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.
New Zealand's peace bell came about due to the initiative of one Mr Roy Sinclair. Enchanted by the story of Mr Nakagawa, Roy started his own local chapter of the association(external link) here in Christchurch.
Roy helped to raise awareness of the World Peace Bell Association by cycling the length of Japan, an incredible 3,500km.