‘New step into the future’

KAPAA — When President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima recently, Nicole Sakurai was watching it on television.

“The moment has big meaning to Japanese people,” Sakurai said. “Japanese people love the Americans, and have support for the country. When President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe give flowers — together — in Hiroshima, this is a time to move to the future.”

Sakurai said people are very positive, and the gesture of togetherness by the American president and the Japanese prime minister opens the void that existed between Americans and Japanese in the matter of the atomic bomb.

“This is a new step into the future,” Sakurai said. “From the time the bomb dropped until today, there has been a blank about the atomic bomb. Real friends should not have blanks. Japan needs American support, and President Obama’s mission is to bring peace.”

This bonding of friendship between the Japanese culture and the Hawaiian and American culture is the basis for her trip to New York where she will be presenting “Hope Riding On,” June 2 and 3 and featuring material from the Hiroshima Peace Museum and offers people an opportunity to learn about the effects the atomic bomb has had on humanity as a whole.

It also is the basis for “The Bridge of Peace Festival” which will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 18 at the Happiness Planting Center in Lihue, 3343 Kanakolu Street.

“This is time to awaken consciousness,” Sakurai said. “In talking about peace, we need to take on any obstacle. We have to be aware about the power of the bomb because more and more countries are holding it. The United States is a leader in the world and needs to lead the effort toward peace when it comes to nuclear issues.”

At the heart of the fifth annual Happiness Planting community event, Kojiki — Japanese Creation History, new art work, and Part 2 of the Hiroshima Peace Exhibit will be on hand.

A fresh green tea ceremony along with food, including mochi, Japanese somen, and gift vendors will be available. Some of the items available will include games, bon dance kimono and tabi socks.

A kimono dressing station with picture will also be available along with live entertainment, including the Joyful Noise taiko ensemble, and hula led by Rose T. Warken Ceballos.

“This is a new step into the future,” Sakurai said.

The free event is sponsored by El Cantare Foundation, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and Happy Science.

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