At the peace park’s north end you encounter the 10-meter-tall Peace Statue created by sculptor Seibo Kitamura of Nagasaki Prefecture. It is dedicated to the victims of the atomic bomb explosion on August 9, 1945. According to its creator the statue’s right hand points to the threat of nuclear weapons while the extended left hand symbolizes eternal peace. The mild face symbolizes divine grace and the gently closed eyes offer a prayer for the repose of the bomb victims’ souls. The folded right leg and extended left leg signify both meditation and the initiative to stand up and rescue the people of the world. The statue represents a mixture of western and eastern art, religion, and ideology. Installed in front of the statue is a black marble vault containing the names of the atomic bomb victims and survivors who died in subsequent years.
A plaque by the Peace Statue is titled Words from the Sculptor and reads:
“After experiencing that nightmarish war, that blood-curdling carnage, that unendurable horror, Who could walk away without praying for peace? This statue was created as a signpost in the struggle for global harmony. Standing ten meters tall, it conveys the profundity of knowledge and the beauty of health and virility. The right hand points to the atomic bomb, the left hand points to peace, and the face prays deeply for the victims of war. Transcending the barriers of race and evoking the qualities of Buddha and Go, it is a symbol of the greatest determination ever known in the history of Nagasaki and the highest hope of all mankind.”
-Seibo Kitamura (Spring 1995)