Only One life - Live It!
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Initiation of the “Only One Life - Live It!” movement

Eika NishioThe Only One Life - Live It! movement was originally inspired by these words of Miss Eika Nishio: “Because it’s only one life,” written in her New Year Greeting card. Eika wrote these words powerfully with her left hand since she had lost her right hand due to the onset of Osteosarcoma (a serious form of cancer) when she was just 14 years of age.

Soon, the person who received her card began to wonder just what Eika actually wanted to express in addition to those 6 words. Now, through an amazing series of events, many words, both meaningful and deeply inspiring, have been expressed as the result of Eika’s simple yet profound statement. Let us explain:

From this New Year card, and the testimony of its recipient, the Only One Life - Live It! movement had its birth. It began with the gathering of many letters focused on just what Eika’s six word expression meant to various individuals – children and youth, parents, and the elderly alike. It wasn’t too long before a weekly radio program was started, evoking an unexpectedly enthusiastic response. Moved by the words, “Because it’s only one life,” those in the listening audience began to send in their own letters, outlining their personal lives and, often, very moving experiences. It was decided that a series of reading sessions, in order to share these letters and experiences, would be offered to anyone who wished to attend.

“Our son has reflected on his misdeeds and has developed a far more positive attitude;” “I have made several attempts to cut my wrists, but now I have awakened and come to feel genuine gratitude toward my parents. I will never do that kind of self-destructive thing again, because it will just make them sad;” and, “I have thought, before, of committing suicide but now, no longer. Instead, I’ve decided to live from this time on.” These are just a few examples of the responses and reflections from a few who’ve attended these reading sessions. In fact, so many people have felt hope and encouragement through listening to the personal letters and experiences shared in the sessions.

Very simply, we realized that these reading sessions have the power to touch and truly move people’s hearts. It is our deep conviction that this is because Eika must have put her own whole heart into serving others through these words when she wrote them.

We were told, before her illness began, that she daily committed herself to pick up trash on her way home from school, wishing to discover what she could do to make a better society. She observed this daily routine until the day before her admission to the hospital. Her desire to help others can be seen through her illustrations, the poems she wrote, and the words she spoke. Throughout her 2 and ½ year battle against her illness, until she passed on at the age of 16, she faced her difficulties with courage, exerted a positive and sincere attitude, and, expressed a continuous love toward those around her.

It is our most sincere desire to offer the same kind of heart and spirit expressed by Eika to as many people as possible. We have come to cherish this movement of love and life, and believe that it gives us a precious opportunity to ponder upon the essence of life. A deep and meaningful connection and love between people can make our lives vibrant.