UTS Grads Lead Pure Love Tour of Japan and Korea
Following last year's successful tour of the United States (see Cornerstone July/August 1997), the Pure Love Alliance took on an ambitious tour of Japan and Korea during August. It was led by Jin Hun Park Moon, Sung Am Moon, Robert Kittel and Michael Balcomb (all members of the Class of '93). Here are some opinions and reports from a variety of sources.
Kyodo News Service - August 10
The Pure Love Alliance, a U.S.-based nonsectarian group, organized a series of rallies across Jpapan this month to make up for what they see as a lack of role models and a clear message on issues in Japanese society. The alliance, in Japan on a two-week tour of five cities, was formed in 1995 for the purpose of encouraging people to postpone sex until marriage and to remain faithful once the knot is tied, according to Michelle Myers, who quit college to work as a full-time volunteer for the group.
Masae Higashimori, 18, a university student from Tokyo, said the group's message is an important one "because families and schools in Japan don't provide young people with enough education on the subject." Professor Michio Kondo of Tsukuba University said such issues are among the most important for Japanese youth "because healthy and sound young people mean a healthy, sound future for our country."
Inbok Jenkins, a 15 year old participant from Chicago
I had a really good experience on the tour. I heard about the tour last summer and I saw a lot of videos. It sounded so fun and I really wanted to go on the '98 tour so I went. Before the tour, I knew about the importance of purity and I believed it but more externally than really deep in my heart. On the tour I could really experience it deep inside of me. And that made me realize how important it is for our future and even now.
Miwa Krishnek (daughter of Larry Krishnek, class of '93)
My experience on the PLA 1998 tour was very different from last year. From the beginning I really felt that God didn't want me to remain the silly little girl that I was last year but wanted to use the tour to prepare me to be a leader of the future, as True Father wants us all to be. When we arrived in Japan I was shocked to find out that not only was I a team assistant but I was also the youngest team assistant by at least a year and a half. Although it may not seem like a huge deal, being a team assistant was definitely a major jump from being the incapable, youngest girl on last year's tour. I'd like to thank Jin Hun Nim, all the PLA staff and all the Japanese and Korean members for supporting and helping us so much and for making the PLA '98 tour possible. It was GREAT.
Robert Kittel (President of the PLA)
For three weeks, the PLA public relations team visited nearly a hundred Japanese educators and prominent public figures. Specifically, we met seven Ministry of Education officials, including the former Minister of Education. We also had the honor of holding discussions with 35 Board of Education members, 22 Assembly Members as well as representatives from the Women and Youth Division and the Department of Juvenile Delinquency.
The PLA is planning a conference between Japanese and American educators, tentatively for this coming Spring. PLA will continue to expand our work in Japan and throughout the world because we cannot remain silent or inactive in the presence of such easily avoidable suffering and blatant destruction of human life.
Sam Nagasaka (UTS student)
I was one of the organizing staff of the PLA tour. My main responsibility was translating: translation of public speeches including those of Jin Hun Nim, as well as practical translation between the two groups of staff, Japanese and American. They had totally different understandings, concepts and visions of this tour and it was difficult for them to communicate, understand and therefore love each other. Hence, in the beginning, everything was in chaos. All the plans that had been prepared had to be ignored because of all kinds of unpredictable matters but Jin Hun Nim put it together somehow. Until the end of the first half of the tour in Japan there was disunity but we began to develop unity after Jin Hun Nim's intervention.
Joni Choi (formerly Ang, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Edwin Ang)
My hope for the tour is not only that we can have a positive impact on the people in Japan and Korea but that we can change ourselves through doing this. We should really come to realize what purity is, in ourselves and as a group. Once you're empowered with that, you're no longer influenced by all the junk that people put forward.
My friends sometimes challenge me on what I believe and some of them told me to change. They said, `Hey, what's the problem with you?' It's difficult to always be sure that what I believe in is really right. Joining the tour, I saw that people from all over the world, from America, Russia, Asia, Europe, they all believe in pure love instead of free sex and it gives me confidence and courage to keep on going and believing and doing what's right.
Pavel Gavrichev of Moscow
The PLA Tour was a success. It lasted from August 2nd until the 19th and during that time we held five rallies in Japan: Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Fukuoka, and three in Korea: Pusan, Taejong followed by a three-day workshop at the Chung Pyung Lake Training Center. The Tour was led by Jin Hun Nim and I really want to thank him and all the staff for making it possible.
In Japan we were about 300 people, including 200 from the World-PLA and 100 local Japanese members. Also in all the cities many members joined us just for the rally and march. For example, in Tokyo they were over 2000. We were traveling in buses (7 of them) and we were staying almost every night in different Church centers in different cities. Everywhere we've been to the local Church, members were very glad to meet us and did their best to make our stay the best possible. Actually sometimes it must have been very difficult to accommodate and feed 300 people but anyway, they were able to do it. We were all very much moved by their sincere heart.
Our typical schedule included a rally and a march in every city we went to. The whole program usually lasted about 3 hours. The rally was a combination of different pieces of entertainment, like a traditional drum band, Pure Love rap group, hip-hop dance, Pure Love Choir and many more and speeches by both PLA representatives and local VIPs. Every time we had few people from either the local parliament or universities speaking which was pretty inspiring, even though we couldn't understand a word. Anyway we tried to make as much noise as possible when we felt like the Japanese speaker wanted a response from the audience.
In Japan the emceeing was bilingual, basically in English with great Japanese translation, in Korea it was more "nationalized"the major part was in Korean with a partial, but very good English translation. Together with the Japanese or Korean speakers we had Robert Kittel and some of the Western PLA students speaking at each of the rallies. All of those speeches were also very moving, and what made them even better - we could understand the content. Actually each tour participant had a chance to speak during the rally. We had a special Pure Love speech contest, where the representatives of all the 7 buses, chosen earlier, presented a short, 3-minutes speech. The winners got a cash prize from Jin Hun Nim and a chance to speak at a rally, which actually happened later on.
Our program included also some sightseeing (actually there was a lot of it). In Japan we visited a few places in Kyoto and Osaka, climbed Mt. Fuji and hiked in a very beautiful place in the mountains near Hiroshima. Also we visited the Peace museum in Hiroshima. The major part of the sightseeing was actually watching through the bus window, since we spent a real long time traveling by bus. Anyway all the sightseeing was very good, it truly gave us power to do more during the rallies.
In Korea, on our way to Seoul, we visited the Sun Moon University for some short time. Then we all had a chance to see True ' at HanNamDong. At that time Hoon Sook Nim spoke to us there. She had been asked by True Mother to address us on behalf of True Parents. It was a great blessing for us that she came and spoke. We all didn't know that this would happen. We were just invited into the big room in the basement of the building, and then suddenly Hoon Sook Nim came and gave a short speech.
When we were in Pusan, during our first day in Korea, we held a special ceremony with both World PLA and K-PLA participating. They called it Brotherhood-Sisterhood. It means that each of the World-PLA participant got "matched" with a Korean brother or sister. Many brothers and sisters later testified that it was a real great experience for them, like they have really found a new brother or sister. I felt like that, too.
The part of our program together with K-PLA finished on Sunday, August 16, at Im Jin Gak, a place on the N-S Korean border. There we had a "unification" ceremony led by Sun Am Moon with all of us praying, singing Tongil and cheering Mansei. It was a very moving experience, and many of us really felt the heart of Korean people whose families were separated during World War II and their desire for reunification.
After that we had the best, in my opinion, time during all the Tour- 3 days workshop at Chung Pyung. For many of us it was the first time being there, that's why everything was surprising and sometimes shockinghow real is everything what is going on there. The workshop was great, just if I start to describe all that was there, it will take too much time. I will just say that it was a great experience, at least for me and I want to go there again for a longer time.
The tour was great, it gave a lot to all of the participants, this I can testify to from my own experience. We all were able to realize once again what purity means for ourselves and how we can witness about it to other people. I believe for some it was a life changing experience, during which they've decided to lead a pure life, not being sure about that before the tour. I think that PLA has a big future, since it can make a real big impact on the society by its activities and also change lives of the people taking part in them.