A-Bomb, Nuclear Accident Victims Remembered

Doves are released to mark the exact time when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. At left is emcee Tsukuru Fors, at center is Fukushima evacuee Michiko Kato, and at right is musician George Abe. (Photo by Jeff Chop)

By J.K. YAMAMOTO, Rafu Staff Writer

A commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings on Aug. 5 in Little Tokyo also focused on a more recent catastrophe — the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima — and those still living with the after-effects.

The gathering in Frances Hashimoto Plaza included the ringing of a “peace bell” and the release of doves at 4:15 p.m., timed to coincide with the annual observance in Hiroshima, where it was 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6 — the moment when the A-bomb was dropped in 1945. George Abe played the flute.

Rev. Peter Hata of Higashi Honganji explained that the bell came from Bishop Noriaki Ito’s cousin, whose temple is on the outskirts of Hiroshima. “Somehow this bell survived the atomic bomb, so I think it’s particularly significant today.”