The World Peace Pagoda was built in 1958 and is the only Buddhist temple in Japan recognized as a Myanmarese temple. The Myanmarese pagoda stands 27 meters high and has a cylindrical shape measuring 13 meters in diameter. It is big enough that it canto be seen from the upper deck of ships plying the Kanmon Straits. There is a diamond pinnacle on top of the pagoda with a large, glittering crystal. In addition, eEnshrined inside the pagoda is a 1.6-meter tall, golden seated statue of Gautama Buddha. Monks dispatched from Myanmar say daily prayers for peace. Why was a Myanmarese temple built in Kitakyushu? The reason lies withis connected with WWII. At the time, Japanese soldiers were shipped out from Moji Port to southern battle lines such as Burma (present-day Myanmar) and the war front in Mainland China. They numbered more than 2 million, and 180,000 are said to have died in battle. The pagoda was built on a hill 13 years after the war in September 1958 in Moji Port. The site was selected as a place suitable to pray for world peace and remember the soldiers who shipped out from Moji Port and died in the war. The total construction cost of 40 million yen was split between the Burmese Buddhist Federation and donations from Japan. Exchange between Japan and the Myanmarese (previously, Burmese) Buddhist Federation still continues today. At the pagoda, 2Two monks dispatched from the Myanmarese Buddhist Federation and a caretaker who also interprets live in an on-site monastery at the pagoda (however, due to deterioration of the monastery, the neighboring training hall is currently being used due to its deterioration). The monks’ living expenses and operational funds are covered by donations from demobilized soldiers, families of the war dead, and entrance fees. However, 70 years after the war ended, there were fewer than 20 members of the association that had numbered 2,000 when the pagoda was established. It was in danger of being shut down because of insufficient operating funds. The World Peace Pagoda governing board, which is the religious corporation that managed the pagoda, decided to close it down in December 2011, and the monks returned to their home country. The pagoda was reopened the following year in August 2012 through cooperation with the Myanmar Embassy in Japan and local volunteers. The Myanmarese Buddhist Federation’s wishes “to maintain the pagoda that illustrates friendly relations with Japan and to console the spirits of the dead” are said to have significantly contributed to its reopening. Many of the soldiers dispatched to Myanmar from Moji Port are said to have died of starvation. The pagoda, which has 50 memorial tablets for those soldiers, exists as a facility that continues to speak of war and to pray for peace. A memorial service is held every year in fall.