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Michio Kushi Memorial Service Speeches

May 17, 2015


It has been over three months now since the Memorial Service for our father, Michio Kushi, on Saturday, January 31 and during this time we have been working on finalizing the full video recording of the event with Jim Brown and his team.  The video will soon be made available on DVD initially to all donors of the Memorial Fund and then later on the website for free online viewing. Meanwhile, I have prepared full transcripts of the speeches and share them here on this blog as a preview to all interested.  Attended by several hundred persons from around the world, the two and a half hour Service began at 2pm with John Denver’s song, “What One Man Can Do” followed by a welcome by my brother, Lawrence Haruo Kushi. Subsequent speeches are in following posts. Transcripts for these speeches are kept as close to the actual speeches given in order to retain the unique flavor and nuance of each speaker. Comments surrounded by brackets “[]” have been added by me for clarity.

JOHN DENVER SONG “What One Man Can Do”
I suppose that there are those
Who’ll say he had it easy
Had it made in fact
Before he’d even begun
But they don’t know the things I know
I was always with him
It may sound strange
We were more than friends
It’s hard to tell the truth
When no one wants to listen
When no one really cares
What’s going on
And it’s hard to stand alone
When you need someone beside you
Your spirit and your faith
Must be strong
What one man can do is dream
What one man can do is love
What one man can do is change the world
And make it young again
Here you see what one man can do
As shaded as his eyes might be
That’s how bright his mind is
That’s how strong his love
For you and me
A friend to all the universe
Grandfather of the future
Everything I would like to be
What one man can do is dream
What one man can do is love
What one man can do is change the world
And make it new again
Here you see what one man can
What one man can do is dream
What one man can do is love
What one man can do is change the world
And make it work again
Here you see what one man can do


Haruo Kushi welcomes guests to Memorial Service

Haruo Kushi welcomes guests to the Memorial Service


Good afternoon and welcome to the celebration of my father, Michio Kushi’s life.  Thank you for coming here to the Arlington Street Church from all corners of the globe.  It’s great to see old friends and new ones both and the gathering of family to join us in this celebration this afternoon.

“We consider all of you to be part of our extended family”

As that song just expressed by John Denver – “What one man can do” – my father can do is dream and his dream has inspired all of us, I think, to do the best that we can in our own personal lives. I want to thank everybody for being part of our large family.  You’ll get to meet many of his immediate blood relatives today and this afternoon but I want everybody to recognize that we consider all of you to be part of our extended family and we’re really grateful that you’ve been able to come here today and be with us and to celebrate and honor the life of my father.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, just a little bit of words about the Arlington Street Church itself just so you understand the significance in my parent’s life and the macrobiotic community but way back when, you know, the dawn of the Boston macrobiotic community, my father would come here and actually give lectures.  There is a room back behind us that he started in and in the function room in the basement we held many holiday parties hosted, for example, by Ronald Koetzsch, who is sitting on the side over there, and attended by many people who are here.  So it holds that type of significance.

The Back Bay area as well that we’re in, right next door at 359 Boylston Street was where the East West Foundation offices were held and classrooms.  And then if you walk down Newbury Street at 303b that was where the Erewhon Retail Store first started before it moved down a couple blocks to 342 Newbury Street. And at 272A was where the Sanae Restaurant started, the first macrobiotic restaurant in Boston.  So, anyway this whole area holds special significance and we’re glad that you could be here with us today.

So, the John Denver song, as I mentioned and you can see in the program – my father – he [John] performed it several times in the Boston area and he dedicated the song to my father.  It was written originally for Buckminster Fuller who was also a good friend of John Denver’s but I think many of the words and the sentiment really expresses the spirit of what my father’s life was about.

So thank you and we’ll move on to the program.

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