Photo by Martha Brice
Photo by Martha Brice

On the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings, 1,000 candle-lit lanterns will float on Seattle’s Green Lake with messages of peace and hope. The lantern ceremony is the culmination of “From Hiroshima to Hope,” Seattle’s annual peace event honoring the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all victims of war and violence. The event takes place from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 6 at Green Lake. The Seattle event is one of the largest commemorations held outside of Japan, with over 1,000 attendees expected again.

The event opens at 6:00 p.m. with lantern calligraphy and origami paper crane folding. A family program with music and speakers, featuring Estela Ortega, executive director of El Centro de la Raza, begins at 7:00 p.m. Ortega is a lifelong social justice and community activist.

Musical performers include Japanese-American drum performance group, Seattle Kokon Taiko; Sound Singers Japanese Chorus, a Puget Sound choir building friendship through music; Gayane Grigoryan on violin playing Nocturne by the Armenian composer Edward Baghdasaryan and folksinger Mike Stern. The program also features performances on traditional Japanese instruments with Marcia Takamura on koto, and James Jennings on shakuhachi. This year’s event includes the exhibition of artist Yukiyo Kawano’s fabric sculpture, “Little Boy, folded,” a haunting depiction of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

The candle-lit lantern floating begins at approximately 8:30 p.m. with a Toro Nagashi lantern ceremony. Those wishing to assemble and float a lantern are encouraged to arrive by 6:30 p.m. to ensure lantern availability.

From Hiroshima to Hope will be held just south of the Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse on Green Lake’s northwest shore, located at 7312 West Green Lake Drive North, and served by Metro Bus #48 and #16, and RapidRide Line E. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (206) 453-4471, or visit

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