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To My Dear Friend in a War Zone

From the war zone far away, I received happy birthday wishes for my husband and I and a wish for peace for all of our family members.

Every time I think of my friend who is in the middle of the war, I realize how happy I am to be in an environment where I can sleep in peace and where I can eat enough every day. I wish I could give him that same kind of peace of mind every time I hear the birds sing or see some beautiful flowers.

Just recently I read a book about the poet Yun Dong Ju on the campus of Doshisha University. I remembered that me, my husband, and our friend walked around the campus together at that time. I can picture us having a casual conversation and laughing a lot.

The poem was written as follows:

Let me have no shame

under heaven, 'til I die.

Even wind in the leaves

pained my soul.

With a heart that sings of stars

I must love all dying things.

And I must walk the path

given to me.

Tonight also,

the wind sweeps over the stars.

Translated by David Bannon, "Unique Korean Cultural Concepts in Interpersonal Relations," Translation Journal, 12(1)

My friend is currently in the war zone to protect the lives of others, even at the risk of his own life. I can do nothing but pray for his safety. He is using his energy for good so that the world can be at peace inside of a situation that is more tragic than we can imagine, with the aspiration of "Jita Kyoei Seiryoku Zenyo". All I can do now is to pray for his safety, wish for an early end to the war, and devote myself to nurturing leaders who will lead the world to peace in various fields through martial arts.

I look at the stars and pray with all my heart for the day when he, my husband and I will be able to laugh and spend happy times together again.

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