Popular Protest in Post War Japan: The Antiwar Art of Shikoku Gorō

Drawing in the Hypocenter

At the lantern festival (tōrō nagashi), people float paper-and-wood candle lanterns on a river in order to guide the spirits of ancestors back to their world. A long practiced ritual during the Bon Festival in August, the lantern festival took on public dimensions when practiced annually around the hypocenter in Hiroshima. Shikoku’s poem at the top of the pages notes differences in generational perceptions on this day: “Older people enclose their sadness in the flame/Young people give light to the Hiroshima’s spirit of peace/and float it on the flowing river.”

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