Poem read by Okinawan first grader inspires prizewinning book

Picture book “Peace is Nice, Isn’t It?” was awarded the grand prize in the 7th MOE Picture Book Store Awards 2014.

The book was written inspired by a poem that 7-year-old Yuki Asato from Okinawa City recited at the Okinawa Memorial Park service the war dead in 2013. Hakusensha book publishing company created and sponsors the annual prize.  The company specializes in Japanese children’s books, and conducts a survey among bookstores throughout Japan to select the winner of the prize.

1,900 people in charge of children’s books in the stores name their favorite among the children’s books that have been published through the year. The prizewinner is the selected among the top 30 on the list. Sales people in bookstores cited as the reason of selecting the book as “I hope children to read this book forever.”

Yuki Asato was on the first grade of elementary school and lived in Yonabaru Town when he read the poem.