The Great Smoky Mountains Peace Pagoda


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   When World War II concluded with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Most Venerable Nichidatsu Fuji, Guruji deeply pondered how he, as a monk, could respond to this threat of total annihilation. After much study and reflection, he began to build the first Peace Pagoda in war ravaged Japan. It was inaugurated in 1954 following 8 years of construction.

   A Peace Pagoda affirms the sancity of all life. It rejects all forces that seek to destroy or oppress life. A community building a Peace Pagoda is an antidote to war. As a shrine fo World Peace, it draws together a diverse people with a common commitment to peace.

   Today, there are more than 80 Peace Pagodas worldwide, built by Guruji and the order he founded, Nipponzan Myohoji. Six more are under construction in Sweden, India, Sri Lanka and one in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. We chose this site for its outstanding natual beauty and because it stands only one hour's drive away from Oak Ridge Laboratories, where the first atomic bomb was built and where nuclear weapons continue to be manufactured. Through this all-volunteer effort, we defy the fear and death of by nuclear weapons. We choose life.