Pope Francis is on his last day of visit to Japan, where he is seeing cities, celebrating Mass for different sectors, and meeting with the Japanese emperor and prime minister.
It is the first time since 1981 that a Pope visited Japan, which is why Japanese Catholics prepared a special gift for Pope Francis—a traditional Japanese coat called happi with an anime version of his face on the back! The coat was given to him by young participants when he visited the Cathedral of Holy Mary.
Words in both Japanese and Spanish are printed on the coat, with some saying ‘gratitude’, ‘may there be peace’, and ‘we are glad that you are the pope’, among others. Cherry blossoms were also present on the light blue-and-pink happi, as it is a symbol commonly associated with the land of the rising sun.
Pope Francis, known to be unconventional, had a smile on his face when he saw the oh-so-cute Japanese coat. He immediately tried it on and it fit perfectly on him––Lolo Kiko, in true Japanese style, looked very kawaii!
During his speech in Nagasaki, where the second atomic bomb was dropped in 1945, Pope Francis expressed his stand on nuclear weapons and said that possessing and making use of nuclear weapons is immoral. He explains that peace and stability will not be achieved if we continue this culture and fear of destruction, and “the threat of total annihilation”. He further explains that nuclear weapons give a “false sense of security.”
Nagasaki, together with Hiroshima, are the two Japanese cities bombed by the United States during the second world war in 1945. Tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians were killed during the two bombings and caused an increased number of survivors who developed cancer due to the large amounts of radiation they were exposed to.
Pope John Paul II also visited the two cities during his Japan visit in 1981.