In the aftermath of the Second World War the former mayor of Shikoku, Chiyoji Nakagawa, presented the United Nations with a token of peace in the form of a large bell reminiscent of those seen in large temples throughout Japan.
The bell was cast from coins donated by UN member countries, symbolic of the world being one. The bell was unveiled in 1954 at the UN headquarters in New York and represents everlasting world peace and a world free from nuclear war.
In 1982, the World Peace Bell Association was formed to continue Mr Nakagawa's goal of promoting world peace with the installation of replica peace bells all over the world.
In 2002 Christchurch was declared the first Peace City in New Zealand. A Peace Bell was gifted to the city by the World Peace Bell Association in Japan.