On May 14-15, 2005, Falun Dafa practitioners from across Japan gathered in Nagoya to celebrate revered Master's birthday, the 13th anniversary of Falun Dafa's public introduction and the 6th annual World Falun Dafa Day. It also happened to be the 2005 World Expo held in Nagoya, and there were a lot of visitors from around the world and from throughout Japan. Local practitioners have been distributing Falun Gong truth-clarifying materials here since March, when the World Expo opened. On such a festive occasion, practitioners wanted to let the public know about Falun Dafa's public introduction and wide spread around the world, and to display the beauty of Falun Dafa, through holding a grand parade and a Falun Dafa concert.
|A concert held at the Youth Culture Centre in Nagoya to celebrate the 13th anniversary of Falun Dafa's introduction to the public|
|A grand celebration parade held in downtown Nagoya|
Early in the morning of May 14, practitioners, some who took all-night buses, arrived in Nagoya and went to the square in downtown Nagoya to display banners reading, "Celebrate World Falun Dafa Day," "Greetings, Master," "Falun Dafa is Good," "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance," and "Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice." They also demonstrated the five sets of Falun Gong exercises.
A press conference was held shortly after noon, in which practitioners discussed the history of how Falun Dafa was publicly introduced by the founder of Falun Gong, Mr. Li Hongzhi on May 13, 1992. In the 13 years since its introduction, Falun Gong has had a tremendously positive effect on healing illnesses and keeping fit. Falun Gong teaches the principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance," from person to person, heart to heart, and the number of practitioners has been constantly increasing. According to official statistics from China, in Mainland China, the number of practitioners in 1998 had reached 100 million. But in July 1999, former president Jiang Zemin began persecuting Falun Gong using various brutal means. Several years have passed, and the persecution is still going on. The number of practitioners who have been verified, through civil channels, to have been tortured to death is increasing. 2,234 Falun Gong practitioners have died as a result of the persecution, 6,000 have been illegally sentenced, more than 100,000 practitioners have been illegally sent to forced labour camps, and several thousand have been forced into mental hospitals to be devastated by unknown toxic drugs that damage the central nervous system. While being brutally persecuted in Mainland China, Falun Dafa has become popular in 78 other countries and regions throughout the world. Presently, during the World Expo being held in Aichi County, Japan, practitioners in Japan hope to convey the beauty of Falun Dafa to visitors from China and around the world through this two-day event.
|After the parade, practitioners had a photo taken and wished Master a Happy Birthday|
Later, practitioners began the two-hour celebration parade through downtown Nagoya. Practitioners held banners reading, "Celebrate World Falun Dafa Day," "Greetings, Master," "Falun Dafa is Good," "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance," "Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice," "The lawsuit against Jiang is the largest human rights lawsuit in the world," "Freedom of belief is the fundamental human right," and "Stop persecuting Falun Gong." There were also a group of practitioners dressed as "Celestial Maidens" who danced elegantly with coloured ribbons, a group of graceful ladies in Tang Dynasty Costumes, a group of practitioners holding flags, and a group of vigorous waist drummers. The procession was peaceful and harmonious as it moved forward slowly, attracting many people's attention. Many stopped to watch the parade, and many people accepted the Falun Gong practitioners' leaflets and read them carefully. Some people listened attentively to practitioners explaining the facts of the persecution of Falun Gong in China. Upon seeing the practitioners' beautiful dancing, people exclaimed, "They are like celestial maidens coming down to the earth." After the parade, practitioners had a group photo taken and wished Master a Happy Birthday.
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