A Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa; a monument to inspire peace, designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds, and to help unite them in their search for world peace. Most peace pagodas built since World War II have been built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii (1885–1985), a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan-Myōhōji Buddhist Order. Fujii was greatly inspired by his meeting with Mahatma Gandhi in 1931 and decided to devote his life to promoting non-violence. In 1947, he began constructing Peace Pagodas as shrines to world peace. The first was inaugurated at Kumamoto in 1954.
A stupa is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics that is used as a place of meditation.
A related architectural term is a chaitya, which is a prayer hall or temple containing a stupa.
In Buddhism, circumambulation or pradakhshina has been an important ritual and devotional practice since the earliest times, and stupas always have a pradakhshina path around them.
According to Buddhist tradition, Emperor Ashoka (rule: 273—232 BCE) recovered the relics of the Buddha .