Andy Couturier, The Abundance of Less:
“This is the same fire that burned with the blast from Hiroshima,” Masanori Oe says to me, pointing to a small brass lantern on a table in front of us with a tiny flame burning inside.
“This very flame?” I ask, taken aback somewhat.
“Yes. It has been kept burning, passed on from person to person to help us each remember what happened that day, and how it must not happen again.” He explains that in August of 1945, a woman who lost her son in the bombing went to the city while it was still burning and, believing that the spirit of her son was inside that flame, captured a bit of fire and brought it to her home a hundred miles away. She kept it burning for more than twenty years, and then passed it on to a Buddhist priest, who decided to make it a symbol of peace, and took the flame on a walking pilgrimage across Japan, burning in a lantern, and passed it on to others, lighting new lanterns for those who would take the flame. “We have it here for some time before we pass it on,” Masanori says.