Message for peace

A Message for Peace


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 I am a Zen Buddhist from Japan. I am grateful for the invitation to the 19th “International Meeting of Prayer for Peace” and the possibility to announce here in France, in Lyon this peace message.

 “War is an act of men.
 War takes away human lives.
 War is death itself.
 To look back at the past is to carry responsibility for the future.
 To think about Hiroshima is to take responsibility for peace.”


 This is a part of a message by the previous Pope of Rome, John Paul II who passed away this year. He sent this message to the world in February 1981 from in front of the monument for atomic bomb victims in Hiroshima’s peace memorial park.

 It was read as a prayer for peace on the 6th of August this year at the beginning of the ceremony to the 60th anniversary of the atom-bombing by the children representative Iwata Masayuki.

 It is a cry to the souls of the more than 300’000 atomic bomb victims. These words are the people’s prayer and they tell about the responsibility and the efforts directed towards the realization of world peace and abolition of nuclear weapons.

 Not only the Japanese people, but, everybody who has life now from children to adults, the entire world desires this. But the reality might be still far away from it.

 War, terrorism and other violence happens all the time. And it is human beings who make them happen.

 How can peace be sought for in this world without first improving the human spirit?

 It is an act of men to start war and do terrorism. Both those who start war and those who war is fought against are human. And it is also human beings who lead them to peace.

 The humans may be made in such a way that they live arguing with one another. But all the arguments should be settled by means of dialogue, through the human heart, whose greatness surpasses the differences of all confronting thoughts、cultures and religions. It is important to pray this way.

 This year is the 60th anniversary of the United Nations establishment. And it is essential that the UN has the correct adjustment and the capacity to function to protect the security of the world’s countries.

 Under the right guidance of the UN, it is important to protect the world’s environment that shelters all living beings. All living beings have to act according to a natural wisdom to live in harmony.

 Therefore we first need to change our own way of life. At this I will present right here five words. To live fully today we should think about tomorrow: “a- su- o- mo- u”:


Arigato: I am grateful                     (spirit of thankfulness)  
Sumimasen: I apologize                  (spirit of humbleness)  
Okagesama: I am content with what I have   (spirit of contentedness)  
Mottainai: I won’t waste                  (spirit of noble poverty) 
Ureshiina: I am so glad                    (spirit of joy)



 If you take the initial letters of these five Japanese words it says: A-SU-O-MO-U, which means “think of tomorrow”. Thinking about tomorrow, about the future I wish we could live according to these words, to have them as a prayer in our daily life.

 A peaceful heart is not something far away, to find it we should start from our own daily life. If there is no silent prayer for peace in our hearts how can we hope for   society to be peaceful?


 We are born as human beings in this world. It is important to find out what does it mean to be human.

1. As human being, I unreservedly inquire into the essential principle of the Universe. (Mankind)

 Then it is a great matter to find out about one’s own self, born as a human being.

2. Rather than criticizing others, I first of all endeavor to examine myself. (Self)

 Also we must not forget to hold all life dear and take care not to kill any living being.

3. I give thanks for Nature's blessings and compassionately respect all life. (Life)

 Then, leading a fulfilled life we must live together in harmony.

4. Drawing from the past, I live today to its fullest and create a bright tomorrow. (Fulfillment)

 And we have to harmonize with all the people and build a world we can live in at ease and without fights.

5. I respect others regardless of race, nationality, sex and religion, and aspire to a peaceful spirit. (Aspiration)

 Taking these five matters as a prayer into daily life there will be a true way of human life. After all, the prayer has great importance for the people. And the prayer for peace is the greatest prayer of the humanity.

 At the end I would like to express my sincere thanks to the St. Egidio community and related persons. Ladies and Gentleman, thank you very much for your kind attention.
(translation: Genma Shemenkov)




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