Silent prayers and Floral Tribute Mark the 20th Anniversary of the Southern Hyogo Earthquake

  • February 23, 2015
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Bereaved family members looking at a memorial plaque featuring names of earthquake victims

On January 16, memorial ceremonies were held at Kobe University to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Southern Hyogo Earthquake. Ceremonies took place in front of the Memorial Monument to victims of the earthquake, located in front of the Main Building on Kobe University’s Rokkodai One Campus, and in front of the Monument to the Victims of the Earthquake at Kobe University of Mercantile Marine, located at the Graduate School of Maritime Sciences. Ceremonies started from twelve thirty in the afternoon.

Forty one members of Kobe University and six members from Kobe University of Mercantile Marine lost their lives as a result of the earthquake. Among the victims of Kobe University, thirty nine were students including seven international students, and two were administrative staff members. At Kobe University of Mercantile Marine, among 6 victims were five students including one international student, and one research fellow.

President FUKUDA Hideki expressed his deepest condolences at the ceremony:
“Many members of Kobe University became victims of the earthquake. Kobe University will continue to pass down our experiences with the earthquake disaster to our students who will lead the coming generation. We will continue our activities in various fields including education, research, and society, and can honor the memory of those victims by diligently carrying on our work in the future.”

It was followed by a chorus of Flowers Will Bloom by the Kobe University Mixed Chorus Apollon. While messages from the victim’s families were being read aloud, flowers were placed on the monument by executives of the University and family members who lost loved ones. They bowed deeply in front of the monument, filled with deep emotion.

President FUKUDA Hideki offering flowers

“It’s been twenty years since the earthquake, and I believe my daughter is still visiting Kobe University whenever she likes. It’s a place where she studied full of hope,” said Ms. HIROSE Masako who lost her daughter, Yuka, at the age of twenty four. Yuka was a student in the Faculty of Law.
“Our love remains the same for those who passed away during hard times including the Great East Japan Earthquake. I hope earthquake survivors, like us, learn to live life, and work together to overcome challenges.” Eight other family members of earthquake victims shared messages filled with their thoughts and emotions.

Flower offering at the Graduate School of Maritime Sciences (former Kobe University of Mercantile Marine)

At the Graduate School of Maritime Sciences, about sixty five people attended the memorial ceremony. Among the participants were faculty, administrative staff, and students. It was held in front of the Monument to the Victims of the Earthquake at Kobe University of Mercantile Marine, located at the north side of the administration building. The memorial service started from half past twelve, and they observed a minute of silence during which the training ship Fukae Maru blew its horn. Professor HAYASHI Yuji, Dean of the Graduate School of Maritime Sciences, and students in uniform offered flowers.

Kobe University Mixed Chorus Apollon singing Flowers Will Bloom

In front of the memorial monument

(Office of Public Relations)