Tenrikyo Participates in Assembly of Prayer for Peace

Organized by a group of religious leaders based in Okinawa, the 15th Assembly of Prayer for Peace took place at the Okinawan Peace Hall, built on Mabuni Hill in Itoman, Okinawa, on August 15, the day marking the end of World War II. Held under the theme “Let’s Send Our Wishes for Peace–from Okinawa to the World,” the assembly pays tribute to the victims of the battle of Okinawa during World War II as well as sends out an appeal for everlasting peace. This year, approximately 800 people attended. In the beginning of the assembly, Rev. Kunizo Yamaguchi, superintendent of Tenrikyo Okinawa Diocese, delivered an opening address. In it, he referred to the original intention of the assembly, saying: “Now that 60 years have passed, there is a danger that our memories of those terrible days may be fading. We religious leaders in Okinawa, however, cannot allow that to occur.” He went on to say: “True peace must include our laughter and a sense of happiness and joy at being kept alive. I would like to continue emphasizing the importance of life with great passion.” Later, six students, including Momoko Miyazato, a fifth-grade student who belongs to Tobaru Branch Church, and Yoko Takayasu, a second-year high school student who belongs to Naha Branch Church, made a pledge to strive for world peace on behalf of elementary, junior high, and high school students. In addition, a special lecture commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II was delivered by Tsukuba University Professor Emeritus Kazuo Murakami, a Yoboku of Norinohi Branch Church.

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