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Compassionate Pugilist

Ex-boxer Eiji Yoshikawa has been getting a lot of press lately, though not for his exploits in the ring. Three years ago, the compassionate pugilist put together the "Peacemakers," Japan's first-ever neighborhood watchdog group to take a bite out of rising crime. Shortly after 9/11, Yoshikawa flew to New York City via Amsterdam to make sandwiches for rescue teams. A year later he began lecturing at primary schools and universities across Japan -- a golden-gloved Gandhi preaching the virtues of nonviolence, social justice and free-thinking.

Eh? A nonviolent boxer?

"Actually I encourage the fighting sports," Eiji tells us from a Shikoku primary school. "I want kids to expend all their energy in the dojo. Once you have fighting skills, you have the strength not to use them. I title my lectures: 'Ex-fighter on Nonviolence.' I learned from boxing -- 3 minutes, one round, that's it. You have to do your best. Life is the same. Three minutes or 80 years, you must always do your best." Suffice to say, during his years in the ring Yoshikawa never once tried to masticate an opponent's ear.
by Roland Keltz, Editor, Japan Inc. - April 2004 issue

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