Peace poem “Live” by 14-year-old receives widespread attention

Peace poem “Live” by 14-year-old receives widespread attention

On June 23 at the Peace Memorial Park in Mabuni, Itoman City, third-year student Rinko Sagara of Minatogawa Junior High School read her peace poem.


June 26, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


The peace poem by Rinko Sagara, a 14-year-old student in her third year at Minatogawa Junior High School in Urasoe City, has received a lot of attention on the internet.

She read her poem at the “Irei no hi” Memorial Ceremony to Commemorate the Fallen on the Anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa in Itoman City on June 23.

Many politicians, artists, and other celebrities praised the contents and recitation of the poem on Twitter.


The title of the peace poem is “Live.” In addition to the content of the poem, which pledges no war and includes Sagara’s determination to build future peace, her powerful recitation of seven and half minutes at the memorial service was received with warm applause.


Music critic Reiko Yukawa said, “It was a wonderful declaration of resolution, a splendid original poem with powerful words.”

About Sagara’s recitation, Yukawa commented, “Rather than just reading the characters, [her speech] overflowed with radiant insights… Please watch over this person for 20 years. I hope Japan will be a place where this person shines.”


Vocalist Masafumi Goto (Gotch) of a popular rock band, Asian Kung-Fu Generation, said, “Very nice. I feel a love of one’s country in this kind of poetry.It is a love for one’s homeland and something we should hand down to future generations.”

He continued, “I get goosebumps every time I watch it. Her facial expression changes with the sentences. There is no attachment to the distance between words, body, and emotion.”

He praised Sagara’s poem and posted on the internet about her recitation more than four times.


Rakugo performer Danshiro Tatekawa said, “I am impressed. This heart thinks about the war of 73 years ago, commemorates the war dead, expresses the beauty of Okinawa, and longs for peace. This is real patriotism. The way she read without putting on inflections was also good. Her composition reaches the audience directly.”


Daisuke Muramoto of comic duo Woman Rush Hour showed the video clip and wrote, “I want all news programs to cover this. It is amazing.”


Historian Akifumi Sumitomo said, “It is a great poem that must be preserved for a long time as a historical record of contemporary history.”


(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)


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