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Tomoko Arakawa, ARI Director, writes an editorial in Shimono Shimbun, a Japanese Local Newspaper, “Toward a Society Where Foreigners and Japanese Can Live Together in Harmony”

Starting today, ARI Director Tomoko Arakawa will join the writing team of the local Shimono Shimbun Sunday Editorial Members for the next six months.

The first issue is an editorial titled “Toward a Society Where Foreigners and Japanese Can Live Together in Harmony”. She talks about how we should treat foreigners not as “gaijin” but as equal human beings, starting with looking them in the eye and greeting them.

For more details, see the article. If you live in Tochigi prefecture, look forward to the next issue.

ARI Director Tomoko Arakawa will be writing for the “Sunday Editorial” section of the Shimono Shimbun, a local newspaper.

The Shimono Shimbun, a local Japanese newspaper, publishes a “Sunday Editorial” every Sunday on its General and Editorial pages.
Tomoko Arakawa, the director of ARI, will join the writing team half a year0.
The first issue will be on Sunday, February 11.

This year she also write a book about ARI in Japanese.

ARI Director Tomoko Arakawa’s book “Seeking Knowledge for Living Together – From ARI’s Window” is now available for order.
The book is available at the following special price if you order it from ARI.
Please contact ARI to place your order.
(+81) 0287-36-3111
Regular price 1,200 yen (tax not included), but only for the year 2023
50th anniversary price 1,000 yen (tax included, shipping not included)

Biography of Tomoko Arakawa
Born in Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture.
Graduated from International Christian University with a B.A. in Liberal Arts and M.A. from Michigan State University.
After working as a junior high and high school teacher, she joined ARI in 1995.
She has been ARI Director since 2015.

Thank you for your support in 2023🎊

Merry Christmas! How are your holidays this year?
ARI hosted a Christmas party for our community members. We played bingo, exchanged gifts, and had a pageant, ARI style.

We have only a few more days left in 2023.
For our 50th anniversary, we held a commemorative ceremony and fundraising. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the many people who supported us and helped us celebrate our 50th anniversary.
We were also able to enjoy a vibrant communal life, with conversations without masks and a fully open dining hall.
As we approach the end of the year 2023, a new year is upon us.
We hope that you will continue to support us as we share this graceful learning place with more people and continue to sow seeds of peace in the world.
We wish you a very happy New Year!

Community event -snow viewing-

On December 7, before the participants go back to their community, after their final presentations, all community members including ARI staff and volunteers went to Mt.Chausu in Nasu to see the snow.
Many participants came from tropical countries, and some were playing in the snow for the first time! They had a great time throwing snow each other, lying on the fluffy snow, building snowmen, and so on!
Now that this year’s participants have graduated, they are ready to work on to their own communities. Please remember them in your prayers this Christmas season. We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Request for 2023 Christmas Special Donations

Your Seeds of Hope empower the dreams of rural leaders worldwide.

ARI participants in the class of 2023 celebrated their graduation ceremony on Saturday, December 9, and returned to their home countries with their dreams in their hearts. Your support will become Seeds of Hope that will be carried with the graduates to the rural areas in each country, and their work will create hope for more and more people.

As Christmas approaches, we invite you to entrust your Seeds of Hope with ARI’s enthusiastic participants.

Your donation will be used to help ARI participants from Asia, Africa, and other countries pay their travel and tuition fees, as well as monthly living expenses such as dormitory fees and food. We ask for your support for ARI’s work to develop grassroots rural development servant leaders, creating broad impact around the world.

Donations can be made by individuals, churches, or schools.

Please donate via the Christmas Special Donation page:

The 51st Commencement Service was held

On Saturday, December 9, we held the 51st commencement service in unseasonably warm weather. 26 participants are now “graduates”!
Thank you to all those who attended the ceremony and those who remembered us from afar.

On December 12, we sent off 4 graduates with a lot of tears, hugs, songs and prayers. All the remaining graduates will leave on Friday.
Director Tomoko Arakawa described seedlings uprooted from their respective places to be transplanted and grown in the ARI community. These seedlings, our newest graduates, will be uprooted again from here to grow new roots in their original places and serve the people.

Please continue to remember our new graduates in their journey as rural leaders!

Closing Wounds, Making Peace

We have had the honor of inviting Ms. Keiko Holmes from Agape World to our campus at Tochigi to present her message on peace and reconciliation to the ARI community. As the Japanese coordinator for Agape World which is an organization dedicated to promote reconciliation between Japan and her former World War II prisoners of war (POWs), Ms. Keiko is no doubt a well-fitted speaker for this topic.

Her presentation to the ARI community was full of personal stories which touched the hearts of all who listened. We marveled at how her own personal tragic story led to a mission of touching great grief and trauma in the lives of those who experienced the horrors of war. Yet, the story does not end there; with boldness she pushed forward to encourage people on both sides of war to meet each other, find space for an apology, and reconcile with one another, finding friendship blossom from the seeds of forgiveness.

At the end of her presentation, she and her team, joined by ARI Director Tomoko-san, issued a deep apology for the mistakes and crimes that Japan had committed in World War II to the ARI community, wherein many Asian countries were represented. Her humble posture was deeply moving to everyone present, and in that moment the community realized that they were not just listeners, but direct participants of a peacemaking process. This further drove home the point that anyone and everyone can be agents of peace, when we are willing to apologize and accept one’s apology humbly and gracefully.

Ms. Keiko’s stories convey to us a sense of hope, that evil and suffering will not be the end, but that peace and love can have the final say.

Nao Suzuki, Kai Sawyer, talks about the 22nd century, “Peace from the Soil” and 50 years of ARI on YouTube.

ARI Family Series Vol. 4 Nao Suzuki, Volunteer ’99, and Kai Sawyer (“Ikashiau Design Village” – YouTube)

Nao Suzuki, former ARI volunteer (1999. Current Co-Chair of NPO Greens, Editor-in-Chief of, and Associate Professor of Sustainability at Musashino University’s Faculty of Engineering, and resident of Isumi City, Chiba Prefecture), and Sawyer Kai (Symbiotic Revolutionary and founder of Tokyo Urban Permaculture) spoke about “Peace from the Soil” in the 22nd century and ARI in the context of “Peace in the World” on their YouTube online community “Ikashiau Design Village”.

How to live by continuing to create peace here and now – YouTube

Harvest Thanksgiving Celebration

Watch all our online events again! ​

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