The two characters were taken from a poem about plum blossoms in the “Manyoshu,” a 7th-century poetry collection, and mean that “culture is born and nurtured as the people’s hearts are beautifully drawn together.”

The current “Heisei,” or “achieving peace,” era will end with Emperor Akihito’s abdication on April 30. His son, Naruhito, is to ascend the throne.


According to apnews  the Japanese government announced that the name was chosen “with hopes of making Japan a nation where every person can achieve dreams, like the plum flowers that bloom beautifully after a severe winter to signal the start of spring.”

The first character of the era name, “rei,” also means “good” or “beautiful,” while the second, “wa” means “peace,” ″harmony” or “mild” like plum blossoms.


It is now the good month in early spring, the air is fresh and the wind is soft. The plums blossoms are like the white powder of beauty before a mirror, the fragrance like that which follows the sachet of a noble lady,  according to the introduction in the Manyoshu collection of poetry.

 One local media outlet reported that more than 1.7 million visitors visited Hiroshima Peace, Memorial Park. Even more, people viewed the event through television and other media.


More than 100 groups participated in the parade.  Among the attractions were The Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) procession was led by the Tian Guo Marching Band, followed by a decorated float, exercise demonstration, lion dance, and celestial maidens.

Spectators applauded warmly, and many people took photos and videos.

The beauty of the ladies dressed like in graceful flowing garments on flower floats was a touching sight.

The uniqueness of Falun Dafa is that the spiritual movement is being relentlessly persecuted by the Chinese government and since 1999 the adherents have not given up their pursuit of Truthfulness, Compassion Tolerance which is the foundation of the practice.

This was the 18th year the Falun Dafa Association was invited to participate in this event.