|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957
During my first two visits of Japan in 1930 and 1949,
I did not find any vegetarians in this beautiful land of the Rising
Sun. Often in Buddhist monasteries and temples I had asked about their
way of living. I reminded them of Buddha who had loved and protected
the animals, who did not kill and devour them.
They replied : "We know that properly we should not eat meat. However, in Japan at least, we need fish and cannot do without it." Japan, an empire of many islands with high mountains, is very short of arable land. On every square-mile of agricultural soil about 3600 inhabitants have to live. Cattle means waste of food for men. But fishing in the ocean does not require soil. Therefore many Japanese think they could not feed the rapidly growing nation without fish.
On a recent visit I found many ardent and enthusiastic vegetarians. I shall give a short report of some of them and their addresses. I hope this can be of some help to readers and friends who wish to get in connection with the Far East.
Ohsawa : Turikazn Sakurnzawa, now better known by the name of George Ohsawa, was born on October 18th, 1893. An indefatigable worker for healthy living. In Japan thousands have become vegetarians through his work. For many years he also has worked in France and Europe. When I met him he intended to return to Europe again. The address of his movement is : Sinseikatu Kyokai 921 Nisihara, Sibuya, Tokyo, Japan.
Masakazu Tada is the founder and lender of a small vegetarian school of life It has the name: Hepato-Cepharic Medical College. Address : Soto Institute, 718 Dnisen Nirayama,mura, Tagata-gun, Shizuoka-Pref,, Japan, In 1953 he published in Japanese and English a small book : "The Reorganization of Man by Food and Sex."
Dr. Shinobu Tabata is president of the large Christian Doshivha University at Kyoto. He and his wife are ardent vegetarians. I was invited to give a lecture to professors of the university.
Dr. Sanchide Komaki, Kyoto College of Pharmacy, Yamasina, Kyoto, is a young scientist studying bacteria. He is very active for our vegetarian ideals.
Ohomi Gakmen. The school of weakminded children is a nice settlement on a hill on the river flowing from the big Lake Biwa near Kyoto to the Inland sea (formerly a vegetarian Holiday-camp). In 1946, Dr. Kazo Itoga took it over to be the place for his new school. Large fields or farming belong to it.
The school is owned by the State. The Government pays the Director, the nine teachers and a physician. Here is the home of ninety weak-minded and of sixty normal children; many of them are orphans. In this community they can grow up together, the stronger and the weaker ones and the teachers, like a big family. They apply music, singing, art, play and dance to develop soul and mind, and educate by happy experience.
Every teacher is head of a group of children living in the same house as a family, day and night. This is a very strenuous work. In all the year they have but two weeks of vacation. Teachers are idealists, vegetarians. The salary for one month is 12,000 Yen, this is equal to about 12 pound Sterling. Of course, they have room and board free.
The Government has consented that the food shall be strictly vegetarian. The school has its own agriculture and gardening and does it on biological lines. All excellent whole-wheat, bread is home-made. and whole-grain rice is used. Bread is not eaten much in Japan. Generally it is an inferior white bread of American style and spongy. The Ohmi Gakuen Colony does not use milk - it has no cattle. Soya-beans in many kinds of preparation procure a protein of high value. Six times a month the children have eggs.
I can see that Japan is in a transitional period. This has many different aspects, some good, some bad. I have found strong spiritual and religious movements inspiring millions of men and women for an honest, kind life and for peace. We can understand that Hiroshima and Nagasaki are against any kind of war. But on all these islands the longing for a happy future in peace and security is deeply rooted.
Leaders of great spiritual movements are: Yonosuke, Nakona, Annai-kyo, Shimizu City, Japan. Monthly paper in Japanese & English.
Yoriko Komaki - wife of Sanchide Komaki, one of Japan's outstanding vegetarian leaders.
"My great grandfather and great grandmother were life long vegetarians. They abstained from "YOTSUASHI" (meat-diet), She writes:
"Unfortunately I am not a life-long vegetarian. Under the influence of modern medicine I was once a meat-eater in my girlhood though I did not like a meat diet. After World War II I was fortunate enough to hear Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Oksawa lecture on Vegetarianism and became a vegetarian.
Soon after my conversion to the vegetarian way of life, I was proposed to by a vegetarian youth, a member of a noted family in Kyoto.
My husband and I believe that there will be peace on earth only when the people of World abstain from "YOTSUASHI" (A.V.H.).