Seattle — Candle-lit lanterns will bring messages of peace and hope to Green Lake at “From Hiroshima to Hope” on Saturday, August 6. The annual peace event honors the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all victims of war and violence. This August marks the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombings and the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of Japanese Americans on the U.S. West Coast.
Pre-program activities will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a family program with music, poetry and speakers at 7 p.m. The program features keynote speaker Lori Matsukawa, journalist, retired KING-5 anchor, and a co-founder of the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington. Tara Villalba of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility will serve as emcee. The program will also include the popular Japanese-American drum performance group, Seattle Kokon Taiko, poet Sharon Hashimoto — author of the poetry book, “More American” (2021, Grid Books, 76 pp.) — and Ukrainian singer Roman Vashchuk. The candle-lit lantern ceremony will begin at 8:15 p.m., with lanterns floating on the lake at dusk.
Since 2020, the pandemic has brought change to the normally widely attended annual outdoor gathering. In 2020, in lieu of an in-person event, FHTH made a film, “75 Years & Counting: From Hiroshima to Hope” (YouTube, 36 min.).
According to organization spokesperson, Nancy Dickerson, “Last year we were back with some accommodations for COVID-19, and this year is more back to normal. We’re still doing some things a little differently. For instance, the Japanese calligraphy will mostly be done in advance, although some will be on site, and the calligraphers will be there. Last year, we didn’t have our photo tent with photos of the bombings’ aftermath, and that will be back this year. Even though it’s outdoors, we’re still encouraging masks, as many of our attendees are elders and vulnerable populations.”
“From Hiroshima to Hope” is held just south of the Bathhouse, on Green Lake’s northwest shore at West Green Lake Drive North and Stone Ave North. It is free and open to the public. It is created annually by the non-profit organization, From Hiroshima to Hope, and is supported by local peace, community and faith organizations. Sponsors include the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and local peace, community and faith organizations.
More info: 206-928-2590, fromhiroshimatohope.org; facebook.com/FromHiroshimaToHope