February 20, 2016

2310 UNITED NATIONS - Japanese Peace Bell

The Japanese Peace Bell was an official gift of the Japanese people to the United Nations on June 8, 1954, at a time when Japan had not yet been officially admitted to the UN. The Tada Factory completed the bell on United Nations Day, October 24. It was cast by Chiyoji Nakagawa, and was modelled on the Banzai Bell of Peace that he created for Uwajima Temple. Nakagawa subsequently founded the World Peace Bell Association, which donated more than twenty Peace Bell copies around the world.

The Japanese Peace Bell of the UN headquarters in New York City is housed in a Japanese cypress wooden structure resembling a traditional Shinto shrine, supported by a base of stone donated by Israel. The bell weighs 116kg, with a height of 1m. The metal in the bell itself was obtained from coins donated by delegates of 60 nations who were attending the 13th General Conference of United Nations Associations held in Paris in 1951. The coins were collected from the delegates by children.

Inscribed on one side of the bell are the Japanese characters that say: Long live absolute world peace. A wooden hammer was presented to the UN in 1977, and a bell cord blessed by Shinto priests on Earth Day, March 20, 1990. Traditionally, it is rung twice a year: on the first day of Spring at the time of the vernal equinox (in celebration of the annual Earth Day ceremony), and on every opening day of the UN General Assembly's yearly session in September (the International Day of Peace).

About the stamps
Two of the stamps are part of the series Endangeres Species (marine life), about which I wrote here. The third stamp is part of the series issued to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of ASDA (American Stamp Dealers Association),about which I wrote here.

Japanese Peace Bell - Wikipedia
The Peace Bell - United Nations official website

Sender: Denise
Sent from United Nations (New York / United States), on 17.11.2014
Photo: John Starkman

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