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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Salon This Week: Senji Yamamoto

This week we will focus on Senji Yamamoto(1889-1929), this progressive politician,labour activist, and biologist who opposed the Peace Preservation Law and was assassinated by an extreme right-winger in 1929. The notorious Peace Preservation Law enabled imprisonment and torture of thousands of progressive scholars, activists and journalists from 1925 to 1945. Yamamoto was from Kyoto and spent five years in Vancouver, out of his short 39 years of life. He is still regarded by a hero by many progressive people in Japan. March 5 this year will be the 80th anniversary of Yamamoto's death.

Time: 7:00 PM - whenever the discussion ends.

You are welcome to join us for sushi starting at 6 PM.

Date: Saturday, February 28, 2009

Place: Peace Philosophy Centre (email for direction) in the heart of Vancouver, BC, Canada

RSVP: by morning of February 28. For those who are coming early for sushi, let us know by Friday February 27.

We look forward to another evening of mutual learning, sharing, and lots of fun!

Lots of love,


Feb 21 Salon on Japan's Constitution - Comments by Participants

The Peace Philosophy Salon on February 21, on the birth of Japan's Constitution was a great success. We had 14 people - students and professionals, and with Chinese, Korean, American and Japanese cultural backgrounds. Our discussion topics included Article 9, Self Defense Force, the constitutional revision debate, national referendum, happiness, "Power Over" versus "Power To," nationalism and patriotism in education. Here are excerpts from the comments from some of the participants.

"The meeting was very informative for me. I am surprised that the Article 9 doesn't say "in any circumstances" but "preceding paragraph" as we discussed. Still, I believe Japan should never lose it. " H. T.

Following are in comments in Japanese, followed by simple translation.

私もそう思ったこともありました。でも、日本国憲法誕生のDocumentaryを見て、それを作った人たちがどんな思いで、どんな願いを込めて作ったものかわかる事ができました。憲法9条は戦争に勝った国たちの都合のいい、日本を操るためのものではなく、ただ平和で、幸せに暮らしたい、9条の会で合った皆さんのような人たちを守るための物であることがちゃんと分かりました。 Kim Junghoon
(I used to think Article 9 was given to the defeated by the victors. Seeing this documentary, I now know what thoughts and wishes those people had in drafting the Constitution. Article 9 was not for controlling Japan, but it is for protecting people's peace and happiness.)

・・・国民投票法により、憲法の改正が国民に委ねられてしまったことが非常に危険なことだと改めて感じました。私の個人的な意見ですが、日本人は他の国に比べて政治的関心が低く、憲法改正についても知識のない人が多いと思うので、そんな国民のことをわかりながら政府は民主主義をよそおい、国民を利用して改憲しようとしているのではないかなぁと感じました。 M. F.
(I think the government is trying to take advantage of the Japanese people, who are generally apathetic to politics, by passing the national referendum law and leading to a constitutional revision.)

・・・ドキュメンタリーの中でベアテさんが女性の人権のところへ来たときに日本側のスタッフが「これは日本の文化ではない、合わないので削除してほしい」と言った言葉が衝撃的でした。たったの60数年前の日本はこうだったのですね。 Y.B.
(I was shocked to know that the Japanese government officials, in discussing the clause on equal rights for women and men, resisted by saying that the clause did not suit the Japanese culture and it should be removed. This was Japan, only 60 years ago. )

・・・勉強することであれだけ楽しかったのは久しぶりというぐらいすごく充実した時間が過ごせました。自分の心の中のどこかで平和に関する何かに従事していたいという気持ちがまた強くなりました。ディスカッションがあれだけ盛り上がるのは日本ではあまりないので、その点でも新鮮な感じがして良かったです。 T.Y.
(I had not had such joy of learning for a long time. I want to act for peace. Such engagement in discussion does not happen so often in Japan, so the whole experience was refreshing. )

・・・今回見たビデオは、日本国憲法の誕生の多重なプロセスをわかりやすく紹介していて、かつ、「憲法誕生という歴史」の解釈、構築のされかたなども考えさせられました。今後の憲法に関するディスカッションにも役に立つ重要な点を提供していたと思います。憲法9条の会のマサさん、ピースフィロソフィーの聡子さん、の豊富な知識や分析やコメントがとても勉強になりましたし、20代の参加者のみなさんの真摯でまっすぐに社会と人間を見つめる姿勢はこれからも大事にしていってほしいと思いました。 N.T.
(The documentary introduced the multiple layers of the process in the birth of the Japanese Constitution. I learnt from knowledge and analysis of Masa (Vancouver Save Article 9) and Satoko (Peace Philosophy Centre). I was impressed with the young participants' genuine interests in society and humanity.)

Thank you all and I look forward to seeing all of you again in the next event!



Thursday, February 19, 2009

White Rock Meeting Report

This is a report of the February 14 meeting in White Rock, by Kyoko.

We had 13 participants on the Valentine Day - thank you! We together made 16 "9-patches" for creating one large quilt for peace.

Special thanks to the 3 men who participated in this event, and

Special thanks to Mihoko, who shared her experience of living and volunteering in Jordan.

Take care,


ホワイトロック・2月の会 ご報告











Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Salon This Week: the Constitution of Japan

This Saturday's Peace Philosophy Salon will be about the Constitution of Japan - we will use a video program to learn about multiple organizations and individuals that contributed to the birth of the current Constitution of Japan in 1946, which includes the war-renouncing Article 9, acquired after the hard lesson of a devastating defeat and millions of lives lost in the wars of Asia Pacific. We will have Masa Kagami, a co-chair of Vancouver Save Article 9 with us. This event will be held primarily in Japanese. English speakers are more than welcome and translation will be provided.

Time: 7:30 PM - whenever the discussion ends.
You are welcome to join us for pizza starting at 6 PM.

Date: Saturday, February 21, 2009

Place: Peace Philosophy Centre (email for direction) in the heart of Vancouver, BC, Canada

RSVP: by morning of February 21. For those who are coming early for pizza, let us know by Friday February 20.

We look forward to this special evening of mutual learning and sharing.

Peace and love, forever,


Sunday, February 08, 2009

White Rock Meeting February 2009

Scroll down for an English summary of this meeting.



場所:  White Rock (詳しくはemail )

日時:  2月14日 (土曜日) 1時30分

内容:  平和をつなぐキルト作り

平和をつなぐキルトは 日本からの日高さんの応援もあり 少しづつですが 集まっています。 でも やはり 作り方がもう一つわかりにくいとか みんなで集まって作れたらいいのにというお話がありました。 一人で針を持つよりも 皆でおしゃべりをしながら作ったら もっと楽しいし、いつもの勉強会とは 少し違った趣向の会もいいのではということになりました。

また 立命館からVisiting StudentとしてUBCにいらしている山本美穂子さんが 今回、参加してくれます。 彼女は NGOのボランティアとして数年前に行ったヨルダンが大好きになり もう なんども 出かけているとか。 ヨルダンでの生活、たくさんの経験話も キルトの針を運びながら 聞きたいと思っています。 裁縫道具、キルトの生地は こちらでも 支度しますが、思い出のある子供服の生地、ダンスのすみに寄せられたあまり布など ありましたら、お持ちください。 たくさんの方々の参加をお待ちしています。


February Meeting in White Rock

"Quilting for Peace"

Would you like to participate in the "Quilting for Peace?" You don't need to be able to quilt. I am hopeless in sewing, but even I could do it. All you need to do is to sew 9 patches of cloth together. Why 9? Easy to guess. It is for the Article 9. On Saturday February 14th, we will get together in White Rock and do quilting together and talk about peace. We don't just talk about peace. The process of getting together on the Valentines Day and guilting "9 patches" itself is peace. This time we will welcome Mihoko Yamamoto, a UBC exchange student from Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto, Japan) to join us and talk about her volunteering experience in Jordan. Jordan? What do we know about Jordan? Do not miss this opportunity. Please bring pieces of cloth - old children's clothes, clothes you don't wear any more, etc. And there is no room for sexism in this event. Men and women are all welcome.

Date and Time:

1:30 PM -

Saturday, February 14th


White Rock (direction will be given to participants), BC, Canada


Mariko Yamamoto, organizer and host

(English summary by Satoko Norimatsu)

My article in Geppo/Bulletin January 2009

My article on the play "NABI/Comfort Women" was published in the January edition of Geppo/Bulletin.



An Update from Peace Philosophy Centre

Hello all,

I have been quiet since my Happy New Year message, and for those of you who know how crazily active I have been for the last four or five years, you may be wondering what's been going on. From February I will organize smaller-scale events for Peace Philosophy Centre and will organize larger events primarily with Vancouver Save Article 9. I will upload 2009 schedule of events soon too.

With all the best wishes for peace and happiness,