A poignant call for unity will be at the center of a day of friendly exchange and fun on Hiroshima riverside on the eve of the Hiroshima Citizens’ Summit.
The main event of this year’s G7 Summit to be held in Hiroshima may be the 3 in May when the leaders of the member states get together, but a lot of dialogue and discussion goes on in the run up.
Here in Hiroshima, on April 16 and 17, the Hiroshima Citizens’ Summit will be held at the Hiroshima International Conference Center at which citizens groups and concerned individuals will discuss the theme of “a nuclear-free, sustainable society in which no one is left behind.”
Community festival for social good
On a lighter note, the day before* what is likely to be 2 days of impassioned debate, local NGOs and citizen’s groups will gather at the River Do! Field, on the riverside just north of the A-bomb Dome Monument for a day showcasing their activities in a relaxed, festive atmosphere. On the menu are stage events, fun activities for kids and food stalls.
*Postponed until May 6 due to adverse weather forecast
Everyone is welcome and organizers, the RiverDo! Motomachi Consortium, aim for the day-long event to be an opportunity to connect with Hiroshima’s nature and culture through its people and feel the passion of local bodies working for social good.
A call for unity
This Hiroshima Citizens’ Expo (C-EXPO HIROSHIMA), will culminate in a show of solidarity with the world and expression of a wish for peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons. This will take the form of a “water offering” called kensui in Japanese (see below).
Participants on stand up paddle boards will make their way down the Motoyasu River river to perform a ceremony in which water from all the participating G7 nations will be poured into the river in front of the A-bomb Dome Memorial, just south of the Expo site, as the Peace Bell in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is rung.
The ceremony is to represent a wish for people of all nations to come together as one, just as the water flows from our rivers into the seas which connect us all. The ceremony will be followed by a display of the national flags of the G7 nations being drawn through the water by the paddlers, aerial photographs of which will be made available to the media.
Food stalls will stay open after dusk, campfires will be lit around which to gather and there will also be open-air film screening.
Food and Drink
・Hiroshima North Beer (craft beer)
・La Roulotte (galette)
・With You Plan Markey (coffee)
・satomachi (Miyoshi sweet potatoes, Shobara craft beer, salted cherry blossom gelato)
Nature Play Zone
・Hiroshima Jin University (river themed walking tour)
・Japan Mölkky Association (Mölkky or Finska Finnish wooden throwing game)
・Miyauchi Play Park (kids carpentry experience)
About the kensui [献水] ceremony
Since 1974 a water offering ceremony for the victims of the atomic bombing has been held prior to the opening of the annual Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony and Memorial Ceremony for the Atomic Bomb Victims on August 6th.
Fresh water collected from locations around the city is offered to the Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in a gesture to assuage the souls of the many of the victims of the atomic bombing who died while seeking water. After the ceremony, this fresh water is poured into the Pond of Peace that surrounds the Cenotaph.
What: The Hiroshima Citizens’ Expo (C-EXPO HIROSHIMA)
Where: River Do! Field (riverside next to Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce, across from the Hiroshima A-bomb Dome)
Saturday April 15, 2023 11:00~21:00 Postponed until May 6 due to adverse weather forecast
Media inquiries: [email protected]