Otsuki Sensei and Peace
Dear Family and Friends,
Otsuki Sensei is a remarkable man.
“It was such a happy time,” Ostuki Sensei says with a nostalgic laugh. “We were free, but also very connected to nature and the responsibilities of living on a farm.”
His love of the land led Otsuki Sensei to become a geologist. “I study the past, of course. But my field of interest is the future. How can we look carefully at the patterns of rocks and earth and decipher their profound stories? And how can we then use what we learn to predict what might happen in the future? Geology is not a precise science, but in a country as vulnerable as Japan, a forward perspective is crucial. We have live volcanoes, frequent earthquakes, devastating tsunami, inundating mudslides, and overwhelmingly destructive fires. So, it is important to have at least a small sense of when and where these life-threatening events will occur.”
But Otsuki Sensei goes further than that. “I was born just after WWII. I remember the stories my grandparents and parents told me. I realize that war is more destructive than any natural disaster could ever be. And so, I put all my efforts into working for peace. The issue of changing our constitution to permit the Japanese military to be more actively involved in war is very disturbing to me. So, I knew I had to do something. I joined a group of like-minded people: young and old, intellectuals and manual laborers, salary men and students. We are a large mix of people with one idea: PEACE.
“I went with this group twice to Tokyo to demonstrate. To our great disappointment, the change was pushed through, despite extensive opposition. Even so, we have not stopped our efforts. We are still very passionate about this complex, history-changing issue. You might not see as many of us on the streets in Sendai since the vote, but we are still demonstrating here and in Tokyo. There are other organizations involved, too. Maybe the most famous is SEALDs (Students’ Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy.) In fact, we plan on having mass rallies in Tokyo on the 19th of every month. We chose that date because this very controversial bill was forced through on that day in September. And of course, we are voicing our concerns on Social Media. We are doing our best to make people wake up and to resist the government’s choice of allowing a militaristic path to deal with political issues.