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75 Years Later, A Week of Unity - Stepping Toward A Nuclear-Free Future

summer 2020

時 空 間 を 超 え て

   Under this current condition of the extreme stress of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are learning how important it is to keep a good relationship with our community members, local businesses and government as well as the rest of the world.  Yes, indeed, as Aristotle said, “Man is by nature a social animal.”   We need to belong to society, and we would get depressed when we realize that our society is losing its structure.  We feel like we are no longer safe.


   However, this could be a good opportunity to start viewing the world differently.  Many crisis have happened in world history caused by natural and manmade disasters, such as earthquakes and wars. Yet we have always arisen from the most helpless times.  I believe that now is the time for us to learn more from the past and move forward.


   I devoted my 9 years promoting “Bon-odori Dance Festival For Peace” in the Hudson Valley in order to raise awareness of the risk of radiation effects caused by Nuclear Weapons and Bomb Testings including Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.  It is a fun summer event based on the Japanese Buddhist festival and we made our Bon-odori a special opportunity for the community to learn about the nuclear disasters.  We pray together for the victims and work together to look for alternative solutions toward a “Nuclear-Free Future.”


   Because of the COVID-19 situation, the in-person 10th annual Dance Festival will not be allowed.  There won’t be dancing together, singing together, or praying together.  There won’t be food vending, taiko drumming or martial arts demonstrations.  We must keep the social distance or meet in online events.  That is the platform where we can get togather this year.


   The year 2020 marks the 75th memorial of The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.  It is a very important year not only for us, but also for the entire world.  So I wouldn't sit and say, "It's not happening this year...", but worked hard to prepare a bundle of a few events.  I would like to send my peace messages through these different platforms to commemorate all the victims who suffered from the inhumane nuclear disasters.  So please join us live or virtually to any events where I worked to invite people from our community and the world.

Peacefully yours,

Youko Yamamoto


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