Japanese Peace Bell


Japanese Peace Bell

The Japanese Peace Bell is a United Nations peace symbol. Cast on 1952-10-24, it was an official gift of the Japanese people to the United Nations on June 8, 1954. The symbolic bell of peace was donated by Japan to the United Nations at a time when Japan had not yet been officially admitted to the United Nations. The Japanese Peace Bell was presented to the United Nations by the United Nations Association of Japan.

Description

History

The Tada Factory in Japan completed the bell on United Nations Day. It was cast by Chiyoji Nakagawa. The bell went briefly to Osaka, Japan as part of Osaka Expo 70 and was later returned to its permanent location in New York City at 42nd Street and First Avenue, inside UN territory grounds.

Presentation

Renzo Sawada, the United Nations Japanese Observer, presented the bell to the United Nations Organization. At the time of the presentation, Sawada commented that "The bell embodies the aspiration for peace not only of the Japanese but of the peoples of the entire world. Thus it symbolized the universality of the United Nations."

The structure

Resembling a traditional Shinto shrine, the Japanese Peace Bell of the United Nations headquarters in New York City is housed in a Japanese cypress wooden structure. The whole structure is supported by a base of stone donated by Israel.

The bell

Weighing 116 kg, with a height of 1 meter, and 0.6 meter in diameter at the base, the metal in the bell itself was obtained from coins donated by delegates of 60 nations who were attending the 13th General Conference of United Nations Associations held in Paris, France in 1951. The coins were collected from the delegates by children.

Inscribed on one side of the bell are the Japanese characters that say: "Long live absolute world peace" 世界絶対平和万歳.

Accessories

A wooden hammer was presented to the United Nations in 1977. A bell cord blessed by Shinto priests was also presented to the United Nations on Earth Day, March 20, 1990.

Events and function

ounding the bell

Traditionally, the bell is rung twice a year. It is tolled on the first day of Spring during the vernal equinox, and on every opening day of the UN General Assembly's yearly session in September.

The bell was tolled on October 4, 1966 during the Feast Day of St. Francis, marking the one year anniversary of Pope Paul VI's official visit to the United Nations).

The Japanese Peace Bell is also a part of for the annual Earth Day ceremony initiated by Earth Day Founder, John McConnell.

Commemoration

Anniversaries

In 1994, a special ceremony marked the fortieth anniversary of the Japanese Peace Bell occurred. During the occasion, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali reiterated that

: "Whenever it has sounded, this Japanese Peace Bell has sent a clear message. The message is addressed to all humanity. Peace is precious. It is not enough to yearn for peace. Peace requires work -- long, hard, difficult work."

In print

A stamp series of the Japanese Peace Bell, designed by Ole Hamann of Denmark, was issued in 1970 as part of the United Nations Postal Service's Art at the United Nations series. The stamps were printed by the Government Printing Bureau of Tokyo.

The other Japanese Peace Bell

A second Japanese peace Bell was donated to the Vienna International Center in 1995, which is also rung in Spring, on the occasion of the vernal equinox.

References

* [http://www.wowzone.com/bell.htm United Nations Peace Bell, New York UN Headquarters, WowZone.com and Earthsite.org (undated)] , retrieved on: August 3, 2007
* [http://www.un.org/Pubs/CyberSchoolBus/untour/subjap.htm Japanese Peace Bell, United Nations, UN.org, 2001] , retrieved on: August 4, 2007

ee also

* United Nations Art Collection


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