Memorials Held for Victims of 2018 Rain Disaster in Japan; 300 Candles Spell Out ‘2024,’ Character For ‘Prayer’

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Candles form the year “2024” and the kanji character for “inori” (prayer) in Mabi in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, on Saturday.

KURASHIKI, Okayama — Memorial ceremonies for the more than 300 people who died as a result of torrential rains in 2018 were held in the hardest-hit prefectures of Hiroshima and Okayama on Saturday.

About 300 candles were lit to form the year “2024” and the kanji character for “inori,” meaning prayer, in the parking lot of the Mabi branch of the city hall in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture. A total of 74 people died in the Mabicho district due to flooding and other causes in the 2018 disaster.

The memorial has been held since 2019 by a residents group created to pass on the memories of the disaster to future generations. About 70 people, including people affected by the disaster, remembered the victims in front of the candles on Saturday.

“I want to continue this event, even on a small scale, to remember the disaster and affirm the importance of human life,” said a 54-year-old woman who belongs to the residents group. Her house was destroyed by flooding.