In Mayors for Peace children’s art competition, Shion Hara, Hiroshima elementary school student, receives award for excellence

by Kyoko Niiyama, Staff Writer

Mayors for Peace, an organization chaired by Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, has selected the winning entries of its children’s art competition to which young people from its member cities in Japan and overseas submitted works under the theme “Peaceful Towns.” From among the applicants in Hiroshima prefecture, Shion Hara, 12, a sixth-year student at Motomachi Elementary School who lives in Hiroshima’s Naka Ward, was selected as a recipient of the award for excellence.

Through the use of paints and highlighter pens, Shion depicts in her painting a landscape of a lush green town with rows of buildings, as well as hands of people of various ethnicities surrounding a pigeon, symbolizing peace. She attended the award ceremony held in the Hiroshima City government offices. “I tried to reflect in my painting as much as I could my hope that people would have a spirit of mutual cooperation for realizing a peaceful world.”

The competition accepted paintings in two categories: one for paintings by young people aged 6–10, and the other by those aged 11–15. In total, the competition received 2,829 paintings from 70 cities in 21 nations, including Italy and the Philippines. The chairman’s prize, the competition’s top award, went to a work by Kiana Bordbar, 10, from Iran. Her painting depicts mothers in ethnic costumes from around the world holding hands while children play around them.

Mayors for Peace has held its children’s art competition since fiscal 2018, with the aim of enhancing peace education for young people. Twelve art works including the award recipients have been posted on the organization’s website.

(Originally published on January 20, 2020)