Yoko Kawashima Watkins


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Yoko Kawashima Watkins born Harbin, Manchuria, Japanese-occupied China October 5, 1933. Japanese-American children’s writer; antiwar pacifist. Author of controversial semi-autobiographical story of war in Korea So Far From the Bamboo Grove, 1986. Received Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award.


Now myself and other Japanese people who see themselves as peacemakers and who lived in North Korea are in small ways trying to mend the Japanese government’s mistakes. I have been shouting all along, 'Forgive us!' 'No more fighting!' 'No more nuclear!' And who suffers most during any war? It’s innocent, unknown civilians!. . .  I say that peace must start from each one of us. To do that, first, we must be kind to each other. If we all carry hatred and revenge inside us, then we will never achieve peace in the world.” (quote and photo, Korea JoongAng Daily, Feb. 2, 2007)