This is an article I wrote at the end of August 2005. It was only my old website which is no longer on-line and I am therefore reposting it.
I hitchhiked from Niigata City to Matsumoto City in Nagano, and then to Tokyo and then back to Niigata in 3 days, a distance of 700 kilometers (440 miles) in 16 vehicles. Among these where 3 trucks and at least one luxury car. Among the people who picked me up was one stock broker, one high school teacher, 4 foreigners, and 2 relatively wealthy men one of whom is a nation wide famous entertainer! Three of the cars had small children, two had women without a male companion, and two had large dogs, one a Labrador and the other a German Shepherd.
The highlight of this trip was being picked up by a famous entertainer: Jerry Fujio. You may not have heard of him in your country, but everybody in Japan over 35 years old seems to know him quite well! All my Japanese friends have seen him on TV or in a film. His peak of fame seems to be around 1960s. I asked him if people hound him for his autograph. “A long time ago” was his reply. Jerry’s mother is English and his father is Japanese. His age seemed to be in his early 70s.
Another highlight was a retired 60 some year old man from the Meguro area of Tokyo driving an expensive car who appeared to be of upper class Japanese society. The reason I say this is because he looked like a company president but didn’t act like one. He didn’t accept my business card nor even give me his name. He probably didn’t want to accept my card because in doing so, he would be obliged to give me his in keeping with Japanese custom. Nevertheless he was very friendly, talkative and laughed a lot! I asked him if he is a member of a secret society. He replied he’s a member of a golf club. He didn’t tell me exactly what his profession was except that it was related to education and government but that he was not a politician. I asked him if he knows that the United States is a secret dictatorship run by the CFR, and he replied in the affirmative. I told him that most Americans don’t know that. He was surprised and dumbfounded that Americans are so ignorant of the fact. Though not a Christian nor a believer in God, he does acknowledge the possibility that the world could have been created by a Great Designer. He said he doesn’t believe in Darwinism and claimed that it is not taught in schools in Japan. I thought it strange he would say that because nearly everyone in Japan believes in Darwinian evolution.
A Chinese couple with a baby took me as far as Kurohime (which means “Black Princess”) in Nagano, a small mountain town close to the border of Niigata. I didn’t know at first the man was Chinese because his Japanese was so good. He is from Harbin and his mother is Japanese. Harbin is part of Manchuria which the Japanese occupied till the end of WW2. He is very knowledgeable about the world and real motivations in politics. We talked about the Tienanmen Square massacre of 1989. I told him I met a Chinese college student in Southern China back in 1998 who believes that nobody was killed in that tragedy. He replied that probably thousands of students died! How quickly the world is forgetting that it ever happened. He knows that there is no real democracy or freedom in China, and especially no freedom of religion.
I never got off the expressway at Kurohime before and so it was an adventure pioneering how to get back on track. There were few cars and so it took me a while to get back on the main road. I did so 3 cars later.
At Kamisato Service Area on the Kan’etsu expressway, a red Ferrari sports car parked right in front of where I stood hitchhiking with my sign. The driver got out and looked at the rear of the Ferrari. His friend from another car walked up and also looked. They looked and looked the longest time. I thought they were literally worshiping that car! They looked at it from all angles and took photographs. If I ever ended up with such a thing, I wouldn’t really own it, it would own me! I probably would be thinking about the Ferrari half of the day. I’d get bummed out even if it got the tiniest scratch on its shiny red exterior. Thank God for deliverance from materialism!
I always carry with me Gospel literature and give a copy to every driver. I try to share some seeds of the Word of God in their hearts, as much as I feel they are ready to hear and receive. Most Japanese are very respectful of Jesus Christ. From my experience, the only ones who aren’t belong to a radical sect of Buddhism called Sokkagakai from which sprang out of Nichiren Shoshu which is also intolerant of other faiths. Most Buddhists do respect Jesus and His teachings.