Yuji Miyata started his around-the-earth walk in 2007. He has walked through Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China (with a few beers in Hong Kong) and this time – Vietnam –to deliver his message: “We can live without harming the environment.”
Yuji, 27, graduated from Tokyo University with a diploma in politics. He very soon thought: “I must do something and the idea of walking around the earth came to my mind.”
On January 1st 2009 Yuji Miyata began walking from Korea to London, where he expects to be in time for the 2012 Olympic games. Yuji walked through the mainland of South Korea, then around Jeju Island, before returning to Japan, where he completed a walk around Okinawa for Celebration Earth at Shuri Castle. Following Peaceday, Yuji moved on to Taiwan for a two-month tour and completed a high profile walk that has inspired other people to walk the island for peace following his departure.
He began the most recent phase of his trans-Vietnam walk in Hanoi on October 1, 2009 – he went to Thanh Hoa in September 2008, but suffered from a quite bad illness and had to go home. However, Yuji returned to Vietnam to resume his trans-Vietnam journey. He was welcomed by the very friendly Vietnamese youth when he visited places to plant trees and open classes on the environment. He also shared his knowledge on how to protect the environment.
Yuji arrived in Nha Trang on March 27, 2010. He stopped at the SOS Nha Trang Village to plant trees. Arriving in Hue City, he stopped first at the Chi Lang Centre for Street Children, saying hello to the kids (in Vietnamese) and presented them with candies, cakes, toys, pens and notebooks. The little ones eagerly received the gifts and replied thank you in Japanese, which they had just learned: “Domo arigato gozaimasu!” (Thank you very much!).
Many people were surprised to see a young Japanese man “roaming” National Highway 1A, and they asked: “Why didn’t you choose another country for your fifth trip? Yuji replied sincerely: “I only knew about Vietnam via the Internet as a heroic nation. I have found the Vietnamese people very friendly and hardworking, despite that your country was devastated by wars. I think I can do a lot of work in your country. I especially want to explore Vietnamese culture and people by myself, not only through the Internet.”
He said goodbye to Hue City, by saying in Vietnamese, “Let’s do a good deed for you, for me, and for everybody for a peaceful world.”
After leaving Vietnam, Yuji will go on to other countries in Asia and then will walk through Syria, Turkey, and Europe to his last destination, the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games .
Recently he visited Patagonia, in August 2010, to catch up with friends Paul Coleman and Konomi Kikuchi and to learn of their eco- home which is being built of bags filled with Earth. Paul informed Pressenza of the details of Yuji’s trip, which are included here.
Paul Coleman is the Earthwalker Ambassador of the Culture of Peace Initiative (UN), and Member of the Council Advisors for Pathways To Peace and Charity Ambassador to The Living Rainforest.