Thoughts About Peace
by Rimi Hamasaki, 8th Grade
Chiran Junior High School, Kagoshima Prefecture
Messages of Peace from Chiran
13th Annual Speech Contest, 2002
Honorable Mention, Junior High School Division
Everyone, what do you think about peace? When I first heard the word
"peace," I did not know how to explain it. Every morning I get up,
wash my face, eat breakfast, change into my uniform, go to school, attend
classes, participate in club activities, and return home tired. Next, I eat
dinner, take a bath, do my homework, and go to sleep. I think most people
live this type of daily life. I thought that living this type of daily life
was peace. In the world there are also people fighting against sickness who
struggle as hard as they can to live. Moreover, there are people who lose
their lives due to unforeseen accidents. In the world there are very many
precious lives that are lost and people who fight illness after being
there are also people in this world who think the same as I do, but I think
there are also many people with different ideas. The reason why is that I
now often hear on television about family suicides and murders. In addition, I
hear about terrorist incidents such as terrorist bombings.
I read a book to think about peace. I was able to find a book
entitled Treasure of Peace in the school library. I learned the
following two things from this book.
There is a Shinto shrine called Sanno
Shrine, which is only about 800 meters from the epicenter of the atomic bomb
dropped on the city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. Half of the torii gate, one
of the pillars and half of the crossbeam, at the entrance to that shrine was
blown away, and now the remaining part is called the "one-legged
torii." I thought it is terrible to think of the pillar of a huge stone
torii being blown away by an atomic bomb blast. People who were caught in the
atomic bomb's heat ray and engulfed in flames moaned due to the heat and pain,
"water, water," as if they were dying. The
following words are written on a monument named "From a Day in a Girl's
Diary," in the spray of the "Peace Fountain" in the middle of
My thirst was unbearable. Something like oil floated on the water's
surface. I desperately wanted water, so finally I drank it with the oil
floating on the surface.
Reading this, I thought she must have
been extremely thirsty. Her body most likely also had been seriously wounded.
I just wanted to let her drink clean water.
War is not a good
thing at all. A long time ago Japan also did damage to other countries. Near
the end of the war, atomic bombs were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
Also, many people died, including kamikaze pilots and soldiers. Even though
we wage war, nothing good comes from it, only more sorrow and suffering.
Whether we win or lose a war, the damage inflicted on people will not
change. People's precious lives, and the heartfelt pain of losing precious
individuals. In spite of this, why do we engage in war? I think it odd.
Wasn't there some way to resolve the problem other than fighting?
thinking about the damage after war, I think it is best to find a way to
resolve our issues. Even
now there are many people in the world who are suffering from the damage
inflicted by war. Isn't there something we can do on behalf of these people? We
can help in various ways by doing fund raising and volunteer activities in
Japan and by participating in organizations that assist people who have been
hurt. As people help one another, I think the world in which we live our daily
lives can move nearer to peace. Therefore, going forward, I want to work to
get involved with fund raising and volunteer activities. Also, I want to make
myself useful to various people.
Translated by Bill Gordon