Text and Photos by Galileo de Guzman Castillo
Today, we walked from Chiryu to Kariya. The weather was generally good to us, the peace marchers, with much sunshine and light breeze in the morning and afternoon. It was perfect for an all-day heiwa koshin and made the journey more enjoyable with chants and songs of peace and solidarity.
I want to share in my notes from the field today the lyrics of a Japanese song entitled, “Blue Skies” that we collectively sing as we march on. It is a song referencing the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. One of the international campaigns of the Japan Peace March is to call for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and carry on the message of the Hibakushas that “humanity cannot co-exist with nuclear weapons”.
What I understood about the message of the song (with my broken Japanese and imperfect translation below) is that despite the lasting impacts of war on families and children, we should all carry on, draw hope and strength from each other, and collectively struggle for peace.
Songs and music are indeed important components of any mobilization or action. Not only it advances the concept and practice of a culture of solidarity and resistance, it also contributes immensely to the strengthening of the resolve of the peoples’ movements to continue with the struggle and fight. This is also something being done by the Asian Music for Peoples’ Peace and Progress (aMP3), a collective of progressive and socially-engaged musicians (see: https://asianpeoplesmusic.wordpress.com/).
The support and solidarity of Japanese artists, musicians, and cultural workers to the Heiwa Koshin is definitely one of the things I always look forward to everyday as we march forward. Every time I hear Aoi Sora, it is as if my tired feet are soothed, and I can walk a thousand more steps—under the blue skies.
Focus on the Global South’s Galileo de Guzman Castillo from the Philippines is currently in Japan as part of the 2019 International Youth Relay Peace March.