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THE ROLE OF FLOWERS IN ESTABLISHING PARADISE ON EARTH

 

The main purpose of our work is to help establish Paradise on Earth. What, then, is Paradise on Earth? It is a world where truth, virtue and beauty are manifested fully in our daily lives.

Of course, our teachings on health and Nature Farming are the most important guidelines by which to realize our objective. We also have Johrei, which gives new life to all phases of man's being, spiritual, mental, physical. Besides the above mentioned, we believe it is vitally important to raise the consciousness of everyone through beauty. In regard to this, we are about to launch a new plan. Let me first refer to the current condition of Japan in order to clarify the point.

Basically speaking, beauty is appreciated by the sense of hearing through the ear and the sense of seeing through the eye. For the ears, never before have we seen a time when music flourished so much in Japan; this is due primarily to the development of the radio and the phonograph. But for the eyes, there are only motion pictures and theatrical performances for the most part; this creates quite a discouraging situation. We should be able to have contact with beauty more easily, without any limitations of time. Of course, for the purpose of pleasing the eyes, theatrical shows and motion pictures are very good, but considering the time, expense and distance involved, we cannot accept them wholeheartedly as the best possible means for studying beauty.

We wish to encourage people to cultivate flowers and to distribute them as the best method for the popularization of beauty. This begins with decorating the rooms in our individual homes and in other buildings. It is true that we see flowers placed in many middle and upper-class homes, but we feel this is not enough. Our aim is to encourage everyone to place arrangements in every place of every kind, so wherever people go they will see flowers and enjoy them.

I don't have to tell you what a refreshing atmosphere it would add to a desk in an office or study to have a single flower displayed in a vase. Ideally speaking, I would also like to see arrangements placed in every jail and in each prison cell. I believe the good effects these would have on the inmates' consciousness would be immeasurable. In this way, when the time comes that wherever there are people there are flowers, the negativities of today's world will be considerably alleviated.

However, there is very little we can do at present, because of the high prices of flowers. We must do something to make them obtainable at much lower costs. In order to achieve this, we should encourage an increase in their production, to the degree that it does not affect the production of food.

In regard to this subject, I would like to present another important point.

Japan is well-known as a country that has the greatest varieties of flowers. Also, it is said that our methods of cultivating them have reached the highest standards in the world. Even before World War II, tulips, which originally came from the Netherlands, were already being raised in the around Niigata Prefecture and considerable amounts were being exported. Also, around the same time, white lilies were produced in Kanagawa Prefecture and then sent to Great Britain and the United States, with an anual increase in export.

According to a survey we have made, there are quite a number of Americans who admire Japanese flowers and are anxious to secure rare and exceptional ones that cannot be found in the United States. We should undertake a big increase in their production, for, among other things, I believe this would be a great aid to Japan in its efforts to obtain foreign currencies and so improve its economic condition. Up to the present, this field has been quite neglected. We should do all we can to draw attention to it, especially since flowers have no export quota. I believe this proposal is worth considering, for there is much that could be gained from the idea.

 

May 08, 1949

 

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