Japanese Peace Pagoda (Sri Pada)

Sri Pada Peace Pagoda
The Peace Pagoda, also known as Japan Sama Cetiya (Sinhala: ශ්‍රී පාද ජපන් සාම චෛත්‍යය) is a Japanese-styled Stupa on the foothills of Sri Pada Mountain in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka. It is the first of the five Japan Peace Pagodas constructed in the country.

A Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa erected to inspire peace and most of the peace pagodas in the world built since World War II (1939-1945), have been built under the guidance of the Japanese Buddhist monk Nichidatsu Fujii (1885-1985), the founder of the Nipponzan-Myōhōji Buddhist Order. He constructed 80 of these pagodas around the world after World War II, including at Hiroshima and Nagasaki (McIntosh et al., 2019).

In the 1970s, the Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Pelpola Vipassi Thera met Nichidatsu Fujii during his visit to Japan (Abeysekara, 2002). Nichidatsu Fujii proposed to Pelpola Vipassi Thera to build a Peace Pagoda in Sri Lanka and assured him to provide the necessary funding for it (Abeysekara, 2002). Pelpola Vipassi Thera who returned to Sri Lanka in 1975 formed a committee of several chief Buddhist monks to discuss Nichidatsu Fujii's proposal and the committee finally decided to give the approval to erect a Peace Pagoda at the foot of the most sacred Buddhist mountain in the country, Sri Pada (Abeysekara, 2002). The then Bandaranayaka Government in the country endorsed the project by allocating a plot of land for the Pagoda and the foundation stone for it was laid on 16 February 1976 by the first Sri Lankan president William Gopallawa (1972-1978). The construction work of the Pagoda was completed in 1978 and it was declared open by then Sri Lankan President J. R. Jayewardene (1978-1989) with the participation of a delegation of more than six hundred Japanese monks and lay people from different Mahayana Buddhist sects in Japan (Abeysekara, 2002).

See also


1) Abeysekara, A., 2002. Colors of the robe: religion, identity, and difference. University of South Carolina Press. pp.110-112.
2) McIntosh, I.S., Haddad, N.F. and Munro, D. eds., 2019. Peace journeys: A new direction in religious tourism and pilgrimage research. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p.19.

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This page was last updated on 15 April 2023

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