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Memorial Park Buddha Gets Twice Yearly Bath

Date Posted: 2000-12-29

Itís bath time for the giant statue of Buddha sitting in Okinawa Peace Memorial Park. The 12 meter high statue is washed twice a year Ė Okinawan War Memorial Day on June 23 and for the New Year. The job is usually done by members of Itoman City Office, but this year endís cleaning was done by a 15-member volunteer group from Okinawa Bus Co.

The Peace Memorial Park and its great Buddha is one of the most popular sightseeing destinations among tourists visiting Okinawa. About 400,000 people visit the site annually, and many visitors bring paper cranes with them. Traditional Japanese belief states that if a person makes 1,000 paper cranes his or her wish will come true.

The Peace Memorial Park is the site of the Fire and Bell Festival starting at 8 p.m. Sunday. The event lasts until the next morning. Admission to the event is free.

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