Bahai News -- Man who worked for world peace dies at 92

Man who worked for world peace dies at 92

06/28/03
STEVEN CARTER

Hideo Hashimoto, a professor, minister and peace activist who won Multnomah County's first peace award, has died at age 92.

Hashimoto worked nearly all of his life to further nonviolent response to conflict. He demonstrated for civil rights for African Americans, protested the war in Vietnam and argued that the United States, as the first nuclear power, should lead the way in world disarmament.

He spent part of World War II ministering to fellow Japanese Americans in a relocation center. His mother, Tsuta, and a nephew died in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima.

"He was a committed pacifist from the time he was 13," said his daughter, Janice Chambers. "In the camp in Arkansas, there was a lot of recruiting of young men to join the Army and fight in Europe. He would counsel the men not to go."

In his memoirs, Hashimoto said he was converted to Christianity and pacifism on Christmas Day 1924 by a Japanese evangelical minister who told him the story of the Crucifixion.

Hashimoto was born Feb. 13, 1911, in Vacaville, Calif. He spent part of his youth in Hiroshima with his family but also was raised by an older brother, Jusuke, in California's Central Valley.

A top student, he enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley and did graduate work at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

He was ordained a Methodist minister and led Japanese American congregations in Salem and Fresno, Calif., among other locations. He was a minister of a Methodist church in Fresno when World War II began. He and his parishioners were shipped to Jerome, Ark., where he continued his religious work at the relocation center.

He met his wife-to-be, Rayko Mano, in the internment camp. They were married in Chicago in 1944 after he had been released to work for the Methodist church.

After the war, Hashimoto earned a doctorate in religious studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. He joined the faculty of Lewis & Clark College in 1949 and taught courses in Eastern religions for 27 years, retiring in 1976.

Hashimoto organized and participated in peace rallies each year on Aug. 6, the anniversary of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima. On that day in 1991, he was honored by the Multnomah County commission as the first recipient of the Thousand Crane Award. He also was honored for his peace work in 1987 by the Portland assembly of the Baha'i faith.

Hashimoto died June 22 at home. Surviving are his wife; daughters, Janice Chambers, Laury Hennings and Nancy Hashimoto; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 8, in Capitol Hill United Methodist Church, the church he attended until he became too ill. Steven Carter: 503-221-8521; email: stevencarter@news.oregonian.com

©Copyright 2003, The Oregonian (OR, USA)

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