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Ambassadors for Peace

Commemoration of Toyohiko Kagawa's Exemplary Life

Kobe, Japan - A memorial ceremony on the anniversary of Toyohiko Kagawa’s death was hosted by the Council for Ambassadors for Peace in Hyogo on April 23 in a venue in Kobe city. Nearly 40 Ambassadors for Peace in the Hyogo prefecture attended.

Toyohiko Kagawa (1888 – 1960) was born in Kobe, in the Hyogo prefecture. He practiced benevolence as a Christian social activist in the Taisho and Showa period, and he is remembered as the “Saint in the Slums,” perhaps more by people throughout the world than in Japan. Since Kagawa practiced voluntary service in the slums in Kobe for 14 years beginning in 1909, the memorial ceremony held 100 years after the beginning of that period of his life reviewed his selfless activities during his lifetime and to learn from his voluntary spirit.

Yasukazu Itaya, Co-chair of the Council for Ambassadors for Peace in Hyogo, gave an address on behalf of the host organization. “Kagawa was born here in Kobe, but he is known as “Kagawa of the world” not only in Japan but in the world. Many people have been influenced by his spirit and practice. Let us think back on his life course and work toward world peace by inheriting his spirit,” said Itaya. Then, the participants watched the movie “Crossing the Deathline,” which conveys Kagawa’s life course on the screen.

One of the participants commented on the significance of the occasion. “Because of his poor health, Kagawa was on the border of life and death so many times, yet he served throughout his lifetime with a pure spirit to live for the poor. I hope that we can inherit his spirit and further develop our work for world peace as Ambassadors for Peace.”

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