Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life 1995

Vol. 1 News Letter


Objectives of "Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life"

Message of Rev.Gyoushu Sasamori

Massage to the Assembly of Auschwitz. Fr.Shigeto Oshida

Message of Dr.Paula Green



Guidance of "Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life".

Objectives of "Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life"

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II next year, the Japanese Buddhist order of Nipponzan Myohoji is planning an eight-month long "Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life" from Europe to Asia. This journey will be a visible aspect of international movement of nonviolence. All who can accept the principles of tolerance and nonviolence will be welcomed, whatever their faith ,ideology or philosophy of life.

In 1991-92,Nipponzan Myohoji organized a 7,500 kilometer walk from Panama to Washington, D.C., on the occasion of the five hundredth anniversary of the arrival of Columbus on the American continent. That pilgrimage was undertaken in solidarity with the many indigenous peoples and others who have suffered under colonialistic domination ever since that event. Participation was a way of lending an ear to those peoples, to learn from them and help deliver their message to others throughout the world. In 1993,the order organized a pilgrimage from Sri Lanka to South India, through regions torn by internal conflict, inviting Hindus, Buddhists and Christians alike to join in our appeal for an end to the fighting, for reconciliation between peoples and for religious tolerance.

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, a pilgrimage consisting of four different routes has been decided upon .It will take participants across several former battlegrounds, regions in which wars now rage and others which may very well become battlegrounds in the near future. Our place of departure is Auschwitz in Poland and our final destinations are Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.(For details, please see the separate page on. the routes.)

As the end of the century approaches, the world continues to be plagued by wars and ethnic conflicts that are turning citizens into refugees in increasing numbers. Economic advances coexist with ancient patterns of exploitation and oppression, high levels of technology with environmental destruction and chronic famine. As we visit the sites of terrible devastation of the last world war ,we will offer prayers that the lessons of history be put to practice and that the twenty-first century open to a new era of hope.

As Japanese, we have a special responsibility to reflect on the long years of Japanese aggression against the people's of Asia that ended 50 years ago. It is up to us interpret the significance of present-day problems in the light of that aggression. We believe in the positive power of self-reflection.

The awakening of our own consciences can help to awaken the consciences of other peoples as well. It is our hope that this pilgrimage will help forge international ties and mutual understanding between individuals and organizations working for the cause of peace.

In order to convey relevant information and lessons learned and to widen the circle of influence of the pilgrimage, we will issue a monthly newsletter during the time it taken place ,Please send us your views concerning this pilgrimage. And please lend us your strength and cooperation in whatever way you may see fit.

Message of Rev. Gyoushu Sasamori


With the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II next year, we now stand at a great turning point of history.

As Japanese, we must humbly look back upon the deplorable war of aggression and pledge never again to repeat such a criminal act. The Japanese government has for a long time neglected war responsibilities. We should ensure that it issues a statement of apology for world War II and declare both in Japan and abroad never to wage war again. I believe this is the way towards true reconciliation with the people of Asia and other parts of the world which suffered from the Japanese invasion.

For I believe that if we face the painful facts of history unflinchingly and convey the lessons drawn from them to future generations, we will be able to bring peace to the souls of those who died in anguish at times of war, in the hope that through the loss of their precious lives we can establish new values today and in the future.

"Civilization is not a matter of having electric lights, nor flying by airplanes, nor making atomic bombs. Civilization means not killing human beings, not destroying things, not waging war, but instead respecting each other. - Nipponzan Myohoji, the Most Venerable Nichidatsu Fujii."

The Nipponzan Myohoji (Buddhist Order in Japan)

Massage to the Assembly of Auschwitz.
Fr. Shigeto Oshida

About three years ago I was called to Germany by Frau Vera von Trott when she was dying, the foundries of the community of Imshausen which was born during the 2nd World War, and with which I have been in contact since several years, the sister of Adam von Trott, leader of the hidden movement to remove the Evil Activities of that time under the direction of Hitler. Each time I go there I visit the cross of Adam von Trott; of whose hones no one knows where it was put. I cannot be indifferent to this group of resistance. Under that regime it was impossible to work from person to person in the real personal confidence. This movement seemed to have succeeded until before the last moment. It reached to the glosest general of Hitler. But at the very last moment all the efforts crushed down. This general was in the car, just behind Hitler. He wanted to pick up a pistol in his pocket, but his hand was trembling, and Hitler turned his face suddenly toward the window, felt what was going on; everything was revealed.

Before the cross of Adam I reflected always about the lack of something. If they had adopted the "Non-Violence", what kind of movement would have come out from the group, no one know. But in our case it should be the only way.

We are how in the similar situation as in the time before the 2nd World War - the active, good organizations are always checked; the people are easily manipulated by the false information through mass media; the illusionary ambitions of some political, military powers are prevailing, etc.

The more what is called modern civilization approaches to its end, the more the evilness of its activities becomes deeper and the scale of operations larger.

This process has been tasted at first in the science itself of the west. Scientists seeked in the beginning the encounter with the mystery of beings. Accumulating the so-called discoveries, arrogance has become greater. And when the atomic science started, the scientists had sunk already in the complete illusion.

In the assembly of spiritual leaders 13 years ago at Takamori Soan of Japan, Black Elk, leader of American Indian Tribe, said like this; to understand atom, one should know what is beyond atom. If one does not know it, one does not know atom."

One of the saddest thing of this generation is that the authorities lack the content of authority, inspite of the immense possibility of evilness in this world. One of the little example of that is seen also in the international nuclear investigation, for example. This kind of investigation should be done at first by the people of any country toward the countries which have already many nuclear installations. Not by the countries which have them already toward the people who has not get them.

No objective judgment and no sense of law in this world.

We should row our hoat into the depth of Reality, together with, beyond religion, culture, border, social status, profession. New horizon would start only from there.

So also I demand the concrete realization or personal relations of the important persons of good consciousness and good judgment, beyond religion, border, and professions, to create some authorities which have their content - World Court of International Criminals, including war criminals and financial, - or International Nuclear Investigation Society, - or World Council about Urgent Situations, etc., for example. All the existent organizations should agree with these realizations.

One should never continue to be manipulated by the evil, false authorities in this very crisis of the history.

(Father of Catholic Order at Takamoro Soan in Japan)

Message of Dr. Paula Green

Convocation at Auschwitz December 4-8,1994

"Auschwitz, like Hiroshima ,is a place of Pilgrimage.
Between the years 1941-1945,an estimated 2 million people were murdered at Auschwitz. Ninety percent of them were Jews from moat of the countries in Europe ,shipped to Auschwitz in cattle care to die in the gas ovens. Auschwitz and Hiroshima symbolize for our own time the limitless human potential for depravity and destruction.

Nipponzan Myohoji selected Auschwitz as the venue for the inaugural event of the Interfaith Pilgrimage .and Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the conclusion of the journey, linking these sites where fire consumed human life and produced incalculable tragedy.

On this 50th anniversary of the end of WW ll. ,the liberation of the concentration camps and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you are invited to gather in Auschwitz with us. We will begin our convocation by lighting the candles of Chanukah, bringing light and warmth to the cold darkness of this setting. Chanukah is a Jewish holiday marking the transition and from despair toward hope .Together as an international and multifaith group, we will repent the immorality of war and hatred and recommit spiritually to self-renewal, hope and the cessation of violence within ourselves and on our planet, Through prayer ,music, theater ,vigil and dialogue .we will confront the endless history of holocaust and war ,making firm resolve to enter the future as peacemakers who uphold the sanctity of all life."

(Director of Karuna Center, Leverett, MA 01054, USA)


On behalf of the International Network of Engaged Buddhist (INES),Thai Inter religious Commission for Development (TICD), Sanatipracha Dhamma Institute(SPDI), Komol Keemthongment PounJation (KKP ) and Friends of Thai People, Our latest NGO movement for grassroots democracy and people's participation, I takes this opportunity to offer my encouragement and prayers for the success of the Interfaith Pilgrimage for Life and Peace which will begin in December this year.

It is my heartfelt hope that this work will help bring peace and forgiveness, as well as reconciliation to the peoples of different religions and nationalities. The pilgrimage will that hopefully help the establishment of spiritual principles of nonviolence and the respect for life in many countries.

The beginning at Auschwitz and the ending on 15 August 1995 in Japan are most appropriate. This will remind people that atrocities and war crimes will not be tolerated in the future. Let us hope that the future will be peaceful, with social justice and environmental balance.

While the pilgrims comes to Siam, if anything members of the organizations. I am involved with could do to help or to serve, we would love to collaborate with you for peace and happiness of all sentient beings.


(Director of International Network of Engaged Buddhists, Thailand)


December 4-8, 1994 at Oswiencim, Poland

This Convocation, open to all interested persons, will take place in conjunction with, and help inaugurate, the Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and life 1995, a ten-month walk from Auschwitz to Hiroshima commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II.

"The time has come for the true regeneration of humanity. In place of the war against the poor we must begin a world movement to renew the exhausted, deadened human spirit -that we learn anew to care for each other and this earth. Many hunger for this. Can we now fill this need?" - Dr. George Wald

In an atmosphere of prayer for the victims of the incalculable criminality perpetrated at this former Concentration Camp, participants from around the globe are called upon also to enlarge the world's understanding of Holocaust as it extends to the far corners of this suffering earth today. We aspire to probe with renewed clarity the events of this world holocaust in order to create with new courage true ways for world peace-making.

This gathering is open to young and old, earnestly seeking a bridge of truth into the Millennium. It will take place simultaneously with a fast of deep reflection and renewal undertaken by the Buddhist monks and others who will participate in the Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and life 1995. May the spirit, faith and commitment of this Convocation be carried by the Pilgrimage from Auschwitz to Hiroshima(12/10/94 to 8/6/95). "

As a scientist, I must ask; is the human race, is the planet, going to make it? I have hope...that this Convocation at Auschwitz and this Pilgrimage to Hiroshima (will aid) in the regeneration of humankind?" -Dr. George Wald

Dr. George Wald, Professor Emeritus from Harvard University and Nobel Laureate in Biology, has spent his life committed to peace and human rights in the united States and around the world. He has served on the Bertrand Russell War Crimes Tribunal and numerous other national and international initiatives for peace and justice.

For more information, please contact:
Rev. G. Kato or Sr. C. Carter/
Peace Pagoda. 100 Cave Hill Road Leverett, MA 01054 U.S.A.

John and Carrie Schuchardt /
House of Peace 1 High Street Ipswich, MA 01938 U.S.A.
Tel: 508-356-9395

Dr. Paule Green /
Karuna Center 49 Richardson Road Leverett, MA 01054 U.S.A.
Tel/fax: 413-367-9520

Guidance of "Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life".

1. A requiem to all war victims.
2. They do Japanese aggressive war reflectional confession deeply.
3. Foundation, true world peace construction by sentence people organizations of civil affair are aimed at on idea of the Japanese constitutional 9th article.
4. They promise it is learnt in history, and to walk in oneself admonition and road of absolute nonviolence through purification.

Participation condition.

1. Every morning, we have us participate in combinative worship.
2. Every day, there be have to the mental power which is not discouraged on physical strength and what which walks at on the average 30km. In a pilgrimage, there is not an all guarantee.
3. In a pilgrimage, liquor and narcotic are strict prohibitions.
4. Traveling expenses and expenses and so on are personal burdens.

A course schedule:

Poland / Auschwitz (`94/12/8) ¨ Poland (12/10` 12/12) ¨ Czech (12/13`12/23) ¨ Austria (12/24`12/31) ¨ Austria / Vienna (`95/1/1) ¨Croatia (1/2`1/3) ¨ Zagreb (1/4) ¨ Croatia/Split / Bosnia / Salajevo / Belgrade. (1/5`1/28) ¨ Greek / Athens (1/29) Greece / Athens / Israeli / Tel Aviv (1/30`1/31) ¨ Israel / Jordan / Iraq (2/1`3/10)¨ India / New Delhi (about 3/10 `3/31) ¨ Malaysia (4/22) ¨ Thailand (4/23`5/7) ¨ Cambodia (5/8`5/31) ¨ Vietname (6/1`about 6/30) ¨ Philippine (7/1`about 7/31) ¨ Osaka (about 7/31) ¨ Tokyo [ Hiroshima.

Contact/ Northeast Course:

Gyojun Yasuda
Nipponzan Myohoji.
Grafton Peace Pagoda, Rd. 1. , Box 308 A, Petersburg, NY 12138
TEL+1-518-658-9301. (UAS)

C Course India: Pilgrimage route/
Nipponzan Myohoji. Ven. Toshimasa Tanaka & Ven. Gyoken Asami (Sri Lanka)

Course schedule:
India / Cape Comorin / ('94. 10/2) ~ Bombay ~ NewDelhi

Contact/D Course Japan: Pilgrimage rooute/
D Course Japan:
Nipponzan Myohoji. Ven. Takao Takeda and Ven. Gyoji Kawagisi
8-7 Shinsen-cho Shibuya-ku Tokyo 150 Japan.
TEL: 81-03-3461-9363. FAX: 81-03-3461-9367.
Course schedule:
Tokyo ('95. 4/28) ~ Hiroshima ~ Nagasaki ('95. 8/6, 8/9).

Southeast Peace Walk:
May 1 St. Marys, GA May 25 Greenville, SC May 3 Brunswick, GA June 1 Asheville, NC May 7 Savannh, GA June 9 Newport, TN May 13 Barnnah, GA June 15 Knoxville, TN May 16 Aiken, SC June 17 Oak Ridge, TN

For more information, please contact: Southeast Course :
Nipponzan Myohoji, Atlanta Dojo Sr. Denise Laffin
1127 Glenwood Ave, S. E. Atlanta, GA 30316 USA.
tel: 404-572-9553

Contact/ South Korea Course:
Nipponzan Myohoji, Shibuya Dojo. Rev. Jyunji Simanuki
8-7 Shinsen-cho, Shibuyaku, Tokyo, 150, Japan.
TEL81-03-3461-9363. FAX81-03-3461-9367.

In Europe:
Nipponzan Myohoji:
Willen Lake, Milton Keynes, MK150AH, Bucks, UK.
Tel: +0908-663-652.

In Asia, Oseania and Africa:
Nipponzan Myohoji,
8-7 Shinsen-cho, Shibuyaku, Tokyo, Japan 150.
Tel: +81-3-3461-9363 Fax: +81-3-3461-9367.

For Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life 1995.
Imformation & Publishing; JUNREI Publication Committee.
Edited by Prof. Katsu Harada
and JUNREI Publication Committee stuff; K. Magome, T. Ichikawa, H. Naitoh, I. Yamanaka, T. Takahara, K. Harada.
Editing & Publishing office; Prof. Katsu Harada;

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