Hiroshima: Buddha statue mourning Hiroshima atomic bomb victims visits hometown

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People walk with a Buddha statue in Naka Ward, Hiroshima.

HIROSHIMA — A large Buddha statue that was missing for decades before being found has temporarily returned to its hometown of Hiroshima, where it had previously “mourned” victims of the atomic bombing that occurred in the city during World War II. The 4-meter statue covered in gold leaf was paraded through the center of the city.

After the war, the statue was enshrined in a temple near the Atomic Bomb Dome to mourn the victims but went missing around 1955.

In 2011, it was found in Gokurakuji Temple in Nara Prefecture, over 300 kilometers away. It is not known why the statue was moved to Nara.

Volunteers brought it back temporarily to Hiroshima. About 200 people participated in the parade with the Buddha statue, which passed through a major shopping street before heading to the Peace Memorial Park.

The statue is currently on display at Daisho-in Temple on Miyajima Island before it returns to Nara in late October.