IN CELEBRATION OF 90TH ANNIVERSARY
In celebration of its 90th anniversary, the Nenpou Shinkyo Buddhist Denomination held a peace ceremony with the unveiling of two new monuments in Marpi yesterday, representing the emperor and empress of Japan.
The ceremony started at 9am at the Last Command Post and ended at 12:30pm at Banzai Cliff. Both sites held a ceremony and the unveiling of the two monuments. One of the monuments, called Gyosei, was unveiled at the Last Command Post, while the second monument, called Miuta, was unveiled at Banzai Cliff.
Nenpou Shinkyo Buddhist priests led the ceremony with prayers and chants. Flowers were placed on the memorial grounds, as well as gifts from the Nenpou Shinkyo.
Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Perry Tenorio, Japan Consul Hitoshi Kikuchi, Reps. Joseph Lee Pan Guerrero (R-Saipan) and Angel Demapan (R-Saipan), and other officials joined the ceremony with the Japanese emperor’s grandson, Prince Nobuhiko Higashikuni, and other Japanese dignitaries.
In his remarks, Ryoyu Okeya, president of Nenpou Shinkyo, said this was a very important milestone year for the group.
“It commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and 90th anniversary of the founding of Nenpou Shinkyo, including 10 years ago when the emperor and empress visited Saipan and toured memorial sites to mourn and pay tribute to the war dead,” Okeya said.
Both monuments that were unveiled were engraved with two Waka poems, a form of traditional Japanese poetry. The Gyosei inscription was written by the Japanese emperor himself while the one at the Miuta memorial was inscribed by the empress.
“This Gyosei monument remembers all those people who fought at a place where there was no food, no water, and no medical treatment for the wounded during the fierce fighting. Miuta is remembering the women who threw themselves from a precipice at the end of the island in the desperate war situations,” Okeya said.
“We continuously pray for the removal of all conflict, to rid of poverty, and to expel the act of evil from Earth. I make strong resolution and will mark a milestone this year. We wish a world with no boundaries and no discrimination against race or a religion, a world that is united with peace, love and harmony,” Okeya said.
Okeya, on behalf of Nenpou Shinkyo and officials of Japan, expressed his deep gratitude to CNMI and its government and prayed for continuous peace for NMI and the rest of the world.
Apatang said the ceremony was a blessing and a milestone for Saipan and an honor that Nenpou Shinkyo comes to Saipan every year to host the peace ceremony.
The day before, Nenpou Shinkyo members joined the Saipan Mayor’s Office and other agencies and organizations to clean up the Last Command Post and Banzai Cliff.