Peace and Disarmament

Back to listAug 7, 2005

Hiroshima Soka Gakkai Pays Solemn Tribute to Atomic Bomb Victims and War Dead on 60th Anniversary of the Dropping of the A-Bomb

Soka Gakkai Hiroshima holds memorial on 60th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bomb

August 6, 2005 Hiroshima commemorated the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb. On this day, Hiroshima Soka Gakkai held a special memorial service in solemn tribute to victims of the atomic bomb and all wars throughout the world, at the Soka Gakkai Hiroshima Peace Memorial Hall.

With the average age of atomic-bomb survivors having reached 73, survivors' efforts to pass down their personal war testimonials to future generations has become an urgent issue. Youth representatives, who have an important mission to succeed their parents and grandparents' war legacy to pass on to future generations, joined atomic bomb survivors and those who lost loved ones to war to solemnly pray for the repose of the war dead as well as pledge together to speak out against the horrors of war for the sake of humanity's peace and happiness.

On September 8, 1957, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda made a powerful appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons at Mitsuzawa Stadium in Yokohama in front of several thousand youth, declaring their use criminal and diabolic under any circumstances a gross violation of the humanity's most fundamental right--that of the right to life. He said its creation reflected the fundamental darkness innate in human beings, and the struggle against this "evil" was the essential spirit of justice and the mission of youth. His declaration became the spiritual foundation of the legacy of peace succeeded by the Soka Gakkai youth.

Following a performance by the Wakatake Boys and Girls Chorus and a reading of excerpts of a special essay by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda reflecting on the war 60 years later, an atomic bomb victim gave a testimonial. Kwak Bok-Soon, a Korean resident of Japan, was 900 meters from the bomb's epicenter when it hit. She shared her testimonial about the horrifying scenes that have been etched in her mind, and how she overcame the "double discrimination" of being labeled a "Korean" as well as an "atomic bomb victim." The young people who heard her story were moved and pledged to work for peace.

Visitors to the "Choose Life--Arnold Toynbee and Daisaku Ikeda," an exhibition featuring a dialogue between the late renowned British historian Dr. Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, showing at the Soka Gakkai Hiroshima Peace Auditorium in Hiroshima City since July 23, topped 100,000 on August 6.