Dr Hinohara Bench & Peace Pole

peace-pole-bench

Dr. Hinohara Bench and Peace Pole
Cooke Memorial Park
Cherry Street and Pilgrim Avenue

In 2007, when the fate of the Capt. William Whitfield house was uncertain, renowned Japanese physician Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara raised funds in Japan to purchase the house and renovate it.

At the time, Dr. Hinohara was 96 years old and still working at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke’s College of Nursing, where he had first begun his career 1941. In addition to his long medical career, he is the author of more than 150 books written since his 75th birthday, including “Living Long, Living Good,” which sold more than 1.2 million copies.

dr-hinoharaOn May 7, 2009, Dr. Hinohara, along with 100 Japanese dignitaries, visited Fairhaven for the dedication of the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship House. The house was donated to the Town of Fairhaven. A few years later, Dr. Hinohara donated a number of flowering cherry trees, which were planted at selected locations in Fairhaven and New Bedford, including at Cooke Park just down the street from the house where Manjiro Nakahama stayed with the Whitfield family.

On August 14, 2012, Dr. Hinohara visited Fairhaven again at the age of 100. At that time, the cherry trees at Cooke Park were dedicated. At the ceremony, Dr. Hinohara said, “. . . Japanese cherry trees were planted on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. exactly 100 years ago as a token of friendship between two great nations. In the same spirit, we are happy today to be able to plant 17 cherry trees at meaningful places in Fairhaven and New Bedford. I sincerely hope these cherry trees will grow strong and bloom beautifully and become constant reminders of the spirit of Captain Whitfield and Manjiro.”

dr-hinohara-on-bench

The Board of Selectmen then unveiled a stone bench installed to honor Dr. Hinohara’s generosity to Fairhaven. The bench, now located in a landscaped area between the John Cooke and Joshua Slocum monuments, affords a fine view of the harbor and the cherry trees. A Peace Pole stands near the bench with the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in four languages.

Dr. Hinohara died on July 18, 2017, at the age of 105.

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