Japan: Raising Awareness of the Persecution at the National Fireworks Competition

On August 27th, 2005, the Japan National Fireworks Competition was held in Omagari, Kamioka, and Akita-Shi. Falun Gong practitioners from northeast Japan drove hours to Omagari to distribute Falun Dafa truth-clarification materials to visitors, so as to help people learn the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

The fireworks tradition of Omagari started from Meiji in the year 43 AD. It has a long history and has become world famous. Every year on the last weekend of August, the best fireworks makers in Japan gather here to light up their personally-made fireworks and to compete with one another. Visitors from all over Japan and overseas crowd the small city to enjoy the magnificent fireworks. Of course, this is an excellent opportunity for Falun Gong practitioners to clarify the truth.

About 11p.m. the night before the contest, practitioners from the northeast region set off for Akita. At 4 a.m., they arrived. After a short rest, the practitioners sent forth righteous thoughts and practised the Falun Gong exercises. During the whole morning, practitioners were preparing informational newspapers by folding them in half so that they could be distributed easier.

In the afternoon, the tour groups began to arrive and soon the streets were full of visitors. After a quick lunch, the practitioners carried stacks of newspaper to pass out to visitors outside all the entrances to the fireworks competition site.

Passing out newspaper and clarifying truth

The temperature was about 35 degrees Celsius (96 degrees Fahrenheit) and the sun was burning hot. Inside the park, visitors were drinking cold drinks and eating ice-cream under the sunshade. Outside the park, the practitioners were passing out newspapers in the sun. Many people accepted the newspapers, asked about the contents, and listened to the practitioners' truth clarification. Some accepted the newspaper with both hands to express their respect. Some older citizens who spoke Chinese chatted with practitioners in Chinese and happily left with a copy of the newspaper. Some people didn't understand why practitioners chose this date to hand out newspapers. One practitioner replied that there were more people coming on this date, and we hope that more Japanese people could learn the true facts about Falun Dafa. There were also some people who had misunderstandings about Falun Dafa, but the practitioners were not affected by this. Bearing a wish to have more people learn the truth, they kept handing out papers until nightfall. When night fell and the fireworks began, the practitioners quietly left the park.

Fireworks display

The local police department said there were over 800,000 visitors to the event this year, 100,000 more than last year. The practitioners were happy to know that so many people had an opportunity to learn about Falun Dafa.

The Falun Dafa practitioners from the northeast region came to Akita to distribute truth materials last year, too. Since then, they had driven over 3,000 km to the counties and cities throughout the northeast region to promote Dafa and clarify the truth. Whenever there was a large-scale celebration, practitioners would drive there to pass out newspapers. At times when there are no major events, practitioners would drive to areas where there are no practitioners, to promote Dafa and distribute newspapers. These practitioners are from all walks of life and include housewives, professors, and PhD students.

According to the practitioner who organises these activities, they plan to continue the truth clarification in cities in Fukushima County and in the future, practitioners will promote Falun Dafa in Hokkaido, the northern most island of Japan.

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