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The Eternal River
Translated by Shinichiro Nakamura

To create "culture of Wa (peace/harmony)"

Studying characteristics and the history of man, we, The Human, Nature and Science Institute Foundation (HNS) have, as positive Peace advocators, devoted our efforts since twenty years ago to creating a framework of human empathy through our own unofficial diplomacy, visiting war and peace museums world over.
HNS is located in Shimane Prefecture which is on the other side of the Korean Peninsula under the approaching threat of nuclear weapons and enacted "Takeshima's Day" which triggered conflicts in East Asia.
Facing such reality, let us propose the plans of "the Peoples' United Nations" and "the International Peace Center" from Vienna, Austria this June: A century has passed since the beginning of World War I, the death of Bertha von Suttner and the Annexation of Korea by Japan.
Also, we would like to propose to the world to make the Korean Peninsula and Japan a nuclear-free zone where three big nuclear powers (the U.S.A., Russia and China) meet, and to start a simultaneous nuclear disarmament of all the countries.

Yasuko Murao

Yasuko Murao, writer. Born in 1944 in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan.
Resident of Gotsu City, Shimane Prefecture at present. Awarded Shimane Prefectural Culture Encouragement Prize in 1994. Awarded the 14th Japan Picture Book Grand-Prix Readers' Prize in 2009 for her picture book Claudia's Prayer. Main Works: Suto Yahee―a Man Who Changed the River Stream, Facing Her Own Life, Claudia's Prayer, and many others.

When I was one year old I got seriously burnt in the war. Then a farmer gave me a bowl of water under the eaves of his house which saved my life.
The Eternal River was written as a result that the life of a man who got deeply involved with water, origin of all lives, and played the role of a leader reminded me of my old memory of water.
……Some 360 years ago, there lived a man called Suto Yahee, a village headman, and his family, who stood up to save the village and villagers from natural disasters.
The Iu River ran down peacefully around the village, and brought about rich blessings to the villagers. However, it hit a big rocky mountain on the way, where the river was narrow and had many sharp bends. When hit by heavy rain, the river became a muddy torrent and swept away the village.
Houses were lost, people were killed, and the village was practically destroyed completely.
Seeing how frightened the villagers were, Suto Yahee, the headman, decided to devote his entire life to fight with the rocky mountain. He said, "My happiness comes only after the villagers' happiness." Then he spent all his fortune and 42 years of his life to fight with the rocky mountain.
What is his real desire, spirit and dynamism which never fade even in our modern society?

A starting point to open the future

Akio Komatsu, President of Komatsu Electric Industry Co., Ltd., Chairman of the board of directors of The Human, Nature & Science Institute General Incorporated Foundation
300 years ago, Sutoh Yahee (1651-1752 Hiyoshi Village, Izumo Province: now Yakumo Town, Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture) heated the hard andesite rocks of Mt. Tsurugi and cut through the mountain with chisels and hammers to change the route of the Iukawa River in order to save the villagers who were repeated victims of the flooding river. He worked from 56 to 97 years old for the period of 42 years before he completed the project of Mt. Tsurugi Cut. He died in peace at the age of 102.
Beginning in July of this year, The Eternal River, a serialized biographical novel of Sutoh Yahee will appear on Nihon Suido Shinbun (The Journal of Japanese Water Service) before it is published as a book form in five languages; Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean and Russian. Besides, a large bronze statue of him will also be built in Shandong Province, China and placed in Yakumo Town, Japan in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and China.
The Iukawa vally where the story takes place is rich in historic and old cultural remains such as ancient tumuli which are under direct control of the Imperial Household Agency, Kummano Shrine dedicated to the origin of fire, a national treasure Kamosu Shrine, Yaegaki Shrine famous for matchmaking, etc.
During the 1960s of rapid Japanese economic growth, they dynamited Mt. Yogai which was strung out of Mt. Tsurugi in order to make macadam for the groundwork of the Shimane nuclear power plant.
By interpreting that this area through which "the Eternal River" runs should be the birth place of "the culture of Wa (peace/harmony)," and making the best use of ICT to interconnect the world, we believe that the dawn of the new age of world peace is near.


周藤彌兵衛翁銅像In 1994 we founded HNS and started the "One village, one aspiration campaign" and threw the light on the great men who controlled water by publishing their biographical novels, children's books, cartoons, holding symposiums, composing theme music, sponsoring chorus contests, etc.
In 2002 we produced four bronze statues of Confucius, Mencius, Sutoh Yahee, etc. in Taierzhang, Zaozhuang City, China in order to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China. Taierzhang, Zaozhuang City is known as a place where the collaboration between the U.S. supported Kuomintang and the Communists took place. It is also known as the place where the Matsue 63rd Infantry Regiment (Shimane and Tottori) of the Japanese Imperial Army was defeated badly by Chinese forces.
At this place in June, we made another bronze statue of Suto Yahee which is much bigger than before. We will install it in Yakumo Town, Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture on August 1st, the first Water Day after the enactment of the Water Cycle Organic Act.
At the same time, we are planning to start a new business using both old and new materials in traditional pottery, handicraft lacquer wares (Yakumo-nuri), fabrics, etc., in collaboration with children with developmental disorders.
Several years ago in Yakumo Town, a reading group called "Medaka (Killifish) Association for Spreading The Analects "started. By now there are more than twenty of such groups in Shimane and Tottori Prefectures.
These groups and "The Committee for Celebrating Sutoh Yahee" have been working together to install the huge bronze statue and for related projects.

2014 An Jung-geun Memorial Hall in Harbin, China

ベルタ・フォン・ズットナー胸像彫刻Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914) published her best seller novel Lay Down Your Arms in 1889 just before World War I. Assisted by Alfred Nobel, she founded an Austrian pacifist organization in 1891. She worked actively for peace and international causes, and in 1905 as the first woman in history she won Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2013, commemorating the centennial anniversary of the Peace Palace built with the donation of Andrew Carnegie from America, they installed in The Hague a bust of Suttner made by Ms. Ingrid Rollema, a modern sculptor. Ms. Rollema has made a second bust of her, which will be displayed in the Peace Museum Vienna--she died here--for six months from June of 2014, commemorating the centennial anniversary of her death before it is shipped for Japan.
We sincerely hope that many more of the sculpture of Suttner will be erected all over the world to revive her wishes and that new flows of funds will start running into the river of unshakable peace.

胸像彫刻作者イングリッド・ロレマさんと小松理事長 2013年 (オランダ・ハーグ)
2013 President Komatsu and Ms. Ingrid Rollema in The Hague, the Netherland

The International Peace Center" plan

Okinawa was once a "peaceful island (country)" as their saying goes, "If you meet somebody, he/she will be your brother /sister." And yet, it became an "island of victims" when it was invaded by Satsuma (now Kogoshima) 400 years ago, and when its Kingdom was disposed by the Meiji government of Japan. Some 200,000 people were killed toward the end of the Pacific War. However, since the end of World War II till today Okinawa has been forced to play in a way the role of a "victimizer" also as U.S. military forces used their bases in Okinawa from which their forces left for conflicting areas such as the Korean Peninsula, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our plan is to build "The International Peace Center" as a token facility of our vow to make Okinawa as "a birthplace of eternal world peace."

"The International Peace Center" consists of the following three main institutions.

By using ICT, war and peace museums of the world are connected on the network to the Center. The visitors will be able to learn from one museum after another as much as they like on the network. This center will play a role of a guide to all the war and peace museums of the world.By using ICT, war and peace museums of the world are connected on the network to the Center. The visitors will be able to learn from one museum after another as much as they like on the network. This center will play a role of a guide to all the war and peace museums of the world.

This will be erected in order to record permanently all the information of the victims in modern wars in the form of electronic data, to which visitors have free access from any place in the world.

This will be erected in order to record permanently all the information of the victims in modern wars in the form of electronic data, to which visitors have free access from any place in the world.





An Idea of Peoples' United Nations

In December of 2008, HNS announced in Beijing our private plan of "Peoples' United Nations" when we published The Chinese Classic Quotations in the language of four different countries side by side; Chinese, Japanese, Korean and English.
Now the United Nations consists of 193 members who represent their own governments and is run under the strong influences of big powers including the standing members of the UN Security Council. The members of "Peoples' United Nations" on the other hand "represent their own people" and through discussions with stout historic bases and logical backgrounds think up and present their ideal plots to the people world over of how to live better lives.
In other words, "People's United Nations" is a kind of stage on which "culture of Wa (peace/harmony)"is to be born when Chinese "Hexie (peace and harmony), "Korean "Bulgyo (absolute harmony)," Oughtpia, America's Smart power and DPRK's "Juche sasang (Juche idea)"get all combined through the functions of culture, art and humor.

・Hexie : In 2004 Chinese government announced a slogan that they will aim at making"a harmonious society among classes."
・Wajo : A kind of power which stems from a certain context from the unification of the three soft powers (human wisdom with feelings, mission and the ability of verbal communication) and the two hard powers (the ability to organize groups and ability to realize justice.) The term was first invented by Izumo Taisha Shrine's Superintendent Priest Tatsuhiko Senke who combined the two concepts of the great men: Shotoku Taishi said, "Wa(harmony) is the ultimate virtue," and Ninomiya Sontoku believed in the value of"Suijo (after-you-ism)." Inspired by the term "Smart power," I added the new definition to the term after getting Mr. Senke's consent.
・Smart power : U.S. President Obama and his administration use the term. It means the power to unite in the total context three soft powers (intelligence with feelings, visions and conversational ability) and two hard powers (organizing power and scheming ability.)