Lanterns floating on Green Lake during the 2014 Hiroshima to Hope event • Photo by Martha Brice
Lanterns floating on Green Lake during the 2014 Hiroshima to Hope event • Photo by Martha Brice

On Saturday, August 6, the From Hiroshima to Hope lantern-floating ceremony will take place at the shores of Green Lake. The annual peace event honors the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all victims of war and violence. One of the largest commemorations held outside of Japan, From Hiroshima to Hope takes place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, August 6, on Green Lake’s northwest shore. This year marks the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombings.

Pre-program activities begin at 6:00 p.m. and include lantern calligraphy and folding of peace cranes. A family program with music and speakers begins at 7 p.m. with a welcome by Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre students. The program features keynote speaker Imam Jamal Rahman, co-founder and Muslim Sufi minister at Interfaith Community Sanctuary, and a popular speaker on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations.

Musical performers include the popular Japanese-American drum performance group, Seattle Kokon Taiko; Sound Singers; and folksinger Gen Obata. The program also features performances on traditional Japanese instruments with Marcia Takamura on koto, and James Jennings on shakuhachi.  In addition, Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim will read a proclamation from the Mayor’s Office, proclaiming August 6 as Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day. Stan Shikuma, a Seattle Kokon Taiko member and a founding participant in From Hiroshima to Hope, will emcee the event.

This year’s ceremony again 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. By dusk, the sculpture will be lit from within and moved towards the dock, where it will remain as the lanterns are floated on the lake. 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 is created annually by local peace, faith and community organizations. Sponsors include the Ethnic Heritage Council, the Abe Keller Peace Education Fund, Ground Zero Community, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Seattle Chapter; the Japanese American Citizens League, Seattle; Seattle Buddhist Betsuin Temple, Wing Luke Museum, and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility. The event is free and open to the public, and is held just south of the Bathhouse Theater on Green Lake’s northwest shore,West Green Lake Drive North and Stone Avenue North. For more information, please call 206-453-4471, or seewww.fromhiroshimatohope.org.

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