In 1993, Rotary Club of Tokyo West published "How the Great Tokyo Earthquake in 1923
Transformed The Rotary Club of Japan". In 2000, our club's 45th anniversary, the second
edition was published. We received great praise.
Rotary club of Tokyo was established in 1920 as the first Rotary Club in Japan. Three
years later the great Tokyo earthquake hit the Kantou area and nations around the world
extended their sympathy towards Japan.
In the Rotary World, 30 nations and over 500 Rotary clubs generously sent great amounts of
financial aid and moral support through Rotary Club of Tokyo. Through this booklet these
heartfelt donations are described in depth.
The friendship and support from around the world had great impact on the Rotary Club of
Tokyo. The club was able to establish its philosophy of humanitarian services and high
ethical standards. With this philosophy, Rotary Club of Tokyo West has had more than 50
years of success and still influences the world today. Through this web site we would like
to show you the great completion of the electronic version of the booklet "How the Great
Tokyo Earthquake in 1923 Transformed The Rotary Club of Japan".
Rotary Club of Tokyo West
Chairman of Public Relations Committee
In 1991, a past District Governor attended an inner city meeting of the Rotary Club's
District 2750 in Tokyo
After observing the meeting's procedures and content, he shocked all of us in the room
when he commented, “ As I listened to today's meeting, I found it unfortunate that
the discussion centered solely around issues of regulations and operations. No one mentioned
the “heart” that shapes the Rotary club's character and provides the basis for
all its activities. If we continue to limit our discussions to procedural matters,
I feel that our Club's activities will become increasingly meaningless and
eventually collapse. I beg you to carefully reconsider the “heart” and character that
form the core ? the foundation - of our Club. Rotary's future development depends
on the full realization of these two important attributes.”
Those enlightening words gave us a direction to walk towards and a clear understanding
of what the Club had been unsuccessfully trying to grasp, a potential that has not yet been met.
In hopes to reach this potential, the club rejuvenated with new initiatives and plans,
including the printing of this booklet.
This plan of the booklet started back several months ago, Mr. Bunzo Murakami,
one of our Club members, said, “Here is an old scrapbook that I have had for sometime.
It has some very interesting material, and I don't want it to be buried and forgotten
deep in my bookshelf. I would be very pleased if the scrapbook could be used as part of
some Rotary international service activity.”
This scrapbook contained newspaper clippings and dramatic photos describing the damages
done by the Great Tokyo Earthquake of September 1923, and the foreign aids that
Japan received from around the world in its aftermath.
I believe it is time to revisit the point of origin of the Rotary Club of Japan on
the fateful day in September of 1923, and gratefully acknowledge the support and
friendship we received from countries and individuals from around the globe.
I believe that by fully understanding what it is like to receive heartfelt gift
from others, we can arrive at a greater understanding of how to give.
It is this deeply felt knowledge that can truly make “heart” and “character”,
the foundation of our activities.
I am deeply grateful to Mr. Kazuya Tabata, in charge of accounting for the club,
whose full assistance made printing this booklet possible, Mr. Seiichi Kato,
our president, and Teikichi Kubo, our secretary, who supported the publication.
And of course the most heartfelt thanks to Mr. Murakami, without whom this project
never would have been successful.