Best Inspirational/Spiritual Book of the Year and #5 Bestseller on Amazon Mind/Body Spirit Dec. 2005
Contributors to Healing the Heart of the World include:
Ellen Hayakawa, Carolyn Myss, Neale Donald Walsch, Thich Nhat Hanh, David Spangler, Barbara DeAngelis, John Gray, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Joan Borysenko, Bruce Liption, Masuru Emoto
Ellen’s Commentary on Her Chapter: Weaving Cultures of Peace
My chapter in Healing the Heart of the World is called Weaving Cultures of Peace. It is the story of my family – the story of my grandparents who emigrated to Canada. My grandfather loved Canada, he named my eldest aunt after Canada. Although loyal Canadian citizens were later interned by the government of Canada. Her great uncle (her grandfather’s brother) and his wife and her great aunt (her grandmother’s sister) and their family were loyal American citizens. Her grandfather’s youngest brother and his family were loyal citizens of Japan. Her grandfather’s youngest brother was within 500 metres of the hypocentre of the Hiroshima bomb and survived and his wife and child also in the city of Hiroshima on that fateful day also survived. In a metaphoric way, my American family dropped the atomic bomb on their family in Japan. War tears families, friends and nations apart. My family has left me with a legacy and responsibility to speak on behalf of peace and work for global peace as my life’s work.
At the time when I was invited to write a chapter for this book, I was enraged by the continuing justification of war and the cultural and societal beliefs that honour war and that mistakenly hold it up as a so-called instrument of peace. Growing up in Canada, one of the Allied Nations – I was indoctrinated into the belief that “our side” was riht the “other side” was wrong. Media, movies such as Pearl Harbour all continue to justify that belief. The divine law is simple and clear – We are all one. Love thy neighbours as you love yourself. (Even when you disagree adamantly with them!!!)
I had intended that in my chapter, I would tell the untold and true story of war – which is that in war there is no right or wrong side. I would also tell the woman’s story of war – that no mother in her right mind would send her child to war to kill another mother’s child or to have her child injured or killed. I felt that writing the chapter – which in truth is a chapter full of hope for this world- would be a positive way to channel my anger and frustration. And more than that by writing my truth and the truth of Spirit – that there would be healing – both for myself and others.
This book was released on Dec. 7, 2005 on the Anniversary of the Bombing of Pearl Harbour. It was not planned by humans that way. Those managing the publication of the book had originally wanted its release in Nov. It was divine intervention that completed the healing for myself, my family and the globe. My chapter in the book is 18. 18 in numerology is a 9 – which is completion. I took this to mean completion of healing for myself and others who are connected to these events.
When we intentionally kill or harm our brothers and sisters in the family of humanity – that is what is wrong. The hope and promise of global peace lies in our ability to dialogue with reason, compassion, love and understanding with those with whom we have differences; and to apply our spiritual wisdom (which we are all graced with) to find peaceful resolutions to the issues that face us. Here is an excerpt from my chapter in the book that I hope you enjoy:
|Weaving Cultures of Peace: Building a Global Community of Peace|
|by Ellen Hayakawa|
| My grandfather, Hideso Shiraishi, was twenty-four years old in 1906. In Japan, the eldest son inherits both the family property and the responsibility of caring for aging parents by tradition. As Hideso was not the eldest son, he was free to seek his fortune elsewhere. He chose Canada, emigrating from our family farm just outside of Hiroshima, Japan to the land of dreams and opportunity in Vancouver, British Columbia.
A spiritual man from a long line of devout Buddhists, Hideso brought with him a small wooden shrine. Every evening before going to sleep, he prayed in front of the shrine. During the season when the salmon were running, he worked as a fisherman in the traditional territorial land and waters of the Owikeeno people.
In the tradition of every indigenous tribe who has made their home on the coast of British Columbia since time immemorial, Owikeeno custom held that one should ask permission before entering another’s territory to live and work. Unaware of this, Grandfather Shiraishi did not ask the indigenous tribes of Canada for their permission before taking up residence on their land and fishing in their waters. Nonetheless, he lived and worked there for many years, making his living as a fisherman in the natural cycle and rhythm of the seasons.
In Japan, on the side of a mountain above the family farm, our ancestors’ ashes are buried beneath the persimmon-laden trees on which the monkeys feast.When it is time to come home to the ancestral land, our ancestors call to us. In December 1918, still a bachelor, Hideso returned to his home community just outside of Hiroshima. While in his homeland, he married my grandmother, Kiwano Yamasaki, who lived on a neighboring farm.
A few months later, they returned to Canada on the long voyage aboard the SS Chicago-Maru. Hideso’s younger brother and my grandmother’s sister had married and emigrated to the United States a few years earlier. During World War II, through emigration, birth and divine destiny, my family members found themselves the loyal citizens of three nations: Japan, the United States and Canada, and on opposing sides of the war.
Grandpa Shiraishi so loved his adopted country of Canada that he named his eldest daughter, “Kanami” after Canada. Imagine his distress when, in the midst of World War II, he and my grandmother, along with their children and twenty-one thousand other Canadians of Japanese ancestry, had virtually all their belongings taken away from them and were wrongfully removed from their homes by authorities in the government including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. One of the belongings my Grandpa chose to carry along in his 75 lb. luggage quota to the internment camp was his shrine. Interned in isolated, abandoned mining towns amid the snow-capped mountains of British Columbia, my family and all the others were kept under guard. Grandpa continued to pray in front of the shrine for himself and his family, asking for peace in their hearts and for peace amongst their nations.
When Hiroshima was attacked, my grandfather’s youngest brother, Minikichi, was within five hundred meters of the hypocenter of the nuclear bomb. Miraculously, he lived to tell his story. On August 6, 1945, Minikichi—his face burned beyond recognition—wandered among the walking dead in the midst of the living hell of Hiroshima. Miraculously, his wife Sumie—carrying their unconscious five-year-old daughter on her back—found him in the city that day. The Japanese term for a survivor of the Hiroshima or Nagasaki bomb is hibakusha. As hibakusha, my granduncle and grandaunt were fortunate enough to flee the city to heal in the countryside.
After the war, Minikichi and Sumie rose like phoenixes out of the ashes to have more children and create a life full of love and beauty. They, like so many hibakusha, made a commitment to peace on earth. On special occasions such as August 6, the day of the commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima, I still wear the magnificent silk kimono that Auntie Sumie so lovingly sewed for me when I was nine years old. When I wear that kimono, I remember the commitment and desire of the hibakusha for peace.
NOTE: My chapter goes on to speak about the arrival of the children with highly developed spiritual wisdom and why this is the promise of Spirit for global peace. Here at a Peace Lantern Event in Vancouver, I read a piece of prose written by a 9 year old on peace and found in my chapter in Healing the Heart of the World.
This book has something for everyone and makes a great Christmas or anytime gift!
(from To order the book: http://amazon.com or call 604-947-0622 to order a personalized autographed copy, discounts for bulk orders, please call Ellen at 604-947-0622