Sun Myung Moon’s Life In His Own Words

Student Days at Waseda Technical High School April 1941-September 1943

March 2008

When I graduated from elementary school, I gave a speech in front of an audience that included the police chief, the district chief and other officials. I criticized the Japanese severely, shouting for them to pack up their bags and go home. I was like that from elementary school... I took hold of the police chief and criticized him. I said, "This and this is not right. How can you just do nothing?" Because I did this kind of thing, I was marked.

In order to go to Japan, I had to get a letter of recommendation from my headmaster. I also needed a passport for foreign travel from the police chief. When he saw me, he said, "We must keep an eye on this person. He is a troublemaker." This got us arguing. We have to be like this. There should be something special about us.

Hikari Ho Train to Busan (March 31, 1941, 2:10 PM)

In 1941 when I left from Seoul Station for Busan Harbor in order to go to study in Japan, I shed many tears looking at the capital city, thinking about who would take responsibility for these wretched people. When I left for Japan, I caught the Hikari Ho Train at Seoul Station. As I boarded, 1 thought, "I will not spend my time as a wretched failure. God will protect the young man who goes forward with a firm, resolute heart to save the nation. When I return, God will be full of hope." This is why Korea was not bombed during World War II.

When I left for Busan from Seoul, I asked myself what I was going to learn in Japan. For this country to be liberated and for the young generation to have hope and get ahead in life, the nation needs to be free and independent. I was determined to prepare the way for the country. I can still remember leaving Yongsan Station, crossing over the old Han River Bridge, holding on to the train railing with tears flowing down my face.

I was leaving an orphan country. I pulled my overcoat up by the lapels to hide my face and cried all the way from Seoul to Busan. A Japanese lady who rode in the same coach asked me, "Have your mother and father just passed away, young fellow?" This pain and sadness comes to everyone, but my sadness arose out of love for my country.

Shokei Maru Ferry (April 1, 1941)

I'll never forget what I prayed just before I left for Japan. I was standing on the Busan Harbor pier at about 2 AM and looking back at Korea. I prayed, "I will love you even more and shed even more tears for you, even though I am leaving now."

It seems like only yesterday that I boarded the ferry from Busan to Japan, shedding tears the whole journey. Japan occupied Korea then.

I wondered who would save and free our wretched nation. I stayed awake all night looking at the stars, praying. I told God, "I have prayed and shed so many tears for the liberation of this nation, which I am leaving now. Heavenly Father, please keep this nation safe until I return." The boat left at 2:40 in the morning. I can never forget my heart at that time.

Willingly treading such a tearful course demonstrates patriotism and filial piety. It is the same for loyal patriots and it is the same for saints. A tearful life is the path of a saint. If there is a history or tradition that can move the world, it is one of tears. A tradition of tears is capable of dominating the world.

Waseda Technical High School (April 1, 1941- September 30, 1943)

[Waseda Technical High is affiliated with the Waseda University Electrical Engineering Department.]

Since I first set foot on what was then enemy land, I was determined to endure anything. I never visited famous places in Japan. A person without a nation would not visit such places. I didn't go to Mt. Fuji and I didn't go to Adami Beach, Hakone National Park or the gardens in Niko either. I would only go to places if God were to say, "I feel joy at seeing such a beautiful place. It's a good place. Why don't you go there?" Unless that had happened I absolutely would not go.

That's the kind of person I am.

I walked along Takadanobaba Street to Waseda University twice a day. I used to walk a lot. I hope you also have the opportunity to walk along Takadanobaba Street to the university with the same heart I had. You should know that in any place of significance along that road, at the bends and at the telegraph poles, my tears are hidden.

Majoring in electrical engineering

You have to know what work you want to do. The most important years are those from age eighteen to twenty-four. By the time you are twenty-four, you should have decided upon your purpose and goals in life. If you cultivate yourself and pray, you will realize what you should do.

I studied electrical engineering. I studied science and I knew the way I should go. Because I studied Father as science, I had already tried my hand in most things in Japan connected with electricity. In order to do great things, you need to be good at mathematical calculations. You need to be quick at evaluating things. Controlling things unseen is similar to religion. You can discover electrical phenomena in all phenomena of the physical world. It is present in every action. I studied this kind of thing because I knew that I would not be able to put forward a new religious ideology without first mastering the world of science. Studying electronics helped me a lot.

I have a head for mathematics. When I was a student, I went to a hat factory and ordered a hat twice, but it was still too small and I had to rip it to make it fit. I have a big head. That's because I have many brain cells! [Laughter] So if I concentrate on something, I can do in three years what others would take ten years to do.

I studied with that kind of mind-set. Why do you feel tired when you study? It is because you study for yourself. That is why you feel tired. Try thinking that the life or death of the whole human race depends on one phrase. Thirty million people will be able to live if you remember it and 30 million will be destroyed if you forget it. Try studying with that kind of heart. What do you mean you're not smart? If you go through life centered on yourself, only despair will result. If you go through life for the nation and the world, hope will result.

Persistently asking questions

I always gave the teachers a difficult time by the questions I asked. The teachers were always looking up to see whether I would stand up and ask a question during their lectures. Once I started asking questions, I continued doing so until their faces had turned red. In debates about theory, the school teachers were not a challenge for me. My friends also were no match for me.

I asked, "What do you think about this?" so many times that every time teachers saw me they would hide in a corner. They would sit in the front of the class if they thought I wasn't going to ask them a question but otherwise they would try not to come too close to me. They used to lecture like that. They tried their best not to look at me. Once I started digging up the roots, I had to finish the job. When we studied physics I asked, "Who devised this theory? How can I believe it if I haven't tried it first?" I used to be like that. You can imagine how much they suffered because of me.

Speaking Japanese quickly

I am not stupid. Even when I was in Japan, I used to compete with native speakers in speaking Japanese quickly. No Japanese could speak Japanese faster than I could. I used to train myself.

Speed is the most important thing when you speak Japanese. Even when I was arguing, I used to speak three Japanese words to everyone else's one. (Laughter) I practiced this. Becoming a leader is not easy.

I conducted research. I was determined to persuade Japanese young people also to follow me and work for the world. I used to train myself from the perspective that I wouldn't succeed unless I had common sense superior to that of the average Japanese person.

Athletic training

When I was a student, there was a Japanese wrestler called Futabayama. I wonder if he is still alive. If I had wrestled, I would have liked to wrestle him. [Laughter] I am good at Korean wrestling. In my middle and high school days, I was the best wrestler.

I was the champion wrestler in high school. I was good at running and jumping. I even boxed. I could hit a bad person – Pow! -- and he would go flying. Why did I do this? It was not in order to fight. In order to realize a great revolution, in order to put this world back on the right path according to heavenly law, in order to make a peaceful world, I needed a strong, healthy body.

Life in student lodgings

I was often treated badly when looking for lodgings in Japan. If I thought about that, when just listening to the Japanese language, I got a headache. But I had to love Satan's children more than I loved God's children. That's God's heart. To this day, I have lived like this, thinking about that point thousands and thousands of times. It is true.

Not so long ago, I visited one of the many lodging houses I'd lived in. I met the lady who ran the lodging house. At that time, 100 yen [today, $1] was a lot of money. Do you know how much the room rent was? It was 11 yen a month.

I had an experience in my lodging house that I cannot forget. The master of the lodging house used to come home drunk late at night and beat his wife, who was not one to stand still and take it. If he tried to hit her, she became angry and used to shout and scream so much that the whole neighborhood was in an uproar. [Laughter] The sound of them fighting woke me up on numerous occasions.

So I called on the lady and asked her, "Why do you stay and let yourself be beaten? Why don't you return to your hometown?" She said, "Unmarried people can't comprehend the pleasure of making up and of making love after a fight." [Laughter] That's how it is. After a fight you have no qualification to make love, so you have to beg for forgiveness and then... She may have been afraid of being hit once or twice, but she understood him and accepted his bad habit. It must have been interesting -- her husband trying to reconcile with her and express his love for her for a few days. Anyway, that's how they lived. I am not sure what to say about it. [Laughter]

Investigating and systematizing the Principle

You have no idea how much I suffered in trying to find the Principle. I prayed for ten to fourteen hours a day for many years. Do you understand how wretched I was? My blood, sweat and tears permeate Exposition of the Divine Principle. Each page is soaked in my blood and tears and is crying out to young people like you. It is the result of my having sacrificed and invested my youth. My blood and tears are crying out to you.

I did not discover the Principle only by looking in the Bible. If the chapter on the Fall represents the Book of Genesis, the chapter on restoration represents the Book of Revelation.

I told myself, "If the Tree of Life has become as it was in Genesis, the Tree of Life in Revelation has been restored. If that is not correct, the Bible is a lie. Why? Something that is born of a seed returns to a seed. Because I knew that Christianity had to be the central of all religions,

I decided to dig to its end, the root of Christianity. In doing so, I discovered how the Creation took place, what God was doing, and why God likes love.

Nobody taught me anything. I discovered it for myself and systematized it. I caught hold of it and put it in my pocket. It sounds like a dream. God was not a loving God toward me. He was cold-hearted, merciless. He never sympathized with me. If He had, Satan would have interfered. That is the difficult thing. I had to uncover everything and systematize it. I am no ordinary person, which is why I was able to systematize it. That world is so vast you don't even know where to start.

There have been countless philosophers, saints and sages, but they couldn't solve these problems. I came to clearly know the reality of the spirit world, and I met all the spiritual teachers and leaders and held discussions with them. I thoroughly studied the spirit world, and based on heavenly law, I had to set boundaries and sort out everything. Later, I had to take it to God to debate its veracity with Him. Without the approval of the spiritual world, you cannot unify the earth.

The father-son relationship is the core of the universe

There was a time when I entered a transcendent state to look for the origin of the universe. God told me that it is the parent-child relationship -- father and son. This is the conclusion. The universe originated out of the parent-child relationship. The creation is a garden created for the children. If you clearly understand God, the principles of creation are revealed naturally.

I invested the most energy in finding the answer to the question of the origin. After nine years of continuous struggle, I finally discovered the answer. After we realize this, it's quite simple, isn't it? I told myself, "Oh! I didn't realize it was so simple." I knew everything else but I didn't realize this point for such a long time.

The principle of reciprocal complementary action

Scholars say that the universe exists according to the principle of reciprocal repulsion, but this is not true. It exists according to the principle of reciprocal complementary action.

When storm clouds build up and rain falls, or when lightning flashes and thunder crashes, billions of volts of negatively charged electricity and positively charged electricity clash. Then billions of volts of electricity with a positive or negative charge appear in the lightning flash. How can you explain that? This is what I was planning to write about for my doctoral dissertation. The numerous positively charged particles and the many negatively charged ones cannot appear in one flash without plus first joining plus and the minus first joining minus. The positively charged particles come together and the negatively charged ones come together, and then they clash. There is no way to explain what happens in lightning without this kind of explanation.

It seems to contradict the basic theory of electricity but it doesn't. The conceptual framework is different. The plus and the minus receive protection when the object partner is decided. What conclusion can we draw from this? People say it is a universal law that when a subject and object become absolutely one, in order to protect that unity, a plus will repel another plus and a minus will repel another minus, but they don't repulse each other. They protect each other.

Developing my philosophy

I never told anyone what kind of system of thought I followed. My friends didn't know. I researched the Bible and various books about religion and brought home philosophy books that ordinary people don't read.

I had a friend who was studying politics and economics at Waseda. He was studying communism. I had heated arguments with him.

Once I gave a speech by a roadside. I even gave speeches where many people had come to see the cherry blossoms in bloom. I criticized the times. I shouted about how the youth of today have to act. The things I prophesied then are all being fulfilled now.

I understand communism well. I have fought against communism since I was twenty years old. Among the Communist leaders who returned to North Korea and were given government ministerial positions were some of my friends. I told them in our student days, during the Japanese occupation, "You and I have come together to fight, but in the future we will be on opposite sides." This was very real to me. They had no idea I would become the main person in bringing down communism, but I already knew then.

Regarding the question of where human beings originated, I can say that our emergence did not result from our self-awareness or some developmental action from within ourselves. There should first be something that recognizes the fact that there indeed was a fundamental action, direction and sense of purpose. From this point of view, human beings, like all other forms of creation, did not evolve and develop on their own; rather they began to exist as entities with an awareness already determined, with their own purpose, mandated to take certain actions towards a certain direction under that purpose. We must understand this fact, which cannot be logically refuted.

I'd argued, asking, "What is the theory of evolution? What is it that Charles Darwin says is the origin of species? You crazy people!"

People say that I am the love philosopher. My philosophy is love, and if you want to find out about the philosophy of love, you have to ask me. Do you think I made up the philosophy of love, or discovered it? (You discovered it.} That's right. I discovered the philosophy of love. I didn't create it.

I am the philosopher of love. I am the philosopher who loves heaven and earth. I (with those who are with me at this time) am solving, through love, the problems of the family, ethnic groups and the world for the first time. This is the only thing I know. No matter how much you search through the spirit world or through history, this is the only thing that is important. And if you pass the test of love, the devil will retreat and God will welcome you. Nobody has acknowledged my achievements in this area before. It has taken forty years for this to be acknowledged.

Underground Korean independence activities

While in my twenties, I swore to God that I'd save this nation. I believed I represented all 30 million Koreans at that time and that my love for God was stronger than the love the Japanese people had for their emperor. Based on that, I believed Japan would decline. They struck goodness first, so they had to decline. If falseness strikes goodness, it doesn't gain from it.

When I was studying in Tokyo, I went around a lot. Because I had a plan for the future, I went everywhere. I thought, "Some years in the future, Japanese young people will rise up again."

I went everywhere in order to find out what scholars and workers were doing. I went along numerous back streets. I sent out many secret messengers. I started my struggle from the moment I got off the train at Tokyo Station. I didn't say anything, but I spoke to the streets, "In the future, you will know what the Koreans have gone through." Yet I did not want to be merely patriotic. When I looked at the trees or I spoke to the creation I said, "Oh, you are a part of an enemy land, but you will belong to God."

God's son became a heavenly soldier, a guerilla to defeat the satanic world. That's why there is nothing I don't know. At school I met the person in charge of school business affairs and investigated all the school's secrets. I knew what Japan was like, and I predicted how much longer Japan would last.

I even did work for high-level people. I did jobs for the college president. This was possible because I was good at writing. I was fully aware of the corruption and knew about the people who pulled strings behind the scenes.

You have probably never experienced the anguished sorrow of losing your nation. I have. When Korea was groaning under Japanese rule, I took part in resistance activities against Japan. At that time, if any problem arose, all the Korean students in Japan called on me to solve it. They came to me. I was a district leader. So if things became extremely serious, they had me take care of things.

Compelled by righteousness, I risked my neck. I am not a chicken-hearted man. I crossed the sea from Japan to Korea and traveled in the undercarriage of a car for eight or nine hours from Busan to Andong as a representative of the provisional government. The troops who were under Kim Gu in Beijing are becoming famous today, even in China. I took part in underground resistance activities, as they did.

I worked in the underground movement and connected with the most capable people. I can remember that work as if it were only yesterday. I remember it so clearly because I invested my whole heart into it.

I was friendly with Communists in my student years. We had a common purpose in fighting to overturn the philosophy that presented the Japanese emperor as a unique being. These Communists were good friends and absolutely necessary comrades. Why did we go our separate ways? Their final goal and direction were completely opposite to ours.

Under constant surveillance

The police were always following me. If I went back to Korea, they would telephone to inform the authorities that I was headed there. When I passed through the ticket collectors exit, they would be there to greet me with "Oh, so you have returned..."

I was a student but I was a suspect under surveillance. Most people don't know this about me. I was detained by the police on numerous occasions in those days. While I was staying in Tokyo, they called me to the police station at Waseda University, on Takadanobaba Street, once a month.

I was also tortured by the Japanese police when I was in my twenties. I continued to fight even under those circumstances. I was beaten and tortured but remained resolute. I cannot forget it.

Love Heaven after loving your country

How can people say they love Heaven when they don't love their own country? I'll have to recheck everyone. Those who do not love their own country cannot love Heaven.

During the time when Japan ruled Korea, the police followed me. The military police also followed me. When I went to northern Korea, I had to struggle against the Communists. In the southern part of Korea, too, I had to oppose the authorities. That was my destiny.

Did I go over their walls and plunder their belongings? Of course not. I loved this country and people more than anyone else did, and I worked harder than anyone for the Republic of Korea... I have cried so much for this country. At that time I shed so many tears that I can face any patriot without shame.

Overcoming hunger

Until I was thirty, not a day passed without my feeling hungry. I am well acquainted with suffering from hunger. Why did I do this? I had pledged myself to Heaven, and 1 had a mission given by Heaven. As the person with this responsibility, who had not yet established the necessary foundation, how could I eat? When I looked at rice it shouted abuse at me. Are you aware of that world? The rice shouted at me. So I ate only enough to sustain myself...

I used to tell myself that in order to gain good things and eat good things I must not eat much now. Even if 1 went to a restaurant, I never went to a good restaurant. In restaurants I always sat in the worst seat, but not because I didn't have any money. I was brooding over how I could set adequate conditions for me to feel prouder in front of God than anyone else could. That's why I lived as I did.

Because it was wartime, we used food coupons. I had some coupons, so I went with my friends to find out how many bowls of rice we could eat. There was a temple in the Takadanobaba area surrounded by many restaurants. One day, I ate seven bowls of rice containing chicken and egg at one of them. I couldn't even move my neck after eating so much. It was even more terrible than being hungry. I couldn't move. I have had that experience, but it is wrong to think that I always acted like that. For the most part, I was continually hungry. If you are always full, you lose touch with the situation of the people and you lose touch with God. I was hungry. I wanted to eat but I was determined to love God and people more. This is the truth. It is my creed.

Try eating two meals a day for the next four years. All of you, try it. I ate only two meals a day from high school until I was thirty years old. I lived without eating three meals a day. Not a day went by that I wasn't hungry. Sacrifice one meal a day for the world. That is a holy act.

Wearing old clothes, eyes downcast

Many of the clothes I wore were bought in a used clothing store. Some of the trousers I wore were the wrong size and shiny. Many people pay attention to their hair by getting a permanent, by blow drying it or by putting hair cream on it. They say their hair becomes a mess when it is windy or when a typhoon blows. But I never did those things. I never put anything on my head in any kind of weather, in spring or summer.

On winter days, my gaze never rose higher than 45 degrees from the ground. When I walked around, I asked myself how somebody like me, who had not yet fulfilled the will of Heaven, could shamelessly strut along the street. I couldn't do that without first paying the price and meeting all the requirements of heavenly law.

There were boys and girls, fellow students, wearing fancy clothes and acting with a superior air, who would ride on the same tram I did. I used to look at them and compare myself to them. I would think to myself, "Beneath your laughter, your life and your youth are passing you by; beneath my melancholy thoughts, a light is shining into life and the sun of hope is rising. My future is guaranteed and is full of hope, but for you, the future holds no hope."

For the first thirty years of my life, I never wore new clothes. All of my clothes were secondhand. Why? I had to hide myself. I had to remain invisible. There was a time for emerging; I could not do it earlier.

Uncomfortable sleeping conditions

In middle school and high school I always slept in an unheated room. It was colder then than it is today. I can't remember any time when I ate and slept well when I think about the past. All that remains are memories of sleeping on a cold bed, covering myself with newspaper and a sack, thinking tearfully about God's will. That is the only type of thing that can remain like a personal treasure. Because of the Fall, it is the only kind of thing I can be proud of in front of people from other nations. You have to suffer a lot to gain things you can be proud of.

My life was often wretched, like a beggar's. When it was cold, I realized that a newspaper is much better than a silk blanket. Unless you've experienced this, you won't understand it. Because I speak the truth, it is accepted as the truth.

Overcoming temptation, mastering sexual desire

There are tram cars in Tokyo, aren't there? I used to take the tram from Shibuya to Takadanobaba. Many women took that tram as well. I was not the smartly dressed type. I used to wear my hair like this [he demonstrates] and make myself unattractive. My clothes were old and torn and I wore them for so long that they smelled terribly. So, it is really strange that women tried to tempt me.

I often had strange experiences when I went to movies. When I was a student, I took off my school uniform and put on clean clothes. School uniforms smell bad, don't they? I used to press my hair down and keep my mouth shut.

I wasn't attractive but women in their twenties and thirties used to sit beside me and take my hand without realizing it themselves. I shouted, "You're holding my hand!" And the woman would say, "What? Really? Oh, dear!" and let go of my hand. [Laughter] They held my hand without realizing they were doing it.

Women have written letters to me in their own blood. There was an only daughter of a famous rich man. The daughter of one of the richest families in Hwanghae Province went to school in Japan. Every month she put an envelope with money in it inside the drawer of my table when I wasn't there.

On several occasions when I was in Japan, naked women got into my bed, but I never sinned with any of them. Because I am the very person who has been entrusted with responsibility for women, I had to fulfill that kind of mission.

Please do not become foolish people who dirty God's proper tradition. You have to control your sexual desires. If you men go into a room full of beautiful women, you must not become sexually aroused. You have to control yourself. Knowing that the roots of the Unification Church are deep, you have to graft yourself onto the true tree and grow into a green garden, becoming a tree similar to me.

The unification of heaven and earth and of the cosmos are not big problems. These are decided by the achievement of mind-body unification. If my mind and my body are still fighting, what do I gain by the world becoming one? Where would I go in such a world? I have shed more blood and sweat over this point than anyone else. My motto was to dominate myself before seeking domination of the universe. You should have complete command over yourself before you look to dominate the universe and before you try to have any kind of connection to worldly, material things.

You do this by making your mind strong and your body weak. Forcing your body to fast is extremely difficult, isn't it? You have to firmly set your mind on this. You have to pray. You have to train your body to follow your mind. It must become a habit. For from three to five years, you have to invest all of your mind's energy into dragging your body around after you.

What causes the most difficulty for the mind in controlling the body? The body's desire for sleep. Hunger is next. Sexual desire is next. These are the three great enemies. So I trained myself by staying awake all night.

Walking and reflecting

I never sent any telegrams while I was studying in Japan. It was about twenty ri [8 km] from the train station to my house. If possible, whether the wind was blowing, or it was cold, I used to walk in prayer, saying to myself, "How great the Creator is!"

When my parents or my brothers and sisters came to the station to meet me and chattered away, I lost my appetite for visits to my hometown. But there were times when I walked home from the station. I'll never forget the memory of walking home when the sun had set, night had fallen and white snow was drifting gently to the ground. I walked along, passing the small gift I had bought for my parents from hand to hand. I imagined what kind of expression they would have when they saw me. On reflection, it was a deep and precious time for me. It was also an extremely blessed time for me.

Experiencing the lowest and highest in life

You cannot do great things without first understanding all the different lifestyles. For that reason, there is nothing I have not done, starting with begging for rice in the slums. I could experience God's heart there. I could realize the world God has been longing to establish. Having these kinds of experiences, I longed for Korea's liberation.

I did every kind of job. I researched all the different kinds of joys and sorrows people have. I determined that I would take responsibility to completely liberate all the people, who are suffering from all of life's sorrows. I have researched every kind of person from the lowest to the highest. I make friends wherever I go.

In order to do something great, in order to bring about a revolution, you have to break through various kinds of environments to reach your destination. I, too, was full of hope, but because I have to free countless people from slavery, I also had to become a slave.

The Shinagawa slums

When I was a student in Japan, I went everywhere from Tokyo's Shinagawa slums to the red-light district, but I didn't do anything improper. I stayed for a long time in the Shinagawa slums. These experiences were important for me.

What I remember most clearly is life in the slums. I can still remember wearing rags and catching the lice in them. They used to stay in the seams. If you squashed them, they left streaks of blood on your clothes. I have lived in the slums and acted as a boss of the slums, begging for rice. I have done all manner of things.

Shinjuku back streets

When Japan was at war, I was living there. I used to roam around the back streets of Shinjuku. Wherever I went, women would tell me their life stories. I used to come away thinking that I felt more sadness and sorrow than their parents did, or cried more than their elder brothers would to see them in such a situation. You have to have this kind of heart.

I did not search out prostitutes to do anything bad with them. I wanted to completely understand their situations and become a comrade in tears who would find a way to liberate those women. I used to help them get out of that evil environment. I was greatly misunderstood because I did this kind of thing.

Pulling a handcart on the streets of Ginza

Long ago, when I was about your age, I was living in Tokyo, and I used to deliver things by handcart to twenty-seven different areas. I did it because I wanted to, not because I needed the money. I did it because I wanted to train myself. If you work for a transport company, you have to be able to persuade people who are connected to the transport business.

I had an experience I can't forget. In Tokyo there is a bustling area called Ginza. There were many good young men and women dressed in fine clothes on those streets. It is the most prosperous district in Japan. I took off my school uniform and was pulling a cart full of telegraph poles. I used to look at all the people and think, "Are you going to get out of my way or not? We'll see!" I can still see them, scampering out of my way in all directions. I can't forget that.

Iron foundry and dockyards in Kawasaki

I don't know if they are still there or not, but I often went to work in the ironworks and dockyards in Kawasaki. At the Kawasaki docks, there was a barge that used to move coal around from one place to another. It would take a person several days to load 120 tons of coal on the barge, but I worked straight through until one o'clock in the morning and finished it in one day. I, a Korean, had to set an example for the Japanese.

I sacrificed myself in the position of a younger brother. I stayed awake all night in order to comfort them. I shed blood and sweat for them. Although I had not done much physical work before, I went to construction sites and invested my whole self, so as not to be outdone by workers who had done such work all their working lives. I felt great pleasure when I won some money for doing more work than they did, competing with them and beating them. I still remember it clearly.

On the weekends and on holidays, I often worked as a laborer. There was a lactic acid tank that workers had to go inside of in order to clean it by flushing out the remaining raw materials. The device inside the tank to do this becomes unusable after a few years of use. So you have to go inside the tank again in order to change it. You can't work inside the tank for more than fifteen minutes. I endured that. When it snowed or a typhoon blew, I didn't go to classes; I went to a laborers canteen to find work. I felt great at those times.

Some say they have to go to a solemn, quiet place or to a place deep in the mountains in order to cultivate themselves. It's not true. I don't believe you can only study in quiet places. I have studied in factories next to huge machines running on several thousand horsepower. I often did that kind of a thing. I prepared myself by doing various kinds of jobs.

If you don't become a worker among workers, the father of workers, you cannot save workers. You have to become the father of farmers, and as such, you have to love farming. If you go to a fishing village, you have to fish with the fishermen.

I did every job conceivable. I've laid floors. I've laid bricks. I've built chimneys, and I am good at carpentry, too. There is nothing I can't do. On a salt farm, do you think I wouldn't be able to carry sacks of salt? I have even learned how to make charcoal. I know how to drive a post into the ground. I can make anything if I have a saw. There is nothing I haven't tried. If I go anywhere, take off my suit and put on work clothes, I can help with anything.

I have been everywhere in Japan. When it was difficult, I had digging jobs. I tried my hand at everything. I've even worked as an errand boy in a big company building. I've been a secretary for a cabinet minister. Because I speak more quickly than others, if I met somebody I didn't like, I soon dealt with him or her. I've been a writer for famous people. I've even done diplomatic work.

I have worked in companies. I've written things and sold them. In one construction company, I was the site foreman. If I set my mind to it, there is nothing I cannot do. If I meet somebody who is a good talker, I become a good talker, too. If I meet an academic, I become an academic. When I was a student, I used to tease the professors, and when I was hungry, I used to go to the professors and ask them to buy me lunch. It's true. I am not making this up.

These days I don't do it, but long ago I used to go out to the street and try to sense what other people were thinking just by looking at them. Whenever I got an impression of what a person was going to do, I used to follow him or her to find out whether I was right or wrong. I would also sometimes just sit down and say who was or wasn't in a room and whether what they were doing was good or bad, or whether a bad person or good person was living in a place. I always got it right the first time.

You have to tune your spiritual antennae and develop that kind of skill, too. The life of faith is a life of becoming a discerner, one who can understand the relationships in the universe. So in the life of faith, through experience, you have to develop yourself by evaluating things around you rather than being aided by the spirit world.

I can catch what kind of person someone is just by looking at him or her. I know about you just by looking at you. As soon as I look at you, I feel it immediately, "Ah, that person is lacking in this way, because his nose is shaped like this, his shoulders are like this, and his ears are like this." I can understand everything about a person immediately. I trained myself in that kind of thing.

Developing a well-rounded personality

If I were to pick up a pen and record the scenes of my life, the result would become the yeast of a new thought, which would help a flower to bloom within the hearts of the youth of the twenty-first century. It would be quite splendid. In this regard, it is as if I have been on a stage and have given the grandest performance, unprecedented in history. You should study me.

My teaching method is to persuade you, of your own volition, to go into a melting pot of despair and endure it until you reach the age of thirty. Within the melting pot of despair, you will find something new to help you develop. You will be able to create a new future if you become a man or a woman who shouts a joyful battle cry, feels renewed determination and thinks, "What if I had not had those experiences?"

So however difficult a situation you may be in, you need the inner peace of mind and versatile independence that expresses human beauty. You should become a person of character who can naturally go from the highest to the lowest place. You may go up and come down, but if you are not a person of character, when you go up, you will not stand on God's side.

Try everything. Experience everything as if you are reading from the first page of an encyclopedia to the last page. And when you can say, "Now there is nothing left for me to do!" the domination of yourself remains. Your subject-like nature remains. When you can say, "There is no one under heaven who can beat me," it is time to choose something you want to do and push for it with all your heart for the rest of your life. Then you will surely succeed.

Loving my country's enemy

When I went to Japan, I opposed the Japanese emperor, not the Japanese people under the control of the emperor. This is certain. When I went to Japan, I loved the Japanese more than anyone else did. At that time, Japan was a country that didn't know God. I thought I had to let Japanese people know about the Lord of Creation, their loving Heavenly Father.

If I had any money, I would give all of it to my friends. I thought, "I'll establish the condition of loving Japan more than anyone else does." I went to many different places. I hugged a huge Japanese cedar and cried. If I met a friend who was hungry, even though I may have been hungry myself, I gave him something to eat. If I met a starving student who was paying his own way, I used to embrace him with tears.

During the years under Japanese rule, we were hungry. I used to collect food coupons and say to a student who was paying his own way, "You're hungry, aren't you? Come to my house." There, I would say, "Eat! Eat! Eat to your heart's content." After about three days everything was gone.

Because I knew that if I didn't have the heart to love them as I did my brother, or as I loved my mother, I couldn't go into the realm of God's heart, I trained myself to do that even in Japan, transcending my nation. I paid the school fees of some of my friends from the money I earned as a laborer.

Some of my friends stopped going to school because of difficulties they were going through. I also quit school for a few months to act as their mother and father and help them graduate.

Fighting on behalf of the weak

When gangs would pick on a weak person, I dealt with them by myself. I fought them by myself, alone. I met them alone for the sake of the public good. The feeling you have when you are hit can contribute to making your philosophy of life. I assumed responsibility for other people's problems and I fought for them. Of my own free will, I said, "I'll teach you a lesson!" You need that kind of quality when you are young. I want to help create that kind of person.

There was a foreman on a work site that used to steal 30 percent of the workers' wages. I said, "You should not do that!" I resisted him strongly, refusing to give him mine. I didn't care how ferocious a person might be, I always said, "You should not do that!" I didn't submit to them. I often did that kind of thing.

Sometimes a smelly, sweaty worker got on the tram or bus and stood next to a lady. The smell was so terrible that the woman would elbow her way through the other people on the bus to try to get away from him. I also lived like that. When my mother saw me in that state, you can just imagine how much she cried, seeing the son she loved the most, the son she had raised like gold or jade, living like that. Whenever I see someone like that, I always think that that person also has a mother and father. I imagine how much pain and sorrow the parents feel to see their child trying to make a living in such a way.

Ability to make friends

Once I had to return from Japan to Korea, but I didn't have any money. So I found a lady who was rich, and I tried to persuade her to give me some. I said, "I have come to Japan and done different types of work, but now I need some money to go back to Korea. I think you have more than what I need in your handbag, so please lend me one third of it." I spoke so sincerely that the lady lent me the money. I bought a ticket and returned to Korea. Later, I paid her back threefold. I have had many similar experiences.

I could make friends easily if I wanted to. I also knew how to have fun if I wanted to. I am good at having fun. If I needed to sing, I would sing. If I needed to dance, I would dance. If I needed to beat out a rhythm, I could do it. I was good at it. I did everything. Anyway you like to look at it, I was good at everything.

I had many Japanese friends, too. Those were the days of Japanese imperial rule over Korea. Even though we were doing everything in our power to destroy Japan, I treated my Japanese friends well. Those friends came to me to ask for advice when they had problems. They would come and ask, "How is Korea?" Then they would reveal their hearts to me. They said I was their best friend. They confessed everything to me. I had Japanese friends who came to me saying, "I just have to tell you this, and you are the only one I can tell it to."

Wherever you go, become a person who opens your heart to other people. You must make them feel that they just have to express the deepest parts of their hearts to you. When they do, you have to receive their secrets within your heart and make them feel comfortable. You have to be a person who makes others feel at ease. 

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