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GIA
2015.12.05 22:17

3826(I)_The Himawari Movement

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Let the flower of joy blossom!

By Mr. Mitsuhiro Tateishi


The Salesian Family in Japan set up the DB200 Commission in 2013 which became the nucleus in the preparation work to celebrate Don Bosco’s bicentenary with a united heart.


The sunflower, “himawari” in Japanese, was chosen as the symbol of DB200, being one of the popular flowers for all generations. With the slogan “Let the flower of joy blossom”, members of the Salesian Family nationwide were invited to grow the actual sunflowers.


In the DB200 Newsletter and DB200 Website, we published the invitation as follows:

    Why Himawari- Sunflower was chosen as the symbol of DB200?


  • Don Bosco’s birthday is 16 of August. The himawari reminds us of this summer season.
  • The bright yellow color of the himawari filling the garden reminds us of Don Bosco’s spirit of “joy” and “cheerfulness”.
  • The himawari which continuously turns towards the sun reminds of a person who always seeks God.
  • In the himawari, the first seed multiplies into countless seeds, which reminds us of how Don Bosco’s spirit has spread far and wide.
  • We usually see many himawari growing together which reminds us of the family spirit of the community of the Salesian Family.
  • Let’s grow the himawari.

  • Let’s grow the himawari in our communities, schools, parishes and share about DB200.
  • On 16 August 2015, we look forward to the bright color of the himawari filling our grounds, lifting up our festive spirit.

  • A sign explaining the meaning of this symbol could be set up:

    The Himawari to celebrate DB200

  • The Salesian Family of Japan is growing the himawari as the symbol of the celebration of the bicentenary of Don Bosco’s birth. Let us, like the himawari, journey together towards God, smiling and sharing joy of life with others.
  • To this invitation, there were responses from kindergartens, high-schools, past-pupils, religious communities and parishes from all over Japan together with photos or videos: “We planted seeds”, “It’s sprouting”, “Almost blossoming”, “Lot’s of sunflowers”, “We harvested seeds”. Not only living plants, but there were also artistic reproduction of the himawari that decorated the various events and commemorative masses during the jubilee year.

We would like to share one of the videos. YouTube: Seed sowing Josei Gakuen School (Osaka), 19 June 2014


At Josei Gakuen, on 19 June 2014, children representing the kindergarten, elementary school, junior and senior high-schools took part in the “Himawari seed sowing ceremony”. Since then, the children have been watering and taking care of the himawari. In the jubilee year, we would like our school to be filled with Don Bosco’s cheerfulness and joy which the sunflowers remind us of.


By the way, the seeds of these himawari were harvested in Arahama District of Miyagi Prefecture, one of the most devastated area, hit by the tsunami of the Great Earthquake of Eastern Japan in 2011. After the tsunami wiped away everything, some people planted sunflower seeds, thinking the flowers may bright up the spirit of the people. Br. Fukagawa who has been working in the stricken area since 2011, harvested and sent a box-full of the seeds of these sunflowers. The seeds were then distributed to the Salesian Family members who planted them, and when the flowers blossomed, seeds were again harvested ….. In this way, with each year, there were more and more himawari blossoming in the gardens of the Salesian Family.


The students of our schools, some SDBs, FMAs and SCGs still continue to visit and work as volunteers, supporting the victims in the afflicted area of north-eastern Japan. To grow sunflowers is also a way to remember and pray for the people who are still suffering from the consequences of the disaster and to relate with them.


[related links] DB200 website (SDB Japanese Province)

About the commemorative symbol “Himawari”





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