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Tuesday, April 14, 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.

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