Heiwadai Park Peace Tower
Heiwadai Park 平和台公園 Peace Park
A 36-metre (118 ft) tower was constructed in 1940 to memorialize the installment of Japan's first emperor, Jimmu. The original name was Hakkō ichiu Tower, meaning "Eight World Regions Under One Roof," a slogan of the Imperial Japanese Army. Designed by Jitsuzo Hinago, the tower was created from stones gathered from around the then-current extent of the Japanese empire at a cost of 670,000 yen. The writing "Hakkō ichiu" was removed after the Japanese defeat at the insistence of the U.S. military. The tower was the inception point for the torch relay of the 1964 Summer Olympics. Subsequent to the Olympics, which coincided with worldwide interest in the Japanese Imperial family, the local tourism association successfully petitioned the Miyazaki Prefecture to re-install the "Hakkō ichiu" characters.
The tower has been a point of some controversy, as many Japanese citizens wonder how a structure created specifically to convey Japanese might during a period of conquest can now be a symbol for peace. Some people consider the lack of documentation regarding the militaristic genesis of the tower to subtract from the structure's re-imagined power as a symbol for peace. Other survivors of the period have stated that the tower allows the horrors of war to be passed down through generations.
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