End and Beginning

Translation by Ms. Haruka Osada (Simon Fraser University)

sketch Dr. MinamiAnd my research, clinical activities and attempt to spread Morita Therapy in a small African country that lasted a year had finally come to a closure.

There was a good news just before we finished the research. We found the first official staff of PFR – Morita Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Research that we had been recruiting and interviewing. Her name is Rosine, the new Lead Researcher; she is a tall Rwandan lady who is still in mid-30s. I had a good impression of her who has humor and a smile always on her face. She speaks Kinyarwanda, English and French fluently, and she got L.L.B and Bachelor in Legal Studies in Rwanda, and Master in Switzerland and the U.S. She is a hard worker as you can imagine.

In Rwanda, people with high-level education tend to keep a distance from the people. However, Rosine was different. She listens to the stories of Reconciliation Villagers with her simple and honest characteristics and her beautiful and holy mother-like face. The Villager soon became open to her. After seeing her interacting with the people, I was confident that I can entrust my research to her. She understood my dream in 3 hours.

She accepted my offer to be a lead researcher right away. We spent the last 3 weeks of the research activity to pass on the knowledge of the method of the research, other paper works, how to build a relationship with the villagers and everything else. PFR staff already knew Rosine from before, and promised me to support her once she starts her job. We saw a ray of hope for the Research Centre’s success and development for next year.

We found the next pair right away too. One pair who witnessed the daily activities and the cooperative works of the three reconciliation pairs raised their hands enthusiastically: “We want to join you”. I responded, “Let’s!”. It was ideal. The activities of the three pairs who started their ways to reconciliation moved the villagers’ hearts, affected not only the three pairs’ mental states but social reconciliation in the community, and made the other villagers “want to live a life with reconciliation”. It was a moment when I knew that the desire for reconciliation in the community has finally sprouted. I simply felt glad; I believe that if they cannot continue the activities for reconciliation without me, this “sprout” will not spread around the country. If it is not a method that people truly “want” and “need”, we will not know whether this method really “works” and “needed”, or it is just my “self-satisfaction”.

I am hoping that there will be more and more villagers who choose to join us after seeing the first three pairs’ happy faces and their process of healing through the reconciliation activity and the cooperative works. I truly think that if my activity can make people “want to” solve their problems by themselves, my hot and dry days that I spent without Sashimi finally pay off. It was a happy day for me as a clinical psychologist, and a “reconciliator”.

I am still planning to “watch” how they do by watching videos from Rosine next year, though.

I started analyzing a huge amount of “the words of the teachers” (data). I would like to share the result of this research in the magazine. Leaving the land of Africa with a luggage full of memories and smiles of the people I encountered, I headed to the new land, England.


I would like to say thank you to everyone who helped me finish this travelogue and make my stay in Rwanda successful.

Firstly, Ms. Junko Fujimoto from the editorial department of “Seikatsu-no-Hakkenkai” magazine; I caused her a lot of trouble with my poor Japanese and my slow writing speed. Thank you for supporting me for a year, I cannot say enough of this.

I would like to say big thanks to all members of the editorial department.

Secondly, Mr. Kazumi Yamanaka from Mental Health Okamoto Memorial Foundation; he showed interest in my research and invited me to this project. Thank you for sharing the spirit of Morita Therapy with me.

Similarly, Chairman Mr. Nobuo Okamoto and Mr. Masanori Akai of the Foundation; thank you for caring my health, safety and food in Rwanda. I did miss Sashimi (!), but I was able to focus on activity without catching Malaria. Also, I appreciate the Foundation’s financial help for establishment of the Research Centre.

Nextly, Mr. Kenji Kitanishi from Japanese Society for Morita Therapy, International Committee Chairman; thank you for leading me as an adviser and helped me out with my research. Same for all other teachers of the Society. I appreciate your support and advises. I alway felt your warm hearts with me in the foreign land of Rwanda; I was very happy to know I was not “alone”.

Also, Pastor Deo and Bishop Rucyahana who gave me, a stranger, an opportunity for research and warm friendship; I am very appreciative for letting me join your activity, the crystal of your effort. The member of PFR who welcomed me like a family; without you, it was impossible to make this research successful.

Rosine, who continues the research after I left; I cannot wait to hear what we will find from the new data!
My assistant and security who traveled with me, cried with me for sadness, hugged for happiness and shared my bitter days with me; thank you, I feel like I have another family.

Professor Kananga from Kigali Health Organization; thank you for treating me like your son. My only teacher, Professor Isshu Ishiyama from UBC. Thank you for teaching me Morita Therapy. Through my experience in Rwanda for a year, I was able to understand a bit of truly useful way of using Morita Therapy, using my clinical skills, and using my life. Thank you for opening my eyes to this discovery, and thank you for always watching me and supporting me in a positive way.

Lastly, I would like to say a big thank you to “teachers” of reconciliation who taught this Muzungu (foreigner) with long black hair what reconciliation really is. Thank you for supporting me and reading this travelogue for a year.

December 6th, 2012
Exeter, England