7-year-old pays respects to family killed in war

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People enter the Nippon Budokan hall in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Monday.

Kazuha Isono, 7, from Kochi Prefecture, attended a memorial ceremony for family members with his grandmother, Natsue Yoshikawa, 80, and uncle, Yuzo, 57.

Kazuha’s great-grandfather Shigehisa Yoshikawa, then 30, was killed in November 1942 in Eastern New Guinea, and his great-uncle Yoshio Kumon, then 23, was killed in April 1941 in Hubei Province, China.

Kazuha, the youngest family member, came to believe that “war is no good because people kill each other,” while he folded 1,000 paper cranes at school and read a book by Sadako Sasaki, who was exposed to the atomic bombing in Hiroshima and died aged 12. Since last year, he has also been cleaning a memorial tower in the prefecture.

Yuzo, who is vice director of the youth division of the Kochi Prefecture bereaved families association, hopes Kazuha will gradually develop a sense of mourning for the war dead.