‘God, why did you do this?’ Japanese Christians cope with loss as they rebuild
SENDAI, Japan — For one hour, there were no atheists…
Noritada Hosokawa, an elder of the Ochanomizu Church of Christ in Tokyo, recently began his role as 16th chairman of the board of Ibaraki Christian University in Hitachi City, Japan.
“We are very blessed to have him at the helm,” said Jim Batten, the school’s chancellor. “I thought it would be better to hear from him rather than just a report from me.”
So, in a simple, self-introduction, Hosokawa shares his personal history and his vision for the university, a 4,000-student school with roots in Churches of Christ.
(See our coverage of the school’s involvement in relief efforts after the 2011 Japan earthquake and recent donations made by students and staff for victims of the 2013 Oklahoma tornadoes.)
Here are a few highlights from Hosokawa’s self-introduction:
In 1963 (the year before the Tokyo Olympics), I began my 50-year work with Nitele (Japan TV Broadcasting Company). I came up through various positions, from production to the finance area, and in the past 12 I have served in upper management.
Although my work, before now, has been largely business-oriented, I have, over the past 40 years, maintained a connection to this university and its mission. I became acquainted with one of the founders of this university, O.D. Bixler, when he was working as a missionary in Tokyo. He was central to the establishment of Ochanomizu Church of Christ. As a college freshman, I attended services there, eventually becoming a Christian. I have remained a member of that church until this day.
During my work at Nitele, I became acquainted with Akira Hirose, then chairman of the board and chancellor of Ibaraki Christian University. I worked under him as an off-campus board member as well as an auditor.
As Chairman of the Board, there are two specific areas on which I will focus: (1) commitment to the university’s philosophy of education – we must work to continue this ideal through vision and action, and (2) building a stable and strong financial base for the future of Ibaraki Christian. Proverbs 29:18, “where there is no vision, the people perish.”
How can we as an institution, learn, teach and influence our students in a way that will be most beneficial to them and to our society and the world? What can we give to our students, and what must we draw out of them, to help them develop their free and open spirit? Considering the things we have yet to attain, we commit ourselves to defining goals and creating visions so that we can realize our dreams of an institution that has facilities and programs for pre-school, through university (undergraduate and graduate), and continuing and lifelong education.
I believe with all my heart that good research, training and education of the whole man (guided by Christian philosophy), based on a solid and strong financial base, is what will make Ibaraki Christian the type of school it should be. Those who entered the kindergarten, junior and senior high and university this past April came with such hope and expectation shining in their faces. I look forward to seeing them at their graduation with an even greater hope and stronger expectations (and commitment) to making a real difference in their society. I am happy to be a part of this process.
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