Mr. and Mrs. Akiyoshi Kazama, founder and president of Mitoku Company, Ltd., were presented with the "Aveline Award" in the first annual "Aveline's Thanking Ceremony" that was held at the Kushi Foundation International Summer Conference on August 6, 2002. Following is the text of the speech given by Mr. Michio Kushi honoring and thanking Mr. and Mrs. Kazama:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kazama,
While we were beginning education in Boston, we formed the first natural food company in America, Erewhon, owned by Aveline Kushi, to support natural, healthy lifestyle with macrobiotic principles. At that time, our students and associates were mostly Hippies and Drop-Outs, who were seeking a new vision of the world.
In 1967, through the introduction of our mutual friend, Mr. Obayashi, who was a graduate of Waseda University, we met in Boston to discuss the possible supply from Japan of the best quality of natural food, to be shipped to Erewhon. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kazama, you both have put enormous efforts to meet our requirements of quality. You searched all over Japan, and inquired at many manufacturers of miso, soy sauce, sea vegetables, umeboshi plums, whole wheat noodles, buckwheat noodles, mochi, and many other products. You chose desirable quality manufacturers of those products, of one kind or another, Erewhon started to import through your Mitoku Company, and you extended liberal credit to our company and later other companies to support our education.
Furthermore, early in the 1970's, together with you, we had meetings at my home in Brookline, Massachusetts, with American natural and macrobiotic food producers and suppliers, such as the Lundbergs, Arrowhead Mills, and several others; and we discussed how to begin the natural and organic food movement, along with dietary practice, in America. These efforts were the beginning of an extensive food and dietary revolution in America. Thereafter, we have been experiencing that this food and dietary revolution has been prevailing throughout North America.
During this period, Mr. and Mrs. Kazama, you extended your kind and sincere guidance to our students and associates during their visits to Japan. These visits were made on many occasions for the purpose of learning the technologies of agriculture, food processing, and security of food quality. Among these visitors were Paul Hawken, Evan Root, John Belleme, Phillip Jannetta, Bruce MacDonald, Christopher Dawson, Norio and Phillip Kushi, and many others.
Also during this period, Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kazama, you have developed and supplied rice hulling machines, utensils and cookware, rice cake machines, and several other pieces of equipment related to food processing. You have made such efforts at the request of Aveline and myself. Despite the fact that the development of the natural food movement made many other non-macrobiotic people and companies enter into this field, which may have tended to degrade quality, you at Mitoku have kept the best quality all the time. Due to such maintenance of quality, lines of Mitoku Macrobiotic products have become symbolic of the health movement.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kazama, we are grateful to you for your endless cooperation, and you have tried your best to accomplish our requests, satisfying Aveline's Dream. You have talked over the telephone and through fax with Aveline many times throughout this period, perhaps almost every week, discussing how to maintain the best quality of food and cookware and how to develop new products.
Furthermore, Mr. and Mrs. Kazama, upon our requests, your supply of the same quality food and equipment began towards the European market. Since the end of the 1970's, together with our intensive lecture tours in every European country, you have supplied products to England, Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece, as well as to Scandinavian countries.
Furthermore, as our macrobiotic international education spread to South America, Australia, and Asian countries, your products have also gone to these countries.
There has now arisen awareness throughout the world about food quality. Such consciousness is now covering all domains of society, especially among intellectuals. Medical societies, alternative healthcare people, government, and public wellness movements are making the latter 20th century and the early 21st century the dramatic turning point of the history of mankind. All this worldwide trend would not have been realized, and shall not be accomplished, without your understanding, dedication, and cooperation with Aveline and many other macrobiotic and natural food associates and friends throughout the world. Without Mr. and Mrs. Kazama, the world would have been still in Darkness. People's health still would have no Hope. And the future of the world would have no Shining Light. Together with uncountable millions of people, we deeply extend our appreciation to you, Mr. and Mrs. Kazama.
Our education has also influenced the new approach to health through recovery from chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and many others. People have recovered from emotional disorders, psychological anxiety, and distress through the practice of macrobiotic and natural lifestyle, with proper eating. Without Mitoku products, these recoveries could not have been realized. Though many millions may not know Mr. and Mrs. Kazama directly in person, their current and future peaceful minds, energetic health, and happy families are profoundly influenced by your products.
Tonight with some 300 friends who have gathered on the occasion of the Kushi Institute's 18th Annual Summer International Macrobiotic Conference, I am honored that the Avelines' Memorial event of the Kushi Foundation is giving you this humble token as "Aveline's Thanking Award." Aveline has been a Pioneer, Innovator, Protector and Guardian as the Mother of the macrobiotic, natural, and organic food movement in Western countries. And she has been, along with her children and all members of her family, as well as her associates, students, and friends, endlessly extending a "Thanks" to you, Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kazama.
Thank you very much again. Our Dream for Mankind, and our appreciation for you, shall continue beyond our lives, forever.
In Peace and Love,