Nagasaki Peace Park has served as a symbol of peace for Japan, and to remind everyone of the atrocities brought by the use of atomic bombs. Built just north of the hypocenter in 1955, this 9.7 meter tall statue stands to represent the wish for world peace. Built by sculptor Seibou Kitamura, his left arm is stretched out as a signal for peace, his right hand is pointing to the sky to remind all of where the bomb and subsequently, death, came from, while his eyes are closed as he is praying for those who have lost their lives during the atomic bomb.
Peace Symbols Zone
In 1978, Nagasaki City created an area leading up to the main statue that has sculptures donated from countries around the world that recognize the importance of life and peace. There are many beautiful statues here that have came from countries such as Cuba, Portugal, China, etc.
To me, these statues represent the collectiveness and sentiments from around the world that using atomic weapons are not a way to bring peace. It will take the whole world to come together to make sure something like this does not happen again.
Fountain of Peace
Although many of what can be seen will bring out some sort of emotion, to me, what hit me the most was the “Fountain of Peace”. Built in 1969, the “Fountain of Peace” is a symbol to the many victims, with burned skin hanging from their bodies, who were in search of water. This fountain is an ode to them. In front of the fountain is a plaque with the thoughts of Sachiko Yamaguchi, a nine year old girl during the time of the bombing. This plaque says, “I was thirsty beyond endurance. There was something oily on the surface of the water, but I wanted water so badly that I drank it just the way it was”.
Turning away from the statue, we have a view of Mount Inasa, from which one of the third best night-views in the world can be seen. On the left and right of the pathway, are the multiple statues and sculptures that make up the Peace Symbols Zone, while the fountain in the center is the Fountain of Peace.
The area is very well maintained and has beautiful flowers and trees spread out across the area of Peace Park.
The atomic bomb museum is located about ten minutes by foot from Peace Park, so I would recommend stopping at both. We can all learn about the horrors and what happened on August 9, 1945. Going where the bomb fell and learning about the events from those who lived here on that day is eye opening.
With 74,000 lives lost and another 75,000 people injured, this bomb affected people who were just living their lives. Among the lives lost were mothers, children, and babies, as well as thousands of Koreans who were used for forced labor during the war. Many will look at the overall picture of the war, but it is also imperative to learn from other sides of the story as well.
Price and Hours
Nagasaki Peace Park is free to enter and always open!
Peace Park can be accessed by a 2 minute walk from the Matsuyama-machi Streetcar stop.