Paul Rusch was a native of Lousville Kentucky.
He was sent to Japan in 1925 by the YMCA
to reconstruct the Training Centers of Yokohama
and Gotemba. The two Centers were collapsed
by the big earthquake of 1923. Paul was then
27 years old and if it were not for the earthquake
he would have been in Jerusalem as a trainee
in hotel management. He had very little knowledge
of Japanese culture and customs. Upon landing
in Yokohama he wrote a letter to his friend
g I had heard from the missionaries that
Japanese liked fish for food but I had no
idea that they liked them so much that they
flew them from a top of a long pole.h From
this letter I assume Paul arrived in Japan
in late April or early May, 1925.
After one year of successful work for
YMCA, he was ready to go home to Kentucky
when he was asked to stay on to help
a Commercial English course at St.
University in Tokyo. Also Dr. R. Teusler
at St. Lukefs Hospital in Tokyo had
him to help raise funds to rebuild
Hospital. Being an Episcopalian and
urged by Bishop McKim who said gyou
still young, stay just one more year
help ush Paul could not say gNoh.
his fiancee was left in Louisville.
g just one more yearh promise became
life-time promise and work.
There is an organization called The
of St. Andrew in the Episcopal Church.
goal of this group is gOne Brings
to Christh just as the fisherman Andrew
brought his brother, Simon Peter, to
the very next day he became His first
As soon as Paul began teaching at St.
he started to lead his students to
It was in 1938 that Paul with the students
gPrayh and hServiceh Volunteer
built the Training Center at Kiyosato,Yamanashi
Almost the same time Ogochi Reservor
Tokyo was completed and 28 families,
were relocated to Kiyosato. Their whole
is now under the water. The families
land and mountains with timber were
to become farmers of which they had
To become farmers in the cold weather
of Kiyosato was not as easy conversion
it was a continuity of hardship with
results. Paul met these struggling
I have no way of guessing if Paul had
people in mind as partners when he
his gNew Village Movementh in later
The Training Center was located between
villages, Kiyosato and Oizumi and was
gSeisen Ryoh taking one Chinese character
each from the two village names. According
to an official report 800 people attended
the opening of Seisen-Ryo n the summer
1938. The Japanese National Railroad
to run additional trains from Shinjuku,Tokyo.
Many young boys from Anglican churches
over Japan came for religious retreat
prayer meetings during spring, summer
fall. They also became missonaries
village people. New buildings and cabins
were constructed by these young participants.
Paulfs mission work continued even
the years when the relationship between
and America became difficult. Missionaries
started returning to their homeland
stayed on until he was repatriated
the war began saying: I cannot walk
those studentsh. In 1942, six months
the war broke out, he was put on gAsama-Maruh
which sailed to Africa to exchange
repatriates from America. Three years
in 1945 Paul came back to Japan as
officer of the Occupation Forces. Many
his past students had perished in the
but a handful of them came to see him.
the war they were so full of life and
but now what Paul saw was young men
faces of desperation, with no hope
future. Paul went to Seisen-Ryo, Kiyosato
with some of the former students and
with the villagers he had known. They
happy to see him again but all were
striving with hunger and poverty.
gSensei (teacher), Democracy, what
What can we do? How can God tell us
for Him in this painful conditions?h
lost words facing the skinny, desolated
I must inform the Americans the poor
the Japanese are all in. I must extend
hand to help them become themselves
Thus the idea of Kiyosato Educational
Project was started.
gFood, Health, Faith and Hope for
was the core of the Project. From Kiyosato,
at the foot of the mountain range of
Paul started a big movement of gDemocracy
from Rural Japanh. Time and again
to say gAmerican Democracy must wear
Kimonoh. He decided to give his life
this big project. 1949 he was discharged
from the Army and started a fund raising
campaign tour throughou America and
From the pulpit, at womenfs group
at farm machinery factories and medical
industry meetings, Paul appealed to
unknown audiences gGrass-root Democracy
for the Kingdom of Godh.
1950, the American Committee for KEEP
founded as a non-profit organization
Ill. with the great support of the
of St. Andrew in America. Today, this
is still raising funds for KEEP and
the Project in Kiyosato in many ways.