70 Notable Peacemakers in Japan

Click here for peace monuments in Japan. | Click here for peacemakers connected to Hiroshima & Nagasaki.
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= Linked to atom bombs in Hiroshima and/or Nagasaki.

1506-1552 - Francis Xavier - Jesuit missionary. Worked two years in Japan. Called "Apostle of the Indies" & "Apostle of Japan.”

1794-1858 - Commodore Matthew Perry - "Opened" Japan to international trade. Signed Treaty of Peace & Amity in 1854. Took temple bell from Okinawa to USA.


1820-1872 - Moriyama Einosuke - Samurai. Interpreter of Dutch & English. Studied under Dutch merchants & Ranald MacDonald (qv). Helped Commodore Perry "open" Japan to outside world.

1824-1894 - Ranald MacDonald - Métis (mixed blood). Adventurer. First person to teach English in Japan. Click here for Japanese-American monuments.


1857-1892 - Ueki Emori - Part of Freedom & People's Rights Movement. Honored at Kyoto Museum for World Peace.

1858-1919 - Theodore Roosevelt -- US president 1901-09. Received Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating end to Russo-Japanese War. 1906


1860-1945 - Sidney Gulick - Missionary. Caused US & Japan to exchange dolls in 1927. Click here for Japanese-American monuments.

1863-1927 - Shiga Shigetaka - Widely traveled geographer. Popularized Japanese landscape. Compared Alamo in Texas to Nagashinojou in Japan. Gave monument to Alamo in 1914.

1867-1941 - Minakata Kumagusu - Author & naturalist. Studied in Michigan 1886-91. Protested shrine consolidation. See Minakata Kumagusu Museum in Shirahama.

1868-1945 - Yorozu Oda - Lawyer, academic & judge. Appointed in 1921 to Permanent Court of International Justice, where he heard 30 cases, dissenting from main judgment only once.


1871-1944 - Tsunesaburo Makiguchi - Educator. Founded Soka Gakkai in 1930. Opposed Japanese militarism in WW-II. P


1880-1964 - Douglas MacArthur - Five-star general. Ruled Japan 1945-1951. Wrote Japanese constitution in 1947. Commanded UN forces in Korea 1950-51.

1885-1985 - Nichidatsu Fujii - Founded the Nipponzan-Myohoji order of Buddhism. Called Guruji by Gandhi. Click here for Peace Pagodas.

1886-1967 - Radhabinod Pal - Jurist. Only member of WW-II war crimes ribunal to decide defendants were not guilty. Memorialized at Yasukuni & Kyoto Ryozen Gokoku Shrines.

1888-1960 - Toyohiko Kagawa - Christian pacifist, reformer & labor activist. His desire to help the poor led him to live among them. Established schools, hospitals & churches. P


1895-2001 - Floyd Schmoe - Peace activist. Built houses in Hiroshima (1949-52) & Sadako Sasaki Peace Park in Seattle (1990). See Aki Kurose. P

1897-2001 - Shidzue Kato - Feminist. One of first women elected to Diet. Pioneer in birth control movement & strong supporter of labour reform.

1898-1990 - Hugo Enomiya Lassalle - Missionary. Built Memorial Cathedral for World Peace in Hiroshima in 1954.

1899-1988 - Masahiko Katori - Bellmaker & potter. Named a Living National Treasure of Japan in 1977. Made peace bells for Hiroshima, San Diego, Vancouver, etc.
1899-1995 - Ryoichi Sasakawa - Businessman & kuromaku (power broker). Founded Nippon Foundation in 1962. Had wide-ranging philanthropic programs in Africa.


1900-1958 - Josei Toda - 2nd president of Soka Gakkai. See Tsunesaburo Makiguchi.
1900-1986 - Chiune (Sempo) Sugihara - Japanese vice consul in Vilnius (Lithuania) during WW-II. Saved several 1,000 Jews.

1901-1975 - Eisaku Sato. PM 1964-72. Persuaded US to return Okinawa. Only Japanese to receive Nobel Peace Prize. 1974 with Sean MacBride
1901-1995 - Iri Maruki - Made enormous paintings 1950-1982 of atomic bombing in Hiroshima with his wife Toshi Maruki (qv). Gallery in Saitama Prefecture (1967). Named by Peter van den Dungen.

1902-1988 - Edita Toll Morris - Peace activist. Wrote "The Flowers of Hiroshima" in 1959. Created Hiroshima Foundation
1902-1999 - Tomin Harada - Medical doctor & peace activist. Led the "Hiroshima Maidens" to USA in 1955.

1904-1961 - Marcel Junod - Field delegate of International Committee of the Red Cross. See monument in Hiroshima.
1904-1988 - Isamu Noguchi - Artist & landscape architect. Designed Japanese Garden at UNESCO Hq in Paris & bridge in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

1905-1968 - Shinzo Hamai - Mayor of Hiroshima 1947-1955 & 1959-1967. Created Hiroshima's image as a City of Peace.
1905-1972 - Chiyoji Nakagawa - Mayor of Uwajima (Shikoku Island). Gave Japanese Peace Bell to UN Headquarters in New York City in 1954.
1905-1990 - George Nakashima - Master woodworker. Placed World Peace Tables on 4 continents. Japanese origin. Studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

1906-1985 - Bert Röling - Jurist. Founder of Dutch polemology. On Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal 1946-1948. Helped found Intl Peace Research Assn in 1964.
1906-1999 - Nikkyo Niwano - Helped found Rissho Kosei Kai Buddhist order in 1938.

1908-1951 - Takashi Nagai - Doctor & writer. Survivor of the Nagasaki A-bomb. "Saint of Urakami."


1910-1998 - Earle Reynolds - Physical anthropologist. Husband of Barbard Leonard Reynolds (qv). Constructed the "Phoenix of Hiroshima."
1910-2010 - Nobuo Nakano - Ophthalmologist. In Burma during WW-II. Gave $5 million to start Kyoto Museum for World Peace at Ritsumeikan Univ. in 1992.

1912-2000 - Toshi Maruki - Made enormous paintings 1950-1982 of atomic bombing in Hiroshima with her husband Iri Maruki (qv). Gallery in Saitama Prefecture(1967). Named by Peter van den Dungen.

1913-2002 - Saburo Ienaga - Historian. Sued Min of Ed when his 1953 textbook censored for "factual errors" re Japanese war crimes. Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Noam Chomsky & others. Named by Peter van den Dungen.

1915-1990 - Norman Cousins - "Tireless advocate of liberal causes." Subject of 1st US monument in Hiroshima in 2003. 1990
1915-1990 - Barbara Leonard Reynolds - Founded WFC in Hiroshima & PRC in Wilmington, Ohio. Subject of 2nd US monument in Hiroshima in 2011.
1915-2006 - Alvin Weinberg - Manhattan Project physicist. Proposed "Sanctification of Hiroshima" in 1985. Click here for Wikipedia bio.

1916-1980 - Masahisa Goi - Philosopher & peace campaigner. Wrote >30 books. Created "May Peace Prevail on Earth" & Peace Poles.
1916-1994 - Takeshi Araki - Mayor of Hiroshima 1975-1991. Founded Mayors for Peace in 1982.

1918-1994 - Oka Masaharu - Protestant minister. Helped Korean A-bomb victims. Oka Masaharu Memorial Peace Museum in 1995.


c1920 -2004 - Sotetsu Iwasawa - Bell maker in Kyoto (Japan). Exported bells to Portland, Oregon, Gardena, California, & Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
1920-2005 - Pope John Paul II - See monument commemorating his Appeal for Peace in Hiroshima (Japan).

1922-2014 - Hitoshi Motoshima - Mayor of Nagasaki 1979-95. Said Emperor Hirohito bore some responsibility for WW-II & Japan deserved atomic bombings.

1923-1996 - Shusaku Endo - Author. Wrote from the rare perspective of a Japanese Roman Catholic. One of the "Third Generation" of writers who appeared after World War II.

1925-Alive - Masahide Ota - Ryukyuan academic & politician. Governor of Okinawa in 1990's. Argued outspokenly for the interests of the Okinawan people. Named by Peter van den Dungen.

1926-Alive - Charles (Chuck) Overby - US Air Force in Korean War. Professor at Ohio University. Founded Article 9 Society in the USA re Japanese constitution. Named by Peter van den Dungen.

1928-1989 - Osamu Tezuka - Manga artist, animator, producer, activist & medical doctor. Japan's most famous cartoonist. Made murals at peace museum in Kyoto.
1928-Alive - Daisaku Ikeda - Author & president of Soka Gakkai International (SGI). Founder of several educational, cultural & peace research institutions.


c1930-Alive - Tomijiro Yoshida - Businessman. Founded World Peace Bell Assn in 1982. Has placed 5 World Peace Bells in Japan & one in each of 15 other countries.

1931-Alive - Shigeko Yoshino Uppuluri - Born in Kyoto. Lived in Shanghai 1936-45. Worked to acquire International Friendship Bell in Oak Ridge (USA).

1933-Alive - Yoko Ono - Artist, musician, author & peace activist. Known for avant-garde art, marriage to John Lennon (qv) & several peace monuments. Year?
1933-Alive - Tetsuko Kuroyanagi - Actress, talk show host, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. "Most popular & admired woman in Japan." Named 04Oct15 by Marie Koyama.

1934-2002 - Yayori Matsui - Journalist & women's rights activist. Founded Women’s Active Museum of War and Peace in Tokyo in 2005.

1939-2004 - Shigeo Nishimori - Biology teacher at Tosa Secondary School. Financed & founded Grass Roots Hse Peace Museum, Kochi. SecGen of Jap Citizens' Network of Museums for Peace. Named by Peter van den Dungen.


1940-Alive - Ikuro Anzai - Physicist. Professor of international affairs. Founded Kyoto Museum for World Peace in 1992. See bibliography.
c1940-Alive - Akio Komatsu - Industrialist. President of Komatsu Electric Industry. Founded Human Nature & Science Institute Foundation in 1994.

1942-Alive - Tadatoshi Akiba - Mayor of Hiroshima since 1999. President of Mayors for Peace. 2012

1943-1955 - Sadako Sasaki - Hiroshima victim. Attempted to fold 1,000 origami cranes before her death at age 12.

1944-Alive - Jessica Reynolds Shaver Renshaw - Author. Lived in Hiroshima. Sailed w/parents Earle & Barbara Reynolds (qv) into atomic test area in 1958.

1945-2007 - Iccho Itoh - Mayor of Nagasaki from 1995. Testified at World Court against nuclear weapons. Killed by a senior member of Yamaguchi-gumi, an organized crime group.

1948-Alive - Kina Shoukichi - Okinawan rock musician. His song "Subete no Hito no Kokoro ni Hana o" sold >30 million copies. Perhaps equally well known for his peace activism.


1950-Alive - Richard Branson - Controls Virgin Group of >400 companies. Sent "Reconciliation" by Josefina de Vasconcellos to Belfast, Berlin, Coventry & Hiroshima.

1951-Alive - Kazuyo Yamane - PhD in peace studies from University of Bradford. Worked for Grass Roots House Peace Museum, then Kyoto Museum for World Peace. Editor of "Muse."


c1960-Alive - Steve Leeper - Chair of Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. From Atlanta, Gerorgia (USA).

19??-Alive - Chikara Funabashi - Founder & CEO of Willseed, which offers consulting & training to >350 major companies & 600 schools in Japan. Also Co-Chair of Beyond Tomorrow.

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