Hiroshima Peace Bell
For those who seek peace from the storms of society, a bell rings with hope.
At first glance, this modest, gray-colored dome-shaped bell in the middle of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park doesn’t inspire, but the genius is in the details. Completed in September of 1964 by bronze and metals artist Masahiko Katori, the peace bell is intricately etched, and can only be appreciated if standing directly under the bell. The dome covering the bell was intended, according to Katori, to represent the universe.
The shell of the bell, on the outside, shows a map of a boundary-less world that would have made John Lennon nod with approval. As you ring the bell, that haunting, broad echo is one of a list of 100 hundred sounds that, since 1996, Japan has made a goal to preserve.
Masahiko Katori, who passed away in 1988, would have been pleased with the way his bell has remained a focal point of the Hiroshima Peace Park for the last half-century. Another bell of his can be found in San Diego, California, known as the Yokohama Friendship Bell.
Here is an excerpt from the poem by Hiroshima Higan-No-Kai near this the Bell of Peace:
“We dedicate this bell/ As a symbol of Hiroshima Aspiration: / Let all nuclear arms and wars be gone, / And the nations live in true peace!”
Before you go
In case you’re wondering about expenses, the cost to walk around outside the Hiroshima Peace Park and ring the bell is free.