" The prayer monument for world peace" was unveiled.
The prayer monument for world peace paying tribute to the atomic bomb survivors throughout the world was completed in the Chugoku Peace Memorial Park on June1st, 1997 commemorating the 40th anniversary of the declaration against nuclear weapons by Josei Toda, the second president of the Soka Gakkai. Many guests such as scholars, men of cultures and peace activists as well as representatives of Soka Gakkai prefectural leaders. They renew their resolutions for the abolishment of nuclear weapons and construction of world peace.


Dr. Ikeda had a first talk with a world famous sculptor Mr. Derbre (Tokyo, June 6th, 1997)
Mr. Derbre: We should create a great sculpture, "World peace" which human-beings have been longing for--- .
SGI President:
We appreciate very much your dedication to the building of a great work of peace for Hiroshima, the starting place of eternal peace. From now on, more than a million people will visit here and talk about peace at the foot of this monument, philosophizing and seeking for everlasting peace. This monument stands for great "resuscitation of the people" who have risen up from complete shambles caused by the war and an eternal image of " the restoration of human dignity ", and in addition," champions" fighting valiantly for peace.
You have put all you energy into this monument to symbolize hopes and dignity of human beings.
Mr. Derbre :
I have made a fresh resolution. Up to now, I have created a variety of sculptures for the sake of artistic creation, but from now on I will create sculptures for the sake of peace.
SGI President:
This is what we human beings have been rea11y longing for. That is wonderful because you are going to excel others in creating art for peace's sake, which human beings are longing for, not just for art's sake. What we need now is peace, the art for peace's sake and a clear philosophy to rea1ize peace.

The prayer monument for world peace

The prayer monument for world peace was completed in the Chugoku Peace Memorial Park on June 1, 1997 commemorating 40th anniversary of the declaration against nuclear weapons by Josei Toda, the second president of the Soka Gakkai. The monument has been founded by the proposal which SGI president Ikeda made in 19995 at the 14th World Youth Peace Cultural Festival commemorating 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing.
That has been built at the same meridian as the center of the first atomic-bomb blast in the history of the world, 13727' east longitude, to the due north of Hiroshima, paying tribute to the atomic bomb survivors throughout the world. The monument symbolizes prayer for eternal peace and desire for no more atomic tragedy on the earth. That also symbolizes a determination for promoting peace creating movements from Hiroshima, "the starting place of eternal peace", to the world, to make the 21st century "a century of peace", "a century of life", and "a century of symbiosis".



Mr. Derbre made a short speech "Aiming at a complete victory in mind" in front of the six unveiled statues

In what points did you make the most strenuous efforts?

First of all, that was how I should organize the whole size of statues and their facial expressions in harmony with beautiful surroundings of nature. Secondly, what I racked my brain to the very end was about how to express, on the statues, desire for hope and peace in addition to the struggle against arrogant powers who led people to unspeakable sufferings by nuclear weapons.
If this work is highly appreciated, I'm sure I owe everything to the backing from SGI peace movements and to the trust in Dr.Ikeda's idea.
Engraver
Louis DerbreiFrancej
Louis Derbre was born in the farmhouse of northern France in 1925.
Although engaged in the farmhouse to 19 years old,
he moves to Paris simultaneously with marriage, and an engraver was aimed at in 1945.
In 1951, Fonen prize award.
The Rodin Maillol Dell Bure exhibition held in 1962.
And evaluation with the great engraver who stands in a row in Rodin and Maillol is obtained.
Then, a private exhibition is held in all over the world, and Norway, Japan, Brazil, Canada, etc. win extolment.
In 1987, the France Order of Culture are awarded

What does each of the six statues mean?

The first statue head-on to the left side is a statue of construction. It is intended to symbolize a person who creates and builds up peace. We do need the people who make plans, take the initiatives and carry them out. I wanted to express, on the statue with stern eyes focusing on the future, that we can not win peace unless we fight for peace. The second one is a statue of tolerance. I put my idea on a young woman in a sitting posture who loves and understands life deeply. The third one is a statue of courage. This statue stands rigidly with its hands spreading out and looking at eternity. Spreading out the hands symbolizes space and free flap of wings. I took three months after all to complete its facial expressions, making it over and over again. I'd like to express that we need great strength of will and confidence in order to realize peace in the world. This statue is the tallest of the six, which means that he always tries to stand firmly and take root in reality, growing up toward future. The fourth one is a statue of hope. This statue symbolizes the way of the natural process of plants richly growing. This woman's casual manner of spreading her hands shows, in other words, she tries to make coexistence with nature.
The fifth one is a statue of successor or torch-bearer. The mother is original presence to bear and bring up children. I put my image on the infant, lifted up by its mother, who will soon have responsibility for the future wor1d and grow up with big hopes. Needless to say, children are neither mother's belongings nor their accessories. The mother will send her children to the world in order to develop our future and attain world peace. The child itself has a determined face as a whole man, showing its resolution to carry out its mission as a torchbearer with its hands spreading sideways. The last one is a statue of delight. This is a statue of a woman holding up ripened fruits. There are some countries with too much abundance, while there are some countries in extreme poverty on the earth. We can not say this situation is happy. Peace comes only when we have abundant crops everywhere. When we are rich in food and mind, delight comes from the bottoms of our hearts. Each of the six statues face back to back with one another, which also symbolizes an expansion toward the whole world and space, seeing this spot as the starting place of peace. (June lst, 1997)