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Letters from the Compassionate Pugilist

Eiji Yoshikawa is a retired Pro Boxer who majored in French literature and did his thesis on Jean Cocteau and Cinematography. He founded the "Peacemakers", Japan's first neighborhood watch, and spends much of his time visiting schools and communities teaching children about non-violence. In 2004, Japan Inc. Magazine called him the "Compassionate Pugilist". We are proud to offer "Letters from the Compassionate Pugilist" as our first guest columnist. Contact Eiji at or via email.

The Kid from Tokyo Learns that Everyone Seeks for Happiness
~ across the country and back on Ameripass, and home to Tokyo ~
Before leaving the US, I decided to cross the country by Greyhound Bus. They had just created a special ticket called “Ameripass” which cost me only $12 per day to ride the bus as much as I wanted. more
Adele from Lugano, the Town of My Heart; Miami Steve Van Zandt; and the Victorious Hearts of Marathon Runners
~ The End of Summer in New York in 1983 ~
As I saw the lonely backs of those runners that kept walking after the race, I think I saw the reason why I flew all the way to New York, just to be alone and to figure out how I could put a period on my career as a fighter. more
Diana Ross, Baseball, Gandhi and Simon & Garfunkel
~ What I Saw in 1983 in New York City ~
Five minutes after her show started, we saw a fast-growing dark cloud rising behind the stage. It looked like the cloud in Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, or the one in “Ghostbusters”. Fifteen minutes later, the cloud covered the park, and 300,000 spectators were smashed like 300,000 ants running away in all directions from the flood-like rain. more
Memories and Thoughts about Shows in New York City
Ray Charles; Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band; Southside Johnny and Asbury Jukes; Gary US Bonds; Roberto Duran KO’s Davey Moore to Grab His 3rd World Title in Madison Square Garden more
Shows and Fights Twenty-Five Years Ago
I am trying to recall what I saw live in 1983 in New York City and the quick list I have made below looks quite interesting. Here we go. more
School in the Lobby
In those sleepless nights in New York, I had one more friend that I spoke to often, whose name was Richie. He was a security guard, and had a night shift at the YMCA. His station was in the lobby, right at the entrance, at a round wooden counter with a chair hidden underneath. It looked like an information counter in an airport, except that the brown colored wood looked old and classical. more
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Nothing was too difficult, in terms of living in the Big Apple, for the boxer who had come from the Big Tempura, except the Tempura-paint-like temperature in the summer time. more
A Boxer’s Roadwork Through the World Community
In New York in 1983, I lived in the West Side YMCA on 63rd Street and Broadway. It was one minute to Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle and Central Park. Since I had applied to and registered with ALP (the American Language Program) at Columbia University, the YMCA gave me the student’s weekly rate. It was around seventy-two dollars per week -- the cheapest in town. more
A Samurai Boxer Across the Ocean
When I was a boxer, I devoted 100% to what I had to do. When I quit boxing, I lost that 100% and became like a shell with nothing in it. I did my everyday things fine, but I knew that there was no more fire inside. I thought that it was just a matter of time, and it would all be back to normal in a few months. However, even after a year, I still felt like I was running a motel with all of the rooms vacant. more
“The Epiphany of Zebediah Clump”
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