Hiroshima. Toro Nagashi: Consolation for the souls of the victims of World War II
August 6th 2004: It was to be a very full day for myself and walking companions. Up with sunrise for the 8.15 ceremony marking the time the Atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima, then onto a famous buddhist temple where we would spend the night as guests of the Yamabushi monks, a strict order immersed in the nature of the nearby mountains. '
While planting a tree directly in front of a 500 year old Pagoda I asked the head monk what was the hardest part of hs day?
"Sitting under the waterfall forst thing in the morning, even as snow falls, to set an example to the younger monks".
In the evening following the memorial event we were taken back to the park by the head monk to experience Toro-Nagashi where thousands of people light candles and place them into floating lanterns with messages of peace and hope that are then released into the river that borders the Peace Park. Toro Nagashi begun in 1947 as a consolation to the souls of the millions of Japanese citizens who perished during World War II.
The lantern festival was a far warmer and more spiritual event than the one in the morning. My friend Teppei explained it well when he said. “This morning’s event was for the politicians. The evening’s event is for the people.”