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Thank you for visiting my website.  There are seven categories. Please look at the list on the right and click on the one you want to read.  Each category has a list of articles from which you can choose.  Feel free to post your comment in the bubble.

The photo on top is my spouse Muriel on the left and my sister Taeko on the right taken in South Africa.  Picture on the right is me, Tad Mitsui and my cat, George.

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Imagination makes human different from animals


I am convinced that art is as important as science and religion. Art separates us human from other life forms. It surprises me that some people hate the City Council spending money on Art. Other animals spend all their time and thinking about eating, mating, and mere survival. They are not into prayer, quantum physics, or symphony because you can not touch nor eat them. I don’t think my cat thinks of giving up kibble for Van Gogh.

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” It sounds strange coming from a scientist. But if you think about it more deeply, it makes sense. Imagination makes us curios about everything invisible or unknown and inspire us to try to find behind what we can not see. It makes us creative. That’s why we, unlike other living things, spend money and time to art, science, and religion.

The animal nature, or inability to be concerned about what we do not see, made Montreal known for its excellent and efficient snow removal service but without decent sewer system dumping raw sewage into the St. Lawrence river for years, like Halifax and Victoria until recently. The result of public’s apathy in what they do not see.

The flip side is: it is hard to make a living on imagination. Many people think creativity out of imagination is unimportant. They don’t want tax money spent on Art Gallery or Theatre, and shout “Fix the potholes!” So, if you are an abstract artists or a minister who preaches about some dead guy who lived 2000 years ago, you have to be prepared to have a job that feeds you and pay the bills. My brother-in-law took early retirement from a good civil service job so that he could spend all his time playing guitar. Einstein, before he found a good position in university, had a job in the Patent Registry Office. Theoretical Physics was not exactly a money maker. The work that makes you feel you have a life worth living is called vocation. It gives you the sense of your worth no matter how much it costs or how little it pays.

Some people are lucky to have a good paying job that gives them fulfilment. People in health care professions for example. Academics, artisans, botanists, carpenters, chefs, teachers, etc. But many are not that lucky. One day, my favourite tenor of the University Opera Workshop came knocking our door as a cleaner of the Merry Maids house cleaning service. I have seen other artists in disguise as a house painter, a chef, a security guard, a bartender, etc. Majority of the artists I know have other occupations. I am familiar with such a life style because I am a father of an artist. Art is a vocation not necessarily a way to make living. The same with religion and pure science. Some make enough money to live on but many do not. Vincent Van Gogh never earned enough money to live on from his painting before he died. All his life, he was dependent on the financial support of his businessman brother Theo. Now his each painting commands millions of dollars.

Likewise, religion is a calling. Monks and nuns in many religions often earn livelihood as teachers, nurses, even as butchers and cheese makers in order to make the pursuit of their vocation possible. Remember Oka cheese? Monks in Oka Quebec make it. An oldest monastery in the world has sustained itself since 1605 from the income from famous liqueur: “Chartreuse.” Their vocation is “silence.” They sit all day in total silence to pray and meditate. That’s no way to make money. Instead they make delicious booze and sell it. In many Buddhist countries in Asia you see monks and nuns with begging bowls standing on the street corners or walking house to house begging for charity. It’s a way to learn humility while the collections sustain them financially.

As the society is increasingly secular, all who dedicate themselves to religious life must recover the sense of vocation. Artists have never lost it. In Japan when I was in the seminary preparing myself for my life in religious calling, the seminary offered the course to qualify us for a high school teacher’s certificate. Many of my former class mates in Japan supplement their income from other occupations often as school teachers. My nephew who is a minister of a small church in Tokyo supplements his income singing with a group of professional singers, in bars and cabarets, at birthday parties and wedding receptions, etc.

What distinguish humans from other animals is an unquenchable desire to see what’s beyond. We are never satisfied until we find what’s out there. So we make calculated guess called hypothesis and imagine what may be out there through artistic expressions, scientific research, and deep thinking: meditation. However, many of us do not have patience to bother and think it’s waste of time and money. But if everyone stops going after what we imagine, we will be the same as other living organisms interested only in eating, procreation, and survival.

When will we ever learn?

– P


“All wars are a symptom of human failure as a thinking animal.” – John Steinbach

Vladimir Putin is making a colossal mistake. Not only Russians and Ukrainians but also he himself will have to pay a terrible price for starting an unwanted war. History will remember him as a cruel sociopath responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent lives and destruction of beautiful country. When do we learn that war does not solve anything?

Homo sapience is the only species that fights war within the same species against each other. Other living organisms fight for food and sex partner but do not engage in wars. They don’t kill unknown strangers en mass. History has proven that wars never solve problems but worsen existing bad situations. Then what is Mr. Putin up to by invading Ukraine unprovoked? Outrageous madness! Thousands of innocent people have already died and more will. Millions became refugees. It is creating worse situations for all parties since German invasion of Poland in 1939. We must do everything to help save lives and to prevent all-out war.

Many pundits predict a devastating result of Putin’s fatal mistake not only on Russian and Ukrainian people but also on Mr. Putin himself personally. Many dictators died pathetic and often violent deaths. It will be a repeat of Soviet misadventure into Afghanistan during the 1980’s. It resulted in the downfall of the Russian Empire “USSR.” The bottomless quagmire dragged the Russian economy into the bottomless bog and turned the populace against the once powerful empire. Humans fought each other from time immemorial. History tells us that there haven’t been very many positive effects on the victors as well as on vanquished. No one wins a war. Like Bob Dylan lamented: “When will we ever learn?”

As World War II ended, severe recession fell on the U.K. It was so bad that people rejected the war hero Winston Churchill in the general election. American economy was going through a same doom and gloom. Severe recession fell. while Germany and Japan thrived in an economic miracle. A standup comedian Jackie Mason proposed a quick passage to prosperity. “Declare a war against Germany and Japan, and surrender next day. We get lots of foreign aid, and we will kick start economy.” Often comedians are a sharpest and acute observer like Charlie Chaplin was. The current president of Ukraine Valensky was a comedian. Mighty Russian army may be defeated by a comedian in a green T-shirt.

When I came to Canada in 1957, in Vancouver where I was appointed to the my first job in Canada, the city was full from the elites of Japanese business class who were representatives of trading companies. I had a luck (or misfortune) to get invited to the parties at the Consul General’s Residence often because some of them came to my church. Many of those businessmen were former officers of the defeated former Japanese military. They were full of passion for revenge but through commerce and technology: Buy up everything Canada wanted to sell: coal, lumber, oil, fish, wheat, oil, everything, and sell superior quality technological manufactured goods: cars, electronic gizmos, mortor-bikes, etc. The passionate conversation was frightening for one committed to Canada. I quit going there. In retrospect, I guess they succeeded not in the war but in commerce and technology. Germany can tell the same story. When will we ever learn? Nobody wins a war. Mr. Putin is trapped in the same bottomless qugmire and will be remembered as a blood-thirsty tyrant like Joseph Stalin.