An event to remember the victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake by lighting candles at night in various parts of Fukushima Prefecture got under way March 8 in Koriyama City. About 2,000 candles were lit at a plaza near JR Koriyama Station in the first leg of the “Candle Night: Lights of Hope” project aimed at praying for an early recovery from the earthquake and tsunami disaster as well as the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Organized by the Fukushima prefectural government, the candle lighting events were scheduled in seven areas in the prefecture through March 11. Candle artist Candle June was in charge of staging the events, while participants drew pictures on the cylindrical candle holders.
Another similar event called “Haru hotaru” (spring firefly) organized by the Koriyama municipal board of education also took place, with about 700 lanterns lining the streets. The lanterns were made using “Ebine washi,” a traditional Japanese art paper of Koriyama, and participants wrote on them messages such as “Hope” and “One step forward at a time” to express their hopes for recovery.