Kiyosoto Bus Tour for Knowing Paul Rush : May 31
Kiyosato is in Yamanashi Prefecture, famous for its cooling resort spot, majestic mountains, and breath-taking pastures.I have already visited this place several times.However, this time on May 31, my wife and I participated in a bus tour organized by church members in Tokyo district.Fifty-three members participated, including six members from Sanko church.The main purpose of this tour is to visit Kiyosato St.Andrews Church and the Paul Rush Memorial Museum.The church adapted the local people's custom of using tatami mattresses.There is also a rural library open for the people.The rustic yet majestic, stone-built shrine from Kawamata-river Valley (川俣川渓谷）is a symbol of the pioneering agricultural hard work of its people.Paul Rush is an American missionary who came to Japan after the Kanto Great earthquake in 1923. He came to rebuild YMCA in Tokyo and Yokohama. He also helped rebuild St Luke's International Hospital(聖路加病院).He established BSA (The Brotherhood of St. Andrew) of Japan and decided to devote his entire life in Japan. During the World War Ⅱ, he was forced to go back to America to help Japanese Americans in his country.After the war, He came back to Japan as a commissioned officer in US. For the reconstruction of Japan, his priority was to establish the mountain division which consists 85% of Japan's land and to reconstruct the rural villages. He built a model farming center at the foot of Yatsugatake mountain where Mt. Fuji can be seen. He promoted dairy farming and cultivation of Western vegetables. I was impressed by his devotion for Japan's development and modernization. He died in 1979 and is on an eternal sleep at Kiyosato St.Andrews church.