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Impatiens balsamina (Garden balsam, Rose balsam [a type of impatiens])

Yoshio SHIRAKAWA text

Title: Impatiens balsamina (Garden balsam, Rose balsam [a type of impatiens])

In memory of the Koreans who were brought from the Korean peninsula to work on the construction of the Matsushiro Daihonei underground shelter (Zouzan Underground Imperial Headquarters), and for the repose of their souls, Impatiens balsamina, the flower of the Korean people, are being placed on the grounds and at the future site of the Peace Memorial Hall.
Each of the flower pots is planted with two Impatiens balsamina, representing yin and yang. In the center there is an S-shaped partition of tin plate, representing the configuration of the Korean flag.
Three years ago, an installation using Impatiens balsamina was exhibited at the Matsushiro Bunbu Gakkou (Old School for the Literary and Military Arts). Now, the Impatiens balsamina are being placed on the meeting grounds, and on the future site of the Peace Memorial Hall. In the future, I would like to work towards developing the creation of flower beds.
Never forgetting the links between Japan and Korea during the 2nd World War and the era of colonization, I hope we can change the anguish and despair of these memories into something that will give rise to understanding as we look to the future.
Working in cooperation with Mr. and Mrs. Shimizu, farmers following natural farming methods, we have raised the Impatiens balsamina that will be used in the exhibit. In Gunma, too, the problem of people brought from Korea to be forced laborers during the war remains a problem today. An atomic energy research center has been built near the Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, and on the remains of an army munitions warehouse and factory, a Korean memorial monument has been erected.

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