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Meeting with Peace Activist Narumi Tomida

When: Saturday, September 6, 2014, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Where: House of Peace • 1 High St • Ipswich
Carrie and John Schuchardt, directors of The House of Peace, extend this invitation to you:
 
MEET WITH PEACE ACTIVIST 
NARUMI TOMIDA
OF KYOTO, JAPAN

Below is a photo of Narumi with her "first American  Friend"
Fr. Bob Cushing of Georgia, USA
Her partner (unnamed) is standing behind her.

Beneath the photo is her self-introduction to you. 
 

My name is Narumi Tomida, and I was born in 1965 in Japan.  Now, I am working as a part-time teacher of Japanese literature at a few universities in Kyoto and Osaka.  And, as a peace activist, I am a member of Kyoto Religious Conference for Peace (KRCP) and Kyoto & Shiga Christians Peace Association (KSCPA).  In the former one, I am working as a member of its secretariat and Japan's board of directors, as KRCP is one of local organizations of Japan Religious Council for Peace.  In the latter, I am working as a chief of its secretariat, and also a member of the secretariat of Japan Christians Peace Association.  Although the latter is the organization by Christians only, the former is composed by the religious of various religions, for example Buddhism, Christianity, Japanese-Shinto, and some new
Japanese original religions (Tenri-kyo, etc).
 
My two religious organizations mainly work for abolition of nukes (nuclear weapons and nuclear generation both), maintaining Article 9 (the peace clause of the Constitution of Japan), protecting human rights, protesting against any wars and any oppressions caused by unequalness of system in societies and countries, and supporting Fukushima people, etc.  In May of 2010, when the NPT Review Conference was held in NYC, we sent a delegation and joined in the International gathering for praying peace (I forgot its formal English name) in NU Church Center.  I also joined in this delegation.  In October, 2012, JRCP held an international peace conference in Tokyo for their 50th annual memorial.  At that time, I worked as a member of committee, especially for supporting a foreign guest, because my first American friend, Fr. Bob Cushing, was invited to this event as one of guests.
 
Personally, I started my peace activities in my university, when I entered it in Kyoto in 1984.  But, spending some years, I had a big doubt about my fellow students' peace activities, because many of them postponed their study as students to their peace & political activities.  As I wanted to study enough to go to a graduated school to be a scholar of Japanese literature, gradually I had left their activities.  In another hand, in such days, I knew Christ and was baptized in 2003.   It had passed 8 years since I finished my graduated school and got part-time jobs at some universities.
 
After two years, in 2005, I was invited to a peace activity by a member of my church.  It was  my re-start as a peace activist and new start as a Christian peace activist.  I became a member of  KRCP in May and was sent to Nagasaki in August to take part in a world conference against A&H bombs.  It was a big turning point for me.  In Nagasaki, on the night of Aug 8, I saw an American Catholic priest who apologized to Japanese for dropping A-bombs. An American apologized for A-bomb droppings!?  This fact was the biggest shock in my life.
 
After 6 month, a Japanese newspaper reported about his apology.  I noticed soon that he was the person whom I saw in Nagasaki, and sent my first e-mail to him with my apology for that I felt an uncomfortable feeling against his apology.  This priest was Fr. Bob Cushing in GA.  Immediately, he responded to me, and from that time, our communication via internet started.  It was September of 2006 and it continues still now.
 
My meeting Fr. Bob was a great epoch for my peacemaking.  Through him, directly and indirectly, I was given many American peace friends. These meetings broaden my world and give me many new visions for concrete activities of peacemaking and for more peaceful world, and above all, it gives me strong solidarity with these foreign friends
and a firm confidence that peacemaking is a treasure from God to me.  So, I always thank God for His gift to me.
 
Thank you so much for your reading although written in my poor English.

Narumi Tomida 

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