day I won’t be using my romanji speech because I have Kajian-san by our side who is so talented to make a simultaneous translation. I also was not even able show him my speech beforehand. Nice job Kajian!
AJ and I made our successful turnover of the Youth Relay Peace March flag. I can feel his enthusiasm and excitement to meet and help the people of Shizuoka in their campaign.
I received very emotional hugs from Takeda-san and Tanaka-san. Ganbatte kudasai!
And I saw the happiness from Kasaki-san who has been the leader of the Kanagawa Peace March. I thanked all of them from Nihon and Tokyo Gensuikyo and of course, Kanagawa Gensuikyo especially Kasaki-san for leading the groups in our campaign for peace, justice, non-militarized society, no nuclear, clean and renewable energy, good governance, decent jobs for all and many more.
The Peace March is not just about marching 15-20kms or 6-8 hours a day. It is about reaching out, being seen and being heard, its volunteerism at its best. For us, youth relay peace marchers, it is our expression of solidarity that young people from other parts of the world wish to be present, to walk with you side by side as we march towards Hiroshima. All efforts, groups, talents, ideas, flags, banners joined together and unite as one in one big effort to show force and tell everyone that peace march is here! That peace is possible.