Reflection offered at the Sadako paper crane presentation aboard the USS Missouri on June 29, 2019

Yuji Sasaki holds a box with Sadako's crane with Bishop Eric Matsumoto, Robyn Omuro-Osaki of the USS Missouri Memorial Association (left), and Megumi Sasaki (right)

A reflection offered by Bishop Eric Matsumoto
USS Missouri
June 29, 2019

In the nurturing presence of Immeasurable Life and Infinite Light/AMIDA, let us pause to reflect. In this world, there are many kinds of gifts that we can share with each other. However, when we deeply reflect the gifts which touch the heart-and-mind are usually not tangible ones, but intangible. Such is the Gift of All-Inclusive Wisdom and All-Embracing Compassion.

closeup of tiny, gold paper crane folded by Sadako Sasaki
Closeup of tiny, gold paper crane folded by Sadako Sasaki

In our aspiration for world peace and harmony, it is imperative that we are guided by Wisdom. As an eminent Buddhist Leader shares, “Everything in this world exists based on interdependency. When we are not aware of this, we tend to think… that our own perspective is the only one that is right and justified. This is what causes conflicts to arise.” “We are all living interconnected with each other in some way or another.” “It is extremely unfortunate if we forget that we have this beautiful connection with one another.”

From the awareness of interdependence arises a deep sense of mutual respect and appreciation for and of one another. In addition, there arises a profound sense of responsibility and unselfish caring for each other which can be called Compassion. Great Compassion is to completely identify with another where one’s focus is upon the other.

In describing Sadako, the word “Omoiyari” is often mentioned as what motivated her. She realized the truth of interdependence in which she knew how she lived each day and how she faced her impending death would affect her family, friends and even the larger community surrounding her. Thus, she lived bravely and courageously infused with kindness and thoughtfulness (omoiyari). In this way, she made a difference in the lives of all those around her.

Her intangible legacy of “omoiyari” and her wish for the peace and happiness of others continues, today, symbolized by the Paper Cranes she folded. May all those who see Sadako’s Paper Crane on board the USS Missouri recall “omoiyari” and her words, “I will write peace on your wings, and you will fly all over the world” from the Youth Musical “Peace on Your Wings,” and the vision of USS Missouri Association “to inspire, educate and motivate all nationalities and generations on the universal values of duty, honor, strength, resolve, sacrifice and peace,” and come to embrace the aspiration for world peace, harmony, and prosperity of all peoples of all lands. May we all be guided by All-Inclusive Wisdom and inspired by All-Embracing Compassion.

Thank you and Namo Amida Butsu.

Top photo: Yuji Sasaki holds a box containing Sadako’s crane with Bishop Eric Matsumoto, Robyn Omuro-Osaki of the USS Missouri Memorial Association (left), and Megumi Sasaki (right). Courtesy of Robyn Omuro-Osaki.

See also
Sadako’s Paper Crane (another) finds a new home on board the USS Missouri, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii