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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Japan's Sanctions Against North Korea Are Unfairly Targeted at Korean People in Japan

This article was written by Dr. Yasunori Takazane, Director of Oka Masaharu Memorial Peace Museum in Nagasaki, to criticize the Japanese Government's sanctions against DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) saying many of those are targeted against Koreans living in Japan who are not responsible for the nuclear and missile program or the abduction of Japanese citizens.

高 實 康 稔

① これまで半年ごとに延長してきた現行制裁の期間を1年に延ばす
② 北朝鮮への送金報告義務額を現行の3千万円超から1千万円超に引き下げ
③ 北朝鮮への渡航者が持ち出す際の届出額を現在の百万円超から30万円超に引き下げ





Saturday, April 18, 2009

Report on Eiji Yoshikawa's Public Lecture

On the last day of the easter weekend, the 13th of April, I participated in Eiji-san's public lecture held at Pearson college in Victoria.

I totally agree with Satoko-san's description about him as "selfless charisma". He is greatly passionate, dedicated, and warm-hearted person who can bring changes and shifts in our consciousness that Earth needs.

At the public lecture, he mainly talked about his experience as a boxing trainer of Iwao Otomo. The story of how Eiji-san and Otomo walked together the path toward the "world championship" was so uplifting and persuasive, which taught me(and all the people who were there, I believe) how beautiful our life can be if we hold on to our beliefs and dreams, no matter what happens and no matter how it seems to be impossible and difficult to achieve.

One of the most inspirational and moving scenes he depicted was when Otomo had a fight in Australia, the local people from Australia who were watching the game started to cheering him up even though Otomo is not from Australia. (I am not quite sure where it was, but if it's not Australia, please correct me.) He told us that he was very impressed and moved at the moment when he saw Australian people going beyond their identity/nationality and rooting for Otomo, a "Japanese" boxer. They saw Otomo simply as a boxer, a man, a person, instead of seeing him "Japanese" boxer or "Japanese".

Personally, whenever I come across the notion of identity politics, I have strong belief in the importance of "Going beyond our identity" to transform ourselves into more universal, loving, and caring beings. This is because, as we all know, it is impossible to create a "peaceful world" as long as we remain within the concept of identity, which is politically and socially imagined, created, and perpetuated based on our nationality,cultural and ethnic background, and so on. We must keep reminding us of that identity is just boundaries and borders that separate us from one another as "'the-we-who-want-to-change-the-world' cannot be defined" (Holloway, 2005: p62)

"Be the change you want to see in the world" (Gandhi aphorism)- it starts with people changing their individual behaviour. It is very important to speak out, extremely important, but if you are not doing what you are saying, but you're telling others to do it, there's a big disconnect. Therefore, what I and you, or "we", need to work on is "to be the change we want to see", as Eiji san and Satoko san are doing and showing to us.

"The important thing is not how long we live, but how we live it", Eiji-san urged us.

His powerful and inspirational speech has brought such a big and everlasting hope to us. Instead of wondering or doubting how much our power-to is influential, we should believe in our unlimited creativity and potential to change ourselves, society, and the world.

Love and Peace,


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Great food, engaged discussion and lasting friendship

Thank you everyone for making the last salon such a success! Special thanks to Eiji Yoshikawa. Eiji, I would call you a "selfless charisma." You are so inspiring, loving, engaged, determined, tough and gentle at the same time, and an amazingly down-to-earth, and humorous speaker! We were all inspired. Your stories and examples were convincing, especially those related to boxing, because you lived them, not just pulled them out of a book or something. I hope you will come back soon. Next time I will plan a bigger event with you. There were so many words that stood out for me, but if I say one thing.

"To help other people achieve their dream helps you achieve yours. That itself should not be a purpose, but that's the truth of life. "

What I loved about Saturday's salon is that the reflection of the salons were very nicely tied in with and segued into Eiji's talk. Everything was connected and integrated. The three students who came for the first time and Eiji, whom I even met for the first time that day seemed like they had been with us for the whole time!
We started the evening with a potluck party, with Arc's turkey as its highlight. Thanks all for bringing food and drinks! Then we had a discussion to reflect on the past salons - on Japan's Constitution, Senji Yamamoto, Hiroshima/Nagasaki, and Nanjing Massacre. We divided into small groups, each of which focused on one of the topics. The last but not the least event of the evening was Shoko's special coconut cheesecake (I don't know if it's the right name but I loved the coconuts in it!)
Thanks so much,

Here are participants' comments:



"Thank your for the special guest, Eiji Yoshikawa. His personality, words, and activities are all inspiring (he is interesting and funny, too;) I am lucky to meet him.

After the session was finished, we were eating and chatting in a small group. Eiji and I were talking about his experience.And another person joined us. Some people eventually came close to him. And then, all participants surrounded him. It embodied the salon: no exam, no homework - study spontaneously. It was a wonderful moment.

Once again, thank you very much for your dedicated work and positive energy. I am thinking of what is important in my life and what I can do in the rest of my life. "


"I want to say thank you to Eiji san. Your talking is very inspiring and interesting. I hope I could have a chance to talk to you more, unfortunately the evil exams occupied me. I felt I used t have big problems with confidence. I remember Satoko san once told me that “you use the word ‘worry’ too much, you should have more confidence.”, then I said, “But I worry that people will think me as an arrogant guy.” Thanks to the help of these friends, now I’m learning how to find the good balance between being modest and being confident. Talking about being courageous and confident, I think my practice of Kendo also helped me a lot. Eiji san, next time let’s talk some about martial arts!

The next is a message to Rits friends (and also might be a late response to Hiroshi’s comment): I remember on Saturday we talked about this: politics is too complicated. We often get overwhelmed by huge amount of information--maybe we could never know the truth. I totally agree--but there is one truth does exist. I might not sure about what are the politicians are doing, but I’m sure about my own will--it is a will that wishes our friendship could last forever, a will of future peace and love. At least I’m sure this part is true. Based on this truth I have, I can pickup certain information I think works with this truth and drop certain information I think will not help this thinking. Thus I think the complexity of “facts” actually is not a problem.

Sorry, looks like I’m still in the discussion mode. It is too sad to say good bye, but I’m sure that we are chasing our dreams, moving to a beautiful future, thus a temporaryseparation is fine. And this is not a farewell, we will see each other, I mean, not only this summer Hiroshima Program but also in a further future, we will see each other in a big big stage. Please don’t forget to tap my shoulder at that time!

次のメッセージは立命館の友たちのために:土曜日に、私たちは、政治の事はとても複雑だから,たぶん本当の真実が分かることはできませんと言いました。私はこれを同意する、でも、私も、本当の真実はひとつあると思います。政治のこと、私は知りません、でも、自分のことはわかります。私は本当の友情がほしい、平和な未来がほしい、これは確認できるの真実だとおもいます。この真実のよって、役に立つ情報を聞きで、役に立たない情報は捨てて、問題がありませんとおもいます。 すみません、私はまだディスカッション・モードにいます。 みんながもうすぐ日本へ帰ります、それを思った時は少し悲しくなった。でも、みんなは美しい未来や、明るい夢を追って、いまの別れは大丈夫だと思います。これがさよならじゃない、未来で再会があると信じます。この夏の広島プログラムに、そして、長い後の未来で、とっても大きい舞台の中に、再会をします。私はそう信じます。"
Taro Whitred:

"Yesterday's salon was so excited and I don't know where to start my report of it, but first of all I want to thank everyone, including Satoko-san, Mr.Eiji, and of course all of the participants. We could make this wonderful event not only because of one person's effort, but because of everyone's.

サロン参加者の夢はそれぞれなんだけれど、皆のなにかここで得よ うと一緒になって真剣に取り組む姿には大きな勇気とエネルギーを もらいました。ディスカッションの場を設けられると、既に一度 やったことのあるトピックにもかかわらず、みんなが本気で問題点 や解決策を考え合います。いつも参加していて素晴らしいなと思う ことは、全員が自分の意見をまっすぐに言うこと。でもそれ以上に 人の意見にもしっかり耳を傾け、もし自分の意見に見直すところが あれば改善していくという柔軟性を持っているところです。ただ違 う意見同士ぶつかり合っていては何も生まれないし、話を前に進め ることも大変です。このサロンの仲間達はきっと"平 和"という共通の思いや願いがあるために、お互いを尊重し合 うやりとりが出来るのだなと心から感じました。

特に今回は、英治さんという特別ゲストを迎えてのサロンでした。 ガンディーの格言に"Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever"というものがあります。これは常に自分に言 い聞かせている言葉なのですが、英治さんはまるでこの言葉のとお り生きている人間だと感じました。「リングの上の3分も人生の1 00年も同じ、いつもベストを尽くさなくてはいけない」と英治さ んは言います。本当にその通りです。ただそれを分かっていても実 際に行動できない人がほとんどで、だからこそ英治さんは輝いて見 えました。歴史をみると、いつも正義が叩かれている。今もまだそ んな世の中だと思います。だけれど、最後の最後に勝つのはやはり 正義であると私は信じています。一人一人が協力し合い少しずつ大 きなものにしていけば、ひと一人はもちろん、世界だって変えてい けるはずです。英治さんにもらったパワーを決して無駄なものにせ ず、世の為になる力へと変えて行きましょう!英治さん、昨日は本 当にありがとうございました!” ウイットレッド太朗

Walter M.:


Junghoon Kim:



Wataru K. :

"I was glad to experience such a great debate with members. To me, it's the first time but we, three new members could share our opinions with original members easily and freely. The debate in the last salon was composed of every participants' serious and sincere thoughts. We expressed constructive opinions with each other, and the debate grew bigger and wider, including a variety of topics like politics, history, media, or education.

The special guest, Eiji-san is, I think, a very "isagiyoi" person (manly,coherent person who does right things straightforwardly every time.). The coherence of what he thinks and does made me think that he is like a"Bushi", or Japanese "Samurai". And I was surprised that everyone was impressed by his remarks very much like me."

Tatsu Y.
このサロンでのディスカッションや勉強は、私の留学生活の中で1番勉強になったといえるくらい大きなものでした。「平和」という大きくて実現することが難しいテーマについて、こんなに現実的に考えられたことがとても良かったです。そして、カナダに住んでいる皆さんの、日本を客観的に見る姿勢がとても印象的で、なんて自分の視野は狭かったんだろうと思うことができました。また、最後のサロンで英治さんという素晴らしい方に出会えて本当に良かったです。特に私は「人生は長さではなく、どう生きたかが重要」というのと、「Don't think, Just do it!!」という言葉が印象に残っています。この言葉を胸に、日本に帰ってもぶれることなく頑張ろうと思います。8月の広島長崎でまた勉強できるといいです。
Thank you very much everyone. I look forward to your comments.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Frontline For Peace Vancouver Presents Film "Travelling for Gratitude"

Frontline for Peace Vancouver


Chikyu no Stage – Arigato no Monogatari
(Frontline for Peace – Traveling for Gratitude)

100-Minute documentary Film, Directed by Iichiro Sato
English Subtitles

Sunday, May 24, 2009, 1:00-3:00 PM
Doors Open at 12:30 p.m.
Nikkei Heritage Centre
6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby, BC

Frontline for Peace Vancouver will host the showing of the documentary on Sunday, May 24, 2009, at the Nikkei Heritage Centre, 6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby, BC. The film tells the story of Dr. Norihiko Kuwayama, founder of international non-profit organization, Frontline for Peace, which provides medical relief in areas of conflict and poverty around the world. Former director for NHK Iichiro Sato traveled with Dr. Kuwayama to film his work and provide a vivid account of the effects of war and poverty on men, women and children. Parental guidance is recommended for young children. The film has been well received in Japan.

Chikyu no Stage – Arigato no Monogatari seeks to foster mutual understanding and to help inform audiences of ways to actively support the relief work of Dr. Kuwayama. The film challenges viewers to ponder the true meaning of happiness.

Frontline for Peace Vancouver has organized to support Dr. Kuwayama’s activities and to fundraise for future live performances in Canada.

In Advance Adults $10.00 Children $5.00
Via email:
Via telephone: 604-723-1649 (10:00 AM-5:00 PM)

At the Entrance Adults $12.00 Children $6.00
* Peace Philosophy Centre is a supporting organization for this event.
* See here for Japanese version.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Quilting, Love, and Forgiveness

Look at this beautiful collection of 9-patches. The White Rock Group of Peace Philosophy
Centre took the initiative in this Quilting for Peace project, and Kyoko-san is going to put together all these pieces for us. The number "9" symbolizes Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which renounces war and prohibits possession of armed forces. Many of these pieces were contributed by members of Vancouver Save Article 9, Clover Group, and exchange students from Ritsumeikan University. Thank you so much to all who made this happen for us and we really look forward to the final product... again, thank you Kyoko-san.

Last Saturday we watched the documentary film "The Power of Forgiveness." It was an inspiring film that provoked many emotions and thoughts in all who watched it. How do we forgive the unforgivable? How do we accept the most unacceptable? How do we forgive ourselves? Can we achieve justice and forgiveness at the same time? Is forgiveness a proactive decision, or something that just happens when the right timing comes? Elie Wiesel, the author and a Holocaust survivor talks about the Jewish way of forgiving. There are two ways of forgiveness - one that God can give, and one that humans give. When you hurt someone, you can only be forgiven by that person. You ask forgiveness for three times, and if forgiveness is not granted, then the blame will be on the other person. Too often we try to make up for the damage that we cause, but we don't actually ask for forgiveness. Elie Wiesel suggests that it is about time that Germany asked Jewish people for forgiveness. Asking forgiveness takes a lot of courage, maybe more courage than admitting and compensating for the damage itself. It makes you vulnerable. It is a total surrender. You surrender yourself to the person you have hurt. Yet it can potentially empower and heal the both sides.

I am sorry. Please forgive me.

What would the world look like if these words are said without hesitation, and with utmost sincerity where they are most needed?

And it all starts with me.

Love and peace, beyond all understanding,


Peace Philosophy Salon Spring Wrap-up and Social

Peace Philosophy Salon - Spring Wrap-up and Social

6 PM - 9PM, Saturday April 11th

At Peace Philosophy Centre (email for direction)

***Please bring food, snacks, and/or drinks to share***

With special guest Mr. Eiji Yoshikawa, a boxer and peace educator from Japan

RSVP by Friday, April 10th

This Salon will be the last one for Ritsumeikan students, as they will be leaving mid to late April.

This Salon will take a different format from the past ones.

The purposes of this time are:
1) To reflect and debrief on the series of the past Salons this winter
2) To wish a loving farewell to Ritsumeikan students
3) To welcome our special guest Eiji, who is visiting from Japan to give talks at schools in Canada 4) Above all, to get together and have fun!

* We chose not to introduce a new material for this last Salon of the spring, because we have covered some heavy materials and this is a good opportunity to reflect on them and summarize, and share what we have learnt and got out of the past salons.

* Please think about these questions before you come.
A) Do you have any specific reflections, comments, and questions from the past salons that you attended - Japanese Constitution, Senji Yamamoto, Hiroshima/Nagasaki, and Nanjing Massacre?

B) If you have attended more than one session, what do you think are the connections between the different topics that we covered?

C) How do you see the connection between these salons and your future activities - school, work, personal life, etc?

Please don't miss this last opportunity to get together before everyone leaves for their summer activities.

I look forward to seeing many of you!!!


Satoko and Arc
Peace Philosophy Centre