Peace March Journals 平和行進の日記

About the Peach March

2017 PM COURSE MAP

‘Through walking, we show to the world the conscience of the Japanese people.’ – Nishimoto Atsushi, the man who started the Peace March in 1958

In 1958 Mr. Atsushi Nishimoto, a monk from Hiroshima, decided to walk from Hiroshima all the way to Tokyo to attend the World Conference. Back then, the World Conference was usually held in Tokyo. He started alone and eventually many people joined as he passed through different cities, wards and prefectures along the way. When they reached Tokyo, their delegation was overwhelmingly large. From then on, the Peace March was held every year. There has never been a gap year. Ever.

There had been some revisions from 1958. The World Conference is now held annually at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Peace March starts off from different points around Japan and converges in Hiroshima on August 4. Below is a list of different courses across Japan. The quite popular one is the Tokyo-Hiroshima-Nagasaki Course.

  • Tokyo – Hiroshima – Nagasaki Course (May 6 – August 4 – August 9)
  • Hokkaido – Tokyo Course (May 6 – July 24)
  • Toyama – Hiroshima Course (June 5 – August 4)
  • Wakayama – Hiroshima Course (May 8 – August 4)
  • Shikoku Island Course (May 9 – July 7)
  • Nagasaki – Hiroshima Course (June 28 – August 4)
  • Miyazaki – Hiroshima Course (June 27 – August 4)
  • Okinawa – Hiroshima Course (June 1 – August 4)

Also back then, the first course started at around middle of June and finished in Tokyo at August 6. Now the Peace March starts on May 6 at the Yumenoshima Park in Tokyo and ends at the World Conference in Hiroshima on August 6.

As reflected in the featured map above, the Peace March is a daily demonstration on the streets almost all over Japan to campaign for the end of nuclear weapons and for a real lasting peace around the world. Perhaps it works 2 ways:

1. It is a powerful tool to reach out to all people in Japan and let them know of the cause and eventually get their support and involvement.

2. It is also a meaningful way for all those involved in the Peace movement to express their common desire for a nuke-free planet.

Lastly, the Peace March is a strong & creative symbol of the Japanese people’s perservering, unrelenting and patient struggle to make sure that the wrongs made from their past would not be repeated in their country and anywhere else in the world.

HISTORY OF THE PEACE MARCH

1945, August
US dropped atomic bombs in Hiroshima (6th) & Nagasaki (9th)
1946, January 24
1st UN General Assembly resolved to call for the “Abolition of all Nuclear Weapons.”
1950, March
Signature campaign in Stockholm to appeal for complete ban on nuclear weapons
1954, March 1
The Bikini Incident: The crew of the Lucky 5th Dragon fishing vessel was exposed to radiation from Hydrogen bomb test carried out by the US at the Bikini Atoll.
Signature Campaign to ban Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs spread across Japan
1955, August
1st World Conference Against A&H Bombs in Hiroshima
1958, April 20
10,000 people did a Peace March from London to Aldermaston nuclear weapons factory in the UK.
1958, June 20
1st National Peace March Against A&H Bombs
(Mr. Atsushi Nishimoto started walking from Hiroshima to attend the World Conference in Tokyo. Hundreds of thousands of people participated in the march by the time he reached Tokyo.)
1970, March
 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed.
1985, February 9
“Appeal from Hiroshima and Nagasaki” was launched. This is an international signature campaign to seek the elimination of nuclear weapons (Over 60 million in Japan in year 2000)
1986, March
Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament in America
1987, May 6
30th Anniversary of the National Peace March Against A&H Bombs
1995, May 5
To determine the NPT Review Conference, the indefinite extension of the treaty
1998, May
India & Pakistan nuclear testing.
2000, May
“Unequivocal undertaking” to determine the NPT Review Conference, the abolition of nuclear weapons
2008, March 23
50th Aldermaston Peace March (United Kingdom)
2008, May 6
50th Anniversary of the National Peace March Against A&H Bombs (Passed through 80% of all municipalities across Japan)
2010, May
Consolidated action in New York “to achieve world peace and security without nuclear weapons” that at the NPT Review Conference
2011
Started the march at the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster area.
2012, June
First session of the Preparatory Committee of NPT Review Conference
2013, February
North Korean nuclear testing. (The third time after 2006 & 2009 testing)
2013, June
Second session of the Preparatory Committee of NPT Review Conference
2013, May 6
55th Anniversary of National Peace March Against A&H Bombs
2014, March 1
60th Anniversary of Bikini Incident in the Marshall Islands
2014, May
Third session of the Preparatory Committee of NPT Review Conference
2015, April
NPT Review Conference

In 2015, Japanese film director Seiji Arihara followed the Peace Marchers for the entire duration of the march. Below is his comprehensive documentary showing the profound elements  of the Japan National Peace March.

One thought on “About the Peach March

  1. Pingback: 16 Days to Go | Peace & Planet

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