My Films

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Rotary Trip to Hiroshima

Here is a link to a short film I just finished making about the Rotary World Peace Fellows' recent trip to Hiroshima, Japan.
To watch click here. 12 minutes

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution

Alright, I have been in Japan too long to have not written anything in regards to Article 9.

It states, "The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes."

The second clause goes on to say, "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potentials, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."

This constitution has remained unchanged for sixty years since it was adopted when the US occupied Japan after World War II but now is being challenged by the current Abe administration. They plan to abolish the second clause so that Japan can posses a military.

Being Japanese, this is something that I take a lot of pride in. While there is a debate as to whether the US enforced this constitution on the Japanese people or the Japanese co-authored it, the fact is that it exists and should not be abolished.

Many of the arguments to abolish it has been so that Japan may play a more active role in world politics and supporting US troops in their military endeavors. Instead, what I feel strongly is that not only should Japan maintain Article 9 but that similar pacific clauses should be adapted by constitutions around the world.

Anyways, so I am currently making a documentary film on Article 9 and am trying to focus on it from the youth movement perspective. This is something that I would very much like to have screened nationally in the United States on Current TV.

Anyways, much more to come on this timely issue!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dropping Knowledge

Hi, I am psyched to annouce that this summer I will be working with Dropping Knowledge in Berlin, Germany.

In September 2006, they invited 120 people from around the world to partake in a global dialogue project called the Table of Free Voices. 100 questions collected from the internet were asked of these 120 people over 9 hours. Each person had a camera directly facing them intimately documenting their answers.

Their basic premise is that is through asking questions a global conversation can be started which can change the world for the better.

Here's a short video of the larger project that I will be working on. I'm so excited, so excited....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

We made our fundraising goal!

Today, May 10th, is our fundraising goal due date for the Oxfam Trailwalker. We are supposed to raise a minimum of 120,000 yen ($1000 US) for Oxfam's humanitarian projects and so that we can participate in our crazy 100km challenge.

So as of last night (with some more last minute donations still coming in) I had the 120,000 in my hands!! Yippppppeeee!!! Thank you all to those who contributed!! (If you sent donations online and didn't email me, please let me know because unfortunately the website doesn't tell me who's contributed, just how much.)

We have been super busy fundraising:
-We sent letters to our friends and family asking them to support us
-We held a fundraising party on Friday, May 4th in which we were able to raise 43,000yen
-We have received individual contributions from our professors
-Last Sunday, we went on the local Nishi-Tokyo Radio and talked about the Oxfam Trailwalker and asked for support from the local community.

So here's a slide show of our various hikes and the party!
The 100km challenge is a week a way, wish us luck!!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Arise Women!

Mother's Day is this Sunday.

We often think that Mother's day is a Hallmark-made commercial day but the reality is that Mother's Day began after the Civil war, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons.

So don't forget to thank yur mama and the mamas of the past for standing up for peace.

Here is the Mothers' Day Proclamation written by Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by
irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking
with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be
taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach
them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another
country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From
the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance
of justice."

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons
of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a
great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women,to be
wail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the
means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each
bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a
general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at
the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the
alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement
of international questions, the great and general interests of

Julia Ward Howe Boston 1870

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Healing myself to heal the world

I have to be honest, I went into this trip with a heavy heart and feeling stressed out. I had just completed another term at school, in which every minute counts towards completing those final term papers.

Six months had passed since I began my studies at ICU, and I had become heavy hearted from all the world issues that I had learned about. I felt overwhelmed in the enromous complexity of these problems and felt lost as to where my place was in all of it.

For the trip itself, I didn’t have any expectations. I really had no idea of what it would consist of, if it would be like a retreat or not. I was just planning to show up and be recepitve to whatever came my way.

(Me in my temple robe to Tu Hiu monastery in Hue)

I have come back from this trip, feeling soft and light. The three weeks I spent doing sitting meditation, walking meditation, eating mindfully and dharma sharing has really put me back in touch with myself--- to a place where I feel sturdy. Sturdy about my passion for peace in the world, sturdy in how I am meant to share that expression with the world, and sturdy in the joy of just being me.

The things that stressed me out before no longer do, and if I feel any inkling of anxiety coming my way I merely take a moment to return to my breath. I feel a smile resting on my lips at all times.

Thay really walks his talk, and the great thing is that he invites you to walk along with him. It is clearer to me more than ever before that peace within goes hand and hand with peace without. If each everyone of us were able to touch that sacred true part of ourselves, connect with it, breathe with it, what a wonderful world this would be. I have been inspired to understand his teachings at much deeper level and put them into practice everyday.

With love,

(Taking a bike ride along the rice patties in Hoi An)

To read previous blogs on my trip to Vietnam, click here and here2.
To see more pictures of Vietnam, click here.