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Paper Carps are gently fluttering in the May wind.  Paper Carps are originally erected on Tango-no-sekku, a festival on the fifth of May of the old lunar calendar.  Before the establishment of the present Constitution of Japan, it was a festival only for boys.  People wished for the healthy growth of the boy's body and soul, which the Paper Carps symbolized.  Now it has been changed to Children's Day, a national holiday provided for in the Constitution to give people an opportunity to think more earnestly about respecting children and promoting their health and happiness.  Paper Carps are simply the remains of the old tradition.
Talking about Children's Day leads me to picture boys and girls playing happily under the protection of their loving parents.  It may not be too much to say that the majority of Japanese children enjoy such a happy child hood event.
One May, a few years ago I visited the refugee camp in Cambodia.  The adults were deeply hurt both physically and mentally by the cruel war that was taking place and helplessly whiling away their days in despair.  Their children were mostly barefoot, and those who had clothes wore dusty, filthy rags.  Hoe different their circumstances were from children in Japan.  They were at the bottom of the fortune's ladder.  Yet I thought I saw a gleam of hope in the sights and sounds where the children were playing noisily, shouting to each other in cheerful voices.  Children are genius ay playing.  They do not need a toy horse or train.  A long stick, a rusty piece of wire, a flower on the dusty street or some sheets of paper can be the perfect play toy for them.
How sharp image it was comparing dirty but lively faces of the children to blank and dejected faces of the grown-ups!  The children's vitality and resilience made a great impression on me.
Though among the children playing, there were horrific stories of pain and sadness.  One boy had witnessed his father shot to death.  Other girl had been separated from both of her parents and her only sister.  A four year old girl had experienced unbelievable traumas journeying through the jungle and crossing rivers, searching for her safety for a several months with a group of displaced people.  She was only two years old when rescued by one of Red Cross Relief squads.  These children are still far from happiness but seem to have no feeling of unhappiness.  They were enjoying life in their own ways.  I could not help exclaiming in my heart, "Hurray for the children!"

Children are to bear the future of the world on their shoulders.  I am anxious that we give them everlasting peace and pass on to them a world in which they will be able to make the most of with their ample energies.  Let's make Children's Day a chance to think sincerely about children in the whole world, as well as our own.