Zen garden eyed for Banzai peace memorial


The Marianas Visitors Authority wants to transform the Japanese Peace Memorial in Banzai Cliff in Marpi into a tranquil Zen garden and the agency is working right now on the architectural and engineering design for the project.

“We want to make sure whatever we put, however it is designed, will be a safe place for everybody,” said MVA board chair Marian Aldan-Pierce in an interview Friday.

The move to create a Zen garden—which would create a space for calmness and meditation—is part of efforts to beautify Banzai Cliff. Right now, the area is more of a memorial, with Japanese statues dedicated to honor the memory of those who died during World War II, and there is no place to sit down, no place to just contemplate life, meditate, or relax.

By creating a Zen garden, Banzai Cliff can become a place where people can enjoy tranquility, the ocean, and the scenery, Aldan-Pierce said.

“So, what we want to do is turn that to a Zen place, a place where people can truly go and walk. Zen is a calming place,” she said.

Part of that plan is to break up the concrete, install landscaping, and transform it into a place where people can go and enjoy the peacefulness.

Aldan-Pierce said they just started the project and hope to have it done by next year. As to how much the project would cost, she said they are not quite sure yet until they finish the architectural and engineering design.

The Nenpou Shinkyou Denomination from Japan visits Banzai Cliff yearly.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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