GB No. 9, autumn 1992


In February 1992 Rev. Gyoryo Ueno from the Buddhist temple of NIPPONZAN MYOHOJI applied to the City Council in Oświęcim for the planning permission to have the Pagoda of Peace built there.

The whole tradition of building those pagodas originated with the Great Master, the Divine Nichidat Fujii (b. 6th Aug.,1885 - d. 9th Jan., 1985). "His greatest aim was to disseminate around the world the holy commandment: You shall not kill, as the most fundamental imperative coming from the very soul and the wish for universal peace, so that the tragic fate of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would never befall to any other city in the world", write the Buddhist monks in their letter to the Oświęcim city councillors.

The traditional form of the Pagoda of Peace originated some 25 centuries ago (after the birth of Buddha). So far a number of them have been erected in Japan (over 70), America, Africa, Australia, India, Sri Lanka and in Europe in Britain and Germany. The majority of them have been built to the design of the Japanese architect Minoru Ooka. The Oświęcim temple is to be built according to the design originally intended for the temple in Vaishali, the place hosting the Second Buddhist Council in 363 B.C. (Eventually the building plans had been abandoned for the lack of proper site).

In compliance with the ancient tradition the relics of Buddha shall be accommodated inside the Pagoda as the living symbol of Peace. The surrounding land is to be turned into a landscaped garden with a small temple for the monks.

The commencement of the construction (funded entirely by the applicants) is subject to the availability of a proper site (around 1 ha) for the structure, to be donated by the city in the form of a permanent lease hold.

Although the councillors seem to be rather favourably disposed to the project in principle, seeing a potential source of tourist revenue for the town, the local branch of the Christian-National Party (ZChN) has already managed to lodge their protest.

Piotr Rymarowicz
ZB 6/92
transl. by Sigillum Ltd.

GB No. 9, autumn 1992 | Contents