65th Makuya Pilgrimage Visits KKL-JNF Books of Honor Hall
The Makuya pilgrimage to Israel takes place every year at the end of winter, the time when cherry blossoms bloom - a Japanese symbol of hope and renewal.
On Sunday, March 6th, 2016, about seventy Members of the 65th annual delegation of the Japanese Makuya pilgrims filled KKL-JNF’s head offices in Jerusalem with their hope and joie de vivre.
The delegation, women dressed in colorful traditional costume and the men in blue vests adorned with the Star of David, went on a special visit to the Hall of the Books of Honor.
They were welcomed with smiles and flowers and informed that each one of KKL-JNF Golden Books is both a work of art and a historical document of inestimable importance; the volume that records the tribute to the memory of Professor Ikoro Teshima aroused special excitement.
It reads: “An intellectual and a humanist, the founder and head of the Zionist Makuya Movement in Japan, and a true friend of the Jewish People and the State of Israel.”
KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar welcomed the visitors warmly, while Asher Kimura, Director of the Makuya in Israel and a fluent Hebrew speaker, translated into Japanese: “You bring a lot of joy into our hearts. We all embrace you lovingly, and I hope that our joint activities will continue for many years to come”.
Other members of the Board of Directors came to pay their respects to the visiting pilgrims: Vice Presidents Zeev Noyman and Shlomo Deri; and Avi Dickstein, Director of KKL-JNF’s Resources, Development and Public Relations Division.
The group’s guide, Noah Abe, declared: “We have adopted the custom of planting a tree in Israel in honor of every boy and girl in our community when they reach the age of twelve, and also in memory of those who are no longer with us. We wish the Land of Israel beauty and fruitfulness. That is our dream. Let us plant more trees together,” he concluded, to the applause of his audience.
Yoda Shuko – head of the pilgrims’ delegation, now on his seventh visit to Israel – presented the KKL-JNF World Chairman with a token gift: a traditional Japanese fan.
Avi Dickstein thanked all those present for their generous contributions to KKL-JNF. “I am familiar with your wonderful projects in Heftziba, the afforestation of Mount Turan in memory of Ikoro Teshima, the donation to the reservoirs in the Negev and your enlistment in the rehabilitation of the northern forests”.
On this visit, the delegation has already managed to plant 103 trees at Golani Junction.
KKL-JNF staff wished the members of the Makuya delegation a pleasant continuation of their visit and hope to see them again soon in Israel.
Makuya, means “tabernacle,” is a Japanese religious movement founded in 1948 by Professor Abraham Ikoro Teshima.
Its members maintain close relations with the KKL-JNF, and there is a long-standing tradition of welcoming the pilgrims in KKL-JNF’s head office.
The Makuya have linked their destiny with the spirit of the Bible and with the fate of the nation that has returned to the land of the Bible.
Photo Yossi Zamir