We are fortunate to live on Kauai with its beauty and peace. There are iconic symbols of peace throughout our island called Peace Poles.
Their simple message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth” was born out of the ashes on Japan after World War II. Masahisa Goi was a poet, writer and singer, who dedicated his life to humanity. He said, “We are facing the age where the politics of the world must be carried out by each individual. Every individual who repeats the words ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ thus becomes a great force for realizing peace in the world.” Mr. Goi founded the World Peace Prayer Society.
Today, there are hundreds of thousands of Peace Poles in over 180 countries on Earth, with the phrase in over 300 languages. Some notable locations include: the Pentagon (which I visited on a private tour in April 2003); the North Pole; Machu Picchu, Peru; the Giza Pyramids in Egypt; Findhorn, Scotland; the Jordan River, Israel; The Hague, Netherlands; Confucious’ burial site in Taiwan; Gorky Park, Moscow, Russia; Robben Island, South Africa; the Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima; the OPEC headquarters; WTO and IMF world headquarters.
Peace Poles are in churches, schools, parks, public buildings, and private homes.
In 1997, my husband and I saw our very first Peace Pole, in Hanalei near a store called On the Road to Hanalei; we bought our first home Peace Pole in Sept. 2001 right after 9/11.
In addition to Hanalei, Peace Poles can be found all over Kauai: in Kapaa / Wailua at Lydgate Park &Kamalani Playground and Kapaa Middle School and UCC Church, in Lihue at Kauai Community College, in Hanapepe at Matsunaga International Children’s Peace Garden and Hawaiian Congregational Church, in Kilauea at Anaina Hou Community Park and Stone Dam, in private homes like ours, etc.
Peace Poles can be handmade like the one made by Kapaa Middle School students, and the two crafted and donated by the Hindu Monastery along with IROK (Interfaith Round Table of Kauai) at Kamalani Playground and at International Children’s Peace Garden. Or they can be ordered by a wonderful company in Michigan called Peace Pole Makers.
My colleagues and I have supported and facilitated the dedication of Peace Poles for the cities of Phoenix, AZ &Baghdad, Iraq; for Arizona State University and University of Arizona campuses; for Arizona charter schools and places of worship.
I am in talks with a private school here which is interested in making or ordering their own Peace Pole. Schools especially like the hollow aluminum Peace Pole which can hold students’ personal peace messages before the Pole is dedicated.
I was recently told by a Kauai Community College staff person that almost all University of Hawaii campuses have Peace Poles, including KCC.
We yearn for peace … peace begins within … symbols of peace remind us of our journey.
For more information, please see www.peacepoles.com and www.goipeace.or.jp/english/
Terri Donovan Mansfield is a resident of Kapaa.