Masahisa Goi (1916-1980)

I love Peace Poles. Almost everywhere I’ve been I’ve worked to get a peace pole planted. They are a simple elegant witness to our mutual hope. The various languages on the poles (you can pick which ones you want, including languages that have never been put on a peace pole to date) express the universal nature of that hope. I led to get one planted at my denominational headquarters and my wife got one planted at our City Hall in Hamtramck, Michigan. I’ve taken pictures of them all around the world, not knowing the people who planted those poles but sharing in their vision and heart-felt prayer.
Daniel Buttry

Japanese World Peace Visionary

Peace Poles

Masahisa Goi profile on Interfaith PeacemakersA simple, five-word prayer has been planted in many languages on more than 200,000 Peace Poles around the world: May Peace Prevail on Earth. The prayer bridges religious and linguistic divisions, bringing people together in a common expression of prayer and hope for peace.

Background

The visionary behind the World Peace Prayer was the Japanese philosopher and spiritual leader Masahisa Goi. As a child Goi was very frail, so to deal with his poor health he began to explore the disciplines of yoga, spiritual healing and the martial arts. He engaged in long periods of meditation. During World War II he worked in a factory, but outside of his work he organized various cultural events including a choir. The war was a traumatic spiritual experience for him, and he began to yearn desperately for peace, not only for Japan but also for the world.

World Peace Organizations

Goi founded Byakko Shinko Kai, an organization to promote spirituality and spiritual practices dedicated to world peace. He studied teachings of various religions including the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu and the Bible. Through his books and lectures he encouraged people to seek inner peace as well as world peace.

In a long journey of prayer in which he asked to be of service to humanity, Goi believed the prayer May Peace Prevail On Earth was given to him. He believed that if people put their efforts into this prayer for peace it would have a uniting effect for all humanity. In 1955 he founded the Movement of Prayer for World Peace, which eventually became The World Peace Prayer Society. The group was established to transcend all religious, social, ethnic and political barriers through the promotion of the prayer. Peace Poles were designed to be inscribed with the prayer in various languages. These poles would then be set into the ground as constant reminders and witnesses to the hope for peace.

Peace Poles Around the World

Peace Poles have been planted in every country, in ordinary places such as houses of worship and homes and in places of special conflict. Many religious leaders have planted Peace Poles, including Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama. Masahisa Goi’s simple prayer has become an inspiration to millions of people around the world who have never heard his name but have shared his passion and hope.

See Also

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