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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,

Shoko

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