Aoto Peace Park in Katsushika (Photo: Kentin / CC BY-SA 4.0)
Aoto Peace Park in Katsushika (Photo: Kentin / CC BY-SA 4.0)
- 2 min read

Aoto Peace Park in Katsushika City

A local park distinguished by the memory it recalls

Not the only country to fall foul of war's touch, Japan's ill-fated involvement in the last world war saw it suffer in a way that was spectacularly decisive. The only country to have suffered the use of atomic weapons in war, Japan's Hiroshima and Nagasaki cities are the official custodians of an event that has been seared into human memory.

Far from these two cities, way in the east of the country, sits Katsushika City, one of Tokyo's 23 special wards. Unremarkable in many ways, the city is often thought of a bastion of retro memories and gentrified suburbia. But hidden amongst all of the nostalgia lies Aoto Peace Park, a small local park much like any other local park.

During the summer, the water pool area becomes a magnet for children and the play equipment receives the usual toddler attention but it is the statue in the middle of the pool that sets Aoto Peace Park apart. High up on its pedestal stands a bronze statue of a young girl releasing a dove into the sky.

Below the statue are remnants of the 1945 destruction that was brought upon Hiroshima and Nagaski . Bricks from a home in Nagasaki that lay less than two hundred metres from that city's ground zero are there as well as stone remains from Miyuki Bridge in Hiroshima. Further on is a cenotaph with an infrared ray scarred Nagasaki rock from the river flowing beneath the explosion and a curbstone from Kyobashi Bridge in Hiroshima.

As you reflect on the utter annihilation and destruction of the past, hope for the future can be found in a case, by the statue of the young girl, filled with folded paper cranes from the local schools. Another reminder, if needed, of the value of a non-nuclear peace.

Getting there

The park is 8 minutes from Aoto Station on the Keisei Main Line.

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