Who is Reverend Sawada?

Reverend Sawada Gyosen is a Buddhist monk of the Nipponzan Myohoji sect, a small Nichiren Buddhist order that is known for being actively engaged worldwide in the peace movement. Its Peace Pagodas (Stupas) are in locations around the world and one of the main practices of the monks, nuns and followers is to conduct pilgrimages while chanting and beating hand drums.

One of the most prominent of these pilgrimages was the Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life, a walk from Auschwitz to Hiroshima during 1994-1995. More recently, there was involvement in the American Indian Movement’s Long Walk, the 2010 Walk for a Nuclear Free Future and 2011 Sacred Sites Peace Walk for a Nuclear Free World (http://canuclearwalk.wordpress.com/blog/ )

Reverend Sawada was born and brought up in Fukushima Prefecture in Japan but has been residing in the U.S. since the 80’s, practicing at the Myohoji Dojo in Boulder, Colorado and Los Angeles, California.

Because of his ties to Fukushima, he is also personally dedicated to the anti-nuclear cause and believes that “all things nuclear, from weapons to power generation have caused misery and suffering to humanity – we must end this cycle.” As a monk, his way is through prayer and he has participated in not only the larger walks but smaller, independent personal walks.

photo-1In the summer of 2013, Reverend Sawada walked from the gates of Vandenburg Air Force Base to Diablo Canyon in the days leading up to the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and fasted in front of the Diablo Canyon gates in a 3 day vigil between Hiroshima Day and Nagasaki Day. He was supported by San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace and the Catholic Workers of Guadalupe.

For the third anniversary of the Fukushima Disaster, Reverend Sawada will be walking from Santa Barbara to Diablo Canyon.


2 thoughts on “Who is Reverend Sawada?

  1. Mara Stevens

    I have the deepest respect for Reverend Sawada and I participated in the summer prayers and part of the walk from Diablo Nuclear Power Plant
    then attended the film and talk at the Steynberg Gallery in SLO. It was one of the most moving and powerful actions and events of my life and I
    plan to participate again in whatever capacity I can this March. Thank you Mothers of Peace, the Catholic Workers and all of the businesses and
    people involved in Santa Barbara to keep this most important mission alive. It is past time to end the threat of nuclear weapons and power and to embrace and create a healthy peaceful world.

    1. nukefreeworld Post author

      Thank you for your support! We hope to see you during the walk, vigil or event. I will try to keep everyone updated on schedules and routes this week.


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