Satoko Matoyama came to UTS in 1995. She would have been here in 1993 if
her parents had not kidnapped her and held her for two months in an attempted
“deprogramming” during which she was subjected to the verbal attacks of
Christian ministers and others who tried to break her faith in this “outrageous
cult.” It would be another two years before she would be able to fulfill
her ambition to continue her graduate education at UTS.
Satoko san joined the Unification Church in 1989, a few months after her
conversion to Islam. In her first year at Keio University, she was influenced
by the good and humble character of a Moslem colleague and eventually became
a Moslem. Before this she was an atheist and has this to say about her
conversion. “Initially I wanted to study philosophy. I thought of religion
as something for the weak. But his character made me see the good side
of religion and I became convinced of the existence of God. Subsequently,
I changed from studying philosophy to Islamic History.”
spiritual father Mr. Yasuhiro Ishii, a UTS graduate, was then attending
the same university. He had known her before the Moslem colleague but because
of the negative rumors spread against the UC as a brainwashing cult, he
was careful in revealing the DP content to Satoko san. Fatefully, her conversion
to Islam became the bedrock on which she could receive the DP.
In her school, CARP was disdained as a brainwashing club by other secular
clubs, including the fencing club to which she belonged. One day she was
sent by her seniors as a spy to find out about the dubious activities of
CARP. In fact, she was surprised by the excellent spiritual atmosphere
at the video center but she pressed on with her mission as a spy. She loved
approaching religious issues in an intellectual way and she met with the
CARP leader with the intention of using her abilities as a debater. But
this time, the lady spy reports that she sat spellbound as the CARP leader
explained the logical truth of Divine Principle. She also noted the CARP
leader‘s humble clothing which contrasted with his big gold ring. When
she heard the explanation of the Blessing, she was impressed but also a
little uncomfortable about the idea of a matching carried out by Reverend
Moon. Nevertheless, she accepted the explanation. She couldn’t instantly
believe in Reverend Moon’s messiahship “but strangely enough,” she says,
“I never doubted.”
With a different spirit, she returned to the fencing club but the report
she gave was not what they expected and she even found herself witnessing
to them. She became actively involved in CARP and found herself changing.
”It was through fundraising, acting almost like a wretched beggar, that
I could begin to overcome pride and egoism,” she says.
Satoko san’s experience with CARP strengthened her ambition to become a
diplomat working at the United Nations so that she could “disabuse people
of their mistaken notions concerning the Unification Church.” She knew
she would need a graduate education and when Reverend Moon gave the direction
for the 1993 CARP graduates to attend UTS, she saw this as her chance.
It was then that her parents intervened and Satoko san’s faith was tested.
Eventually, her parents gave up and she was able to rejoin CARP, this time
at Tokyo University. Meanwhile, her spiritual father was studying at UTS
and with his assistance, she too was able to enroll here in 1995.
The multinational, multiracial UTS community is not entirely new for her
as she spent part of her childhood in Africa. When she was three, her family
moved to Zambia where her father was a senior officer in a copper mine.
During her six years there, Satoko san attended school with children of
all ages and credits this experience for her understanding and appreciation
of people of other cultures.
She says that she loves it here at the Seminary. “This is a precious place
because elders and juniors mix so freely and it’s a place that offers hope
for the co-existence of people of all races with this common goal of achieving
True Parents’ ideal.” She also has plenty of opportunities to improve her
excellent English and to practice and perform on the violin and piano.
She still retains her ambition to be a “heavenly diplomat” and believes
her UTS experience is bringing her closer to her goal.