Day 4: Walking in Father Moon’s Footsteps
The CARP Co-founder Pilgrimage
Today, the participants went on a pilgrimage to Waseda University. Retracing the footsteps Father Moon took during his years attending Waseda was eye-opening and moving for the members. They got to connect to Father’s heart during a painful time in his life and also saw the very places they had read about in his autobiography, A Peace-loving Global Citizen.
We visited the police station where Father Moon was questioned and tortured, the house where a Japanese elder couple took him in when he needed a place to stay and the very first church in Japan. Everyone was moved by Father’s love for Japan and the Japanese people despite the horrible treatment from the Japanese government during that time.
“It’s pretty cool that Father Moon went to this school and it’s still here and we could see where he was coming from. It’s inspiring how he went through so much and shared [how he overcame].” – Benjamin Lam“[The Pilgrimage] left a big impression on how Father left so many big things [starting from] 70 or 80 years ago. Looking at Totsuka Police Station, even though it’s an apartment building now, I felt all the hardships that Father went through.” – Akane Horii
To conclude the pilgrimage, we all gathered in front of the Okuma Hall to take a picture where Father Moon had taken his graduation picture many years ago.
Then some of us paired up with Japanese CARP members to walk through the campus and invite people to come to our special conference for intercultural exchange.
International Borderless Conference on Waseda University Campus
What a rare occasion to be able to have 120 students all the way from America to come to Japan! Fifteen students who had been invited earlier on campus came out to our event.
The room was filled with excitement as we formed mixed groups of Japanese and American students. After students introduced themselves in their groups, we heard four wonderful talks.
One Japanese student spoke about the beauty of Japan explaining that what makes Japan really cool is not just the very popular anime books and movies but also the honesty of the Japanese people. Japan is considered one of the safest countries in the world.
Then Jennifer Pierce gave a speech about America and reminded us that sometimes it’s not easy to see the good side of America while living in the country but that if we take the time to look to our roots and foundation, there is something very beautiful there. America was founded on the notion of putting God first and establishing an environment for people to really cherish freedom and equality based on Christianity.
We then heard two students talk about their dreams and aspirations. Koji from the University of Tokyo spoke about his dream to resolve energy issues in the world.
“If we can eradicate poverty, climate change and hunger by creating infinite sources of energy, we could bring world peace more quickly!”
Yasu then spoke about his dream.
“I want to make God’s dream my dream. I think God’s dream is world peace so my dream is also to create world peace! I also want to be the best father to my children and pass on a world that they deserve to live in.”
The event was truly historic for Waseda CARP.
“Actually, because of the atheistic environment in Japan, J-CARP was afraid to talk about God, Christianity, or religion, but our members proclaimed about God and His Will. Jennifer bravely stated that because of God’s Will, America was established, and that without God, America will not exist. Even for the personal dream, Yasutaka said that his dream was to make God’s Dream come true. They did not hesitate to talk about God’s Will. The leader of Waseda CARP said that it was first time CARP was able to use a classroom at Waseda because of CARP America. This was a great victory. Because of the event, the 15 guests are now interested in CARP and studying the Unification Principle!” – Naoko Hiraki
Following these testimonies, each student in their groups had a chance to write down their own dreams on a piece of paper. Then, each student shared what they wrote and each group member wrote them words of encouragement. After a lot of reflections, there were performances by both the Japanese and American students, concluding the event in laughter and joy.
Check out a Facebook Live video of the cultural performances on our Facebook page.
It was a meeting of friends and family beyond national borders. And we hope that this is the first of many more such events.
To end the day, we heard a testimony about Hyo Jin Nim (Father Moon’s eldest son who has passed away) from Mr. Harugai who served as the pianist in Hyo Jin Nim’s band for 15 years. He also played a piece for us and showed us a performance from his time with Hyo Jin Nim. After his talk, he personally pulled aside the musicians in the group and gave them personal words of encouragement and guidance.
Everyone was touched by the experience today that hopefully will lead to a deeper and greater heartistic connection to Father and Mother Moon and the Japanese culture now and in the future.