Candle-lit paper lanterns on Motoyasu River console spirits of A-bomb victims

by Kana Kobayashi, Staff Writer

On the night of August 6, candle-lit paper lanterns, carrying people’s prayers for the souls of the A-bomb victims and wishes for peace, were floated on the Motoyasu River in front of the A-bomb Dome in downtown Hiroshima. About 7,000 colorful lanterns glowed on the water as the river slowly flowed.

Wishes appearing on the paper lanterns included “Peace” and “I wish for a peaceful world without war and nuclear weapons,” among many more. Families, bereaved family members of the A-bomb victims, and others wrote their wishes for peace and nuclear abolition in various languages, and began gently placing their lanterns on the Motoyasu River at 6 p.m. The banks of the river were filled with people gazing at the band of light, which glimmered softly as the darkness deepened.

Honoka Kubo, 10, a fifth grader at Tenma Elementary School in Nishi Ward, wrote on her lantern “I hope there won’t be war.” She said, “I wish for a peaceful world without war.”

(Originally published on August 7, 2019)