Welcome to the New Zealand Chapter

of the

World Peace Bell Association



The New Zealand World Peace Bell amongst the spring blossom
in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

What is a World Peace Bell?

During the aftermath of World War 2 a Japanese individual Chiyoji Nakagawa, former Mayor of Uwajima in Shikoku, presented a token of peace to the United Nations. It took the form of a large bell, fashioned from a bell typically seen in larger temples throughout Japan.

To manufacture the bell Mr Nakagawa, working on his own, canvassed 65 member countries of the (then) new United Nations asking for donations of coins to cast a bell. His mission was to remind the world of the importance of peace, and to say that no nation should experience an atomic bomb attack as his country's cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, did in August 1945.

On 8 June, 1954 the bell was presented to the United Nations as a symbol of everlasting world peace. The bell, known as the World Peace Bell, is located in the inner court of the United Nations headquarters in New York. It is supported on soil from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And, an image of the World Peace Bell became part of a United Nations poster.

There, the story might have ended. But in 1982 a World Peace Bell Association was formed with co-operation from ambassadors representing 128 nations. The Association was charged with promoting a world free from the evils of nuclear war, and presenting replica World Peace Bells to the nations of the world.. As was the case with the original, replicas are made from the donated coins of United Nations member countries.

At present there are 21 World Peace Bells in 17 countries. Four are in Japan. Coins to manufacture the bells have been donated by 103 United Nations member countries, including New Zealand.

The nearest World Peace Bell replica to New Zealand was presented to Cowra, Australia, in 1990. The bell symbolizes peace initiatives and friendships made between the people of Cowra and Japan following the tragic Japanese breakout from Cowra's World War 2 prison camp on 5th August, 1944.

The replica bell is huge. It is one metre high, 609 mm wide, and weighs a hefty 365 kg. Without doubt, it will be the largest display bell in New Zealand - another first for Christchurch and Canterbury.

The New Zealand World Peace Bell came about through the initiative of Christchutch resident Roy Sinclair who in 2004 made an epic 3500 km bike ride the length of Japan.

The Christchurch chapter of the World Peace Bell Association wish to say a special thank you to the city council for their help and co-operation. The Chapter is currently busy fund raising, people wishing to join the chapter or make a donation are most welcome to do so. Contact details are at the bottom of the page.

The Christchurch World Peace Bell is now housed in a pavillion located in the Botanic Gardens. Plans are being developed for it to become the focal point of a specially developed Peace Walk.

The official unveiling was held on 3rd October 2006.


The pavillion opening ceremony held in heavy weather with
WPB President and Christchurch Mayor performing the formalities.


Commemorative plaque.


Links:
World Peace Bell Association's website in Japan.

An account of Roy Sinclair's bike ride the length of Japan to help raise awareness of the World Peace Bell Association.


© World Peace Bell Association, New Zealand Chapter
Address: 1a Wedgewood Avenue, Cashmere, Christchurch 8002
Phone: +64-3-337-6926
E-mail: r.sinclair@clear.net.nz