A remarkable series of events is ensuring that Hiroshima will go down in history for far more inspirational reasons than the A-bomb.
On a torrid August day in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, lotus flowers were blooming in the pond surrounding the Peace Bell. A party of elementary school children in their bright yellow hats lined up to toll the bell; all visitors are welcome to do so, and its hopeful sound regularly booms out across the park. While they waited their turn, the children pointed excitedly at the powder-blue dragonflies darting among the blooms.
These flowers have great symbolic importance in Japan. At temples throughout the country you’ll see statues of Buddha seated in a lotus blossom. The way the exquisite flower grows out of the mud at the bottom of a pond symbolises how Buddha rose above suffering to find enlightenment.