Reiwa 1: An Era of 'Beautiful Harmony' Has Begun

May 1st marks Crown Prince Naruhito’s ascension to the Japanese throne to become the 126th emperor of the world's oldest monarchy and the start of 令和 ("Reiwa"). The name for this new Reiwa era was announced on April 1st. The term Reiwa comes from Japan's oldest collection of poetry, dating from the eighth century, called the Manyōshū (“Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves”) …

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TASTING THE GOSPEL THROUGH TSUKUKDANI

At the mouth of the Sumida River on the edge of Tokyo Bay, we live on a famous island called Tsukuda. Tourists from around Japan often flood our area to taste its history. Around 400 years ago, fishermen on the island of Tsukuda in Osaka provided the famous shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa and his army with a large amount of fish. As a reward, Tokugawa invited these fisherman to move to Tokyo, where he ruled all of Japan, to supply the castle with fish …

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THE BROKEN LEAF

Something...somewhere...always needs fixing! Many things in our world need fixing. Our countries, neighborhoods, homes, bodies, and hearts all break.

I personally will always carry around the pain and suffering of the people I worked with after the 2011 Great Japan Earthquake. One woman told me (I never did find out her name) how she lost her whole family in the tsunami, including all three of her children, ages 8, 10, and 13, as they came home from school. “I’m so sorry,” I mumbled weakly. Why did she lose her family while mine lived? It all seemed so arbitrary …

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Arts, Missions, and the Alamo

Driving west as a family across the United States, we decided to visit The Alamo, one of America's most famous stories of courage in the face of impossible odds and certain death. Sam Houston called out "Remember the Alamo!" in a battle afterwards, which eventually led to the annexation of the state of Texas in exchange for the life of President General Santa Anna. The Alamo holds special fascination for me, because it is one of America's most famous examples of foreign missions …

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