The Words of the Fujii Family

Second Generation Testimony

Mr. Fujii
October 14, 2010

I was born in Boston Massachusetts 1984 into a family of both with Japanese parents. Michio and Mayumi Fujii. My parents were blessed in the 777 couples blessing ceremony and I have 7 siblings. All of us were born in the United States due to my fathers CARP mission. I grew up being taken care by baby sitters as my parents were never around. In fact, I used to think my mother was a Czechoslovakian sister as I spent more time with her than my actual mother.

When I was 6 years old my family moved to NY due to True Fathers direction for people to go to UTS. These 2 years of my life was nice as I was able to see my parents more often. During this time, my mother made me study very hard. She would discipline us with "Kumon-shiki", a Japanese mathematics and Japanese language material. When we would refuse to study, she would scowl us, "True Father needs each of you to go to top universities and become leaders of this world!". In this sense, I would say this part of my childhood was tough, but this certainly helped all of us to do well in school.

After my father graduated UTS he was given the mission to be the national leader of Japan and so I moved with my parents with my two brothers and sister to Japan. At the age of 8, I was parted from the eldest 3 siblings, who decided to stay in the USA with church families.

I clearly remember the day I arrived in Japan. It was hot and humid and Tokyo seemed cramped. It was very different to the USA, especially in the sense that everything seemed so small. Upon arriving to Narita airport, there were Japanese church members to greet us. We stuffed our things into a small van and they drove us to my grandparent's place. That night my younger brother cried all night, as he could not find my parents in my grandparent's house.

My parents were already in Shibuya working in the church headquarters. I did not know what was happening and neither did my siblings. We did not think we would be parted with our parents again, even more surprisingly, that we would end up living with my grandparents.

During the time I lived in Japan, we spent most of the time living with my grand parents. My parents were too busy with church work that they had to live closer to the church headquarters, and more specifically, they couldn't take care of us.

If simply said, my time in Japan was the toughest time of my life. I received persecution at school for not being able to speak Japanese. I was too "American" and did not fit in. I got bullied for wearing US style clothes. On top of that my three siblings and me lived a very disciplined life style.

Every morning my grandmother would wake all of us up at 5 am so we could do house choirs. My elder brother and I swept the house floors with a broom. To save electricity, there was no thing as a vacuum cleaner in the house. My younger brother had to sweep the entrance of the house as well as the front garden. My elder sister would do any laundry and clean the toilets and make breakfast.

My grandmother would try to save every penny on food, electricity and water. My siblings and I could take a bath only once a week and a typical breakfast would be gone off moldy stale bread with Japanese tea. My sister would get bullied at school as she started to develop lice. We were not given any pocket money, and so did not fit in with the kids at school. For snack, we would eat sweet potatoes or oranges. We never ate any nice sweets or snacks that a typical kid would like to eat in Japan. We had no toys or friends to play with.

What made things worse is that my grandmother would always complain about us. She would get angry if we ever complained, or if we ever refused to listen to her. She would always tell us that she was very old and didn't have the energy to take care of us. Resentment towards my parents for never being around in addition to the poor lifestyle grew larger over the years.

I questioned why they never came to see us and why were we living such a poor conditions? I just couldn't understand it! My father was the national leader of the Japanese Unification Church, an organization with close with half a million members. Didn't he receive a salary? Did he not get any holidays? Every time I saw him, he would be in a suit and he looked smart but he did not have time for us.

On top of this, my grandfather was an entrepreneur of an auto-parts maker with a business and assets worth a few million dollars. Therefore, I couldn't comprehend why we lived such humble lives. Were we really that poor? I soon learnt both my parents and grandparents were donating everything they had or received as salary to the church. My grandfather donated his company and assets including his home to the church, which would soon later become large part of Saeilo motors. This surely was a good thing, but I wasn't happy about it at the time.

At school I was unable to focus, we couldn't afford to go to evening school like other kids at school and I had appalling grades. I went from a straight "A" student in the USA, to a "D" grade student in Japan. I lost all motivation to do any studies and the language barrier was so difficult for my siblings and me. I would often be called a foreigner as my Japanese accent was far from native. The only thing I could do well at school was in Arts and craft. The art teacher at school acknowledged a piece of work I made at school and it was placed in City's regional art competition, where it won first place.

On the day of the award ceremony, my parents could not make it, and so the headmaster who felt sorry for me, took me instead. My parents did not attend my parents evening and my teacher would ask where my parents were. I soon started stealing from shops to try and fit in at school, but this brought misery to my conscience. I was completely lost. I was also known at school for being a "rebel" and teachers would talk behind my back. I hated myself, as I knew this was far from the ideal person my parents wanted me to grow up to be. In fact, the three points my parents said to me every time they would see me:

Worship God and True Parents

Do well in school; you have to be the best!

Never date any girls and prepare for the blessing in the future

At secondary school, I started hanging around the rebellious students as many of the smarter kids did not want to be my friend. One day the rebellious students who I thought were my friends, eventually turned their back on me. During physical exercise class, they sneaked out and stole my wallet from the changing room. To be frank, there was nothing to steal from my wallet. My wallet contained nothing of value. After seeing that there was nothing in it, they could have just placed it back, but instead they decided to throw my empty wallet from the school rooftop.

Later during that day, a student from the school reported a dropped wallet and I knew who did it. The pain I felt from the betrayal that day, struck me deep. I felt I had no one in my life. But when I look back at it, it was a blessing in disguise, as today I can understand to a very small extent God's aching heart. He is in pain from the betrayal of mankind and he indeed has no one to go to. When I was 13, just about the time I was about to hit rock bottom in my youth days, my parents told me that we were going to the UK. They had a new mission -- to be national messiahs of the UK. I was relieved that I could escape life in Japan, but I was also scared to adapt to a new environment.

When I came to the UK the UK church was very welcoming. We were given a place to stay here in Lancaster Gate and the church members were always very kind. However, I still had to face many challenges. I couldn't speak any English and I did poorly at school. I remember crying during private English lessons at Aunt Penny Moore's place.

I went to a rough school with poor teaching as private schooling was not an option and my grades from Japan were too poor to get into a grammar school. About 60% of people at my school dropped out of education at the age of 16 years old to go and work. I was bullied at school for having poor English and for bringing the same pack lunch every day. In the midst of this, I met Wen. He would buy me sweets and drinks every break time and secretly give it to me so I could fit in with people. We became best friends over time and this was the first good thing in my life.

The biggest turning point for me and the start of my life of faith was when I was 15. I decided to go to a seven-day workshop in the Livingstone house to learn about the Divine Principle. To that day, although I knew my parents were more dedicated than the average church member, I actually had no clue whom Rev. Moon was. My parents had no time to educate us about the principle and I didn't know why my parents were following such a man.

This workshop for me was very special. I can clearly remember today who was even attending: Simon Cooper, Victor Zacaralli, Nicholas Hanson, Sarah Hannah, Maria Miller and my sister. In this workshop, my life changed, I cried heavily during lectures and I could finally trace back all my memories and understand why my painful experiences in Japan were not in vein. I finally came to understand why my parents and grandparents were following Rev. Moon. Rev Moon was the messiah, the second coming and savior.

All my resentment was flushed away. I also finally understood why my parents told me to do well in school. It was so that I could live for the sake of others, so I could become someone who could help people, rather than being a burden to someone. My mission was clear; I had to become someone that people could respect, so that they could come in contact with God's word, the Divine Principle and to eventually receive the blessing.

With God's guidance and hard studying, my grades went up exponentially. I finished my secondary school with straight A's and A*'s and was a top student. I also wanted Wen to go to high school with me so I helped him with his math so that he could get the grade he needed to continue on studying.

At the end of my secondary school, age 16, I was inspired by the Principle that I told Wen of my beliefs about the Unification Church and this is when my witnessing experience began. I knew that God wanted to reach out to Wen and that I needed to tell him about the Principle. To witness to Wen I decided to drop my place at a competitive grammar school to continue going to the same school. Although I was worried about getting good grades to get into a good university, this was one of the best decisions I made in my life.

It gave me the opportunity to become closer to Wen and to eventually witness him. Witnessing to Wen was not all easy, as he did not believe in God. I would travel to his house on the weekend and study the divine principle together with him. I soon stumbled on a challenge.

One day, Wen decided to stop coming to Sunday service and he started to avoid me at school. I phoned Wen several times, but he would keep ignoring me. I could not stop crying and I felt so much pain in my heart. I was so desperate to talk to him. After consulting my mother, I decided to do a fasting and cold shower condition. After a few weeks, Wen decided to pick up the phone, and he said he didn't want to come to church anymore.

I remember the phone conversation on that day, it felt like my world was crumbling. I felt like I failed to save someone's spiritual life, but also I was loosing my best friend. After speaking to my mother, she agreed to meet him after school with me. Over dinner, my mother explained to Wen that God does exist and convinced him by explaining to him why certain Chinese characters had biblical meaning.

For example, the character "boat" is written as eight people entering a ark. i.e. Noah, his wife and three sons with their wives entering the ark. Wen was shocked and intrigued by this. Of course this was not enough to convince him about everything. However, over dinner, Wen agreed to attend a 7 day workshop. During that workshop Wen experienced God and he decided to join the movement.

This was during A-levels (equivalent of high school) and I was 17. At high school, me and Wen would try and witness to Muslims in our school and we studied hard together. We were not necessarily successful in terms of witnessing but we learnt a lot. I graduated with 4 As in my A-levels and I was admitted into, Imperial College London, a top engineering school in Europe to study Electrical Engineering. Wen was also able to successfully enter university to study and he later on attended a 21 day workshop. Today Wen is blessed to a Japanese sister, Aki.

During university, I worked hard to be a top student. I knew that only by being a top student could I then gain the respect from outside people, which could then give me the chance to teach them the principle. Every year I graduated with a 1st class honors (equivalent to a GPA of 4.0), and I made every effort to try and witness. I would keep an eye out for "Good people"; those with a good heart, who did not drink, or have girlfriends, and anyone who was religious. I would try to become friends with them, as I knew that they were more ready to listen to the principle.

I remember one night, I was having a deep religious conversation with a Muslim friend in my course. We started to have a heated conversation about the concept of "destiny". Islam teaches that God gave each one of us a "destiny" and therefore he already knows where we will all go. So I ended up arguing that this made no sense, and told him that we might as well all just commit suicide if God already has set us our destiny. For me, I wanted to convince him that we have responsibility and free will. And that it was our free will that made us fall away from God. During the conversation my friend ended up throwing me out of his dorm and told me I would "Go to hell'. It was frustrating, but such experiences were valuable, as I came to learn more about the different religious teachings.

During university, I was faced with an obstacle. The blessing. It was a new age in the providence and True Father was no longer matching second generation. It was an era for parents to match their children and this caused many difficulties for me. My parents looked hard for but nothing came of it. I lost self-confidence and this eventually caused obstacles in my life of faith. In such tough times, Wen looked after me spiritually and I managed to get through possibly the toughest time in my spiritual life.

On my graduation day, my parents who were unable to attend, phoned me to tell me that they found me a spouse. It was a happy and sad moment at the same time. I worked hard to graduate as a first class honors but my parents could not make it to London due to financial reasons. At the same time, it was possibly the happiest day of my life, since I could see hope in receiving the blessing.

During my last year of university, I became friends with my next-door neighbor whilst living in Lancaster Gate. His name is Shoichi and he came from Japan to become a hair dresser. I soon realized he worked in the same hair salon that I went to and after graduating, although I moved out of Lancaster Gate, I kept in close contact with him. He soon started to struggle with work as he lacked motivation. I listened to his struggles and gave him solutions based on the principle.

We soon developed a deep relationship and I suggested that he should pursue going to University to do something bigger in life. For him, this was a ridiculous idea. He was not confident about studying given that he had a poor track record in high school and he couldn't even speak English!

I told him about my life story, and insured him my full support. In order for Shochi to pursue further education, he first had to quit his job. However, Shoichi was scared to quit his job, as he couldn't see himself being able to survive without an income. As I spoke to him over many phone conversations, God made me say that "The hair dresser you work for is going to go bankrupt!" He did not believe me. I even didn't believe what I was saying! Eventually through creating a CV for him I was able to persuade him to quit his job. Within a week he found a job that paid a similar amount of money, with half the amount of working hours! This meant that he could study English and prepare to enter further education.

Two months after quitting the hair salon, God worked His miracles. The prestigious hair salon in Baker Street he used to work at declared bankruptcy and all his colleagues were struggling to find jobs or even just to stay in the UK. It was Shoichi's first experience with God! One and a half years later, through his efforts to study hard for a greater purpose, Shoichi finished his high school with straight As and has managed to secure a place at Kings College London to study Computer Science from this coming September. He has also joined the Unification Church and is planning on going to a 7 day workshop soon. From these experiences of witnessing people around me, I realized that witnessing can be easy if we live and try to help people around us. Naturally, people will soon gain interest in what we believe in.

After graduating university, I was offered a job in an investment bank in the City of London working as an equity derivatives structurer. I knew that joining an investment bank would not only look good and could be used as a tool to witness to people, but it would give me a better understanding of how the world of finance, economics and politics worked.

The world of investment banking was like Satan's den. Egocentric, selfish and greedy are rather polite words to describe the people who worked in the industry. Of course, not all people were like this, but a good majority showed no signs of morality. Thursday was the new Friday when it came to the amount of time people spent in the bars and clubs of the City of London. Alcohol was consumed like water and many bankers would take every opportunity to have a "team business trip" down to a local strip club.

My toughest challenge during my three years as a banker was to get along enough with the people I worked with. The social aspect of banking and finance often meant going down to the pub for a "drink". In the beginning I would quickly run away and go home. But over more time, I realized that this would not work. So I would join my team to the pub and have a coke. I firmly told them that I didn't drink for religious reasons. For many, it was a shock. But by being bold about it, they really had no choice but to just accept it.

Eventually, the year 2008 came. The financial crisis and sub-prime mortgage problems in the US started to contaminate the Global credit market. Stock markets plunged like a person doing a bungee jump. It was the beginning of one of history's largest financial crisis. In the midst of this, the investment bank I worked for ended up being acquired by another investment bank. This meant merging of teams and eventual layoffs. It also meant that bosses were looking for people that could "fit in" with their ways, and to do away with those who they didn't like.

As my team merged, and two weeks before I was told that I would be "let go", from my job, an incident occurred. It was not surprisingly in the pub. My new boss kindly bought me an "Asahi beer". I told him that I didn't drink. He said to me, "But I bought this for you!". I apologetically said to him that I don't drink once again. He then said, "Your choice!". So when I was asked to leave, I was not shocked. Although I worked very hard, I knew this was somewhat not enough. But having said this, I do not regret not taking that drink. It has made me stronger as a second generation, and the satisfaction of making my beliefs clear was something money could not buy.

As soon as I was let go from my job, I had to think very carefully about what to do next. I took some time out to think and reflect about life. I applied for investment banking positions, but as I would have interviews, I would often be asked, "Are you OK to entertain clients and have a good time with them?" I concluded that, perhaps I should be doing something else with my life. This is when I started to look for PhD positions. Naturally, I applied for a position at Imperial College London, since my wife also had to study in London. With prayer and hard preparation, I completed a challenging entrance exam and a series of interviews and was admitted to join a PhD research group with a full scholarship and living stipend at Imperial College London.

More recently, an ex-colleague who I used to work with in the investment bank became interested in what I believed in. He was actually a senior to me and he even has two kids and a wife. I know he became interested because I would not drink and I showed morals that he did not see from others at work. I explained to him about the principle and today he has come three times to the Sunday service at the London central church. Of course there are many challenges lying ahead when it comes to witnessing him, but I am hopeful that he can come to understand the principle.

Today, there is a lot happening in the central London church! Thanks to our national leader Simon Cooper. We have a refurbished building to bring guests to and a consistent Monday Divine Principle lecture session with online streaming for people who cannot physically attend thanks to William Haines and Raymon Bateman. Today we are gathering momentum to witness more people, some from street witnessing and some from members bringing friends and I really hope everyone can ride with this momentum!

I want to personally thank Simon for all his hard work and his vision to bring witnessing back into the central headquarters. I also want to thank those who are making significant contributions including William Haines and Sung Jung Choi. I believe if we can work together and create a system where there is at least one full time divine principle lecturer available to give lectures at any day of the week, and some full time members that can support and take care of guests, we can revive witnessing in central London head quarters and save many people's spiritual lives! Aju! 

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