Every Day is a Fresh Start
Each era brings with it a call for new initiatives, the actualization of which requires the emergence of imaginative and capable people. Creating new ideas can, however, be a solitary undertaking, one analogous to the genesis of a mighty river: A lonely dewdrop forms on the leaf of a tree and then trickles off to disappear into the soil. As these submerged droplets accumulate, they reappear as streamlets that converge and grow into the mighty rivers that nurture and sustain the fertility of the plains below. Societal development, academic advancement, and human growth may all be seen within the context of this analogy.
There was in the annals of Chinese history an emperor named T'ang Wang, who wrote on his washbasin the words "Every day is a fresh start " When washing his face each morning the emperor would recite these words, not to guide his own behavior, as might normally be the case, but rather to remind himself of how society itself revolves. To him, the message was that if a monarch clings to old customs and can do nothing but follow precedent, his kingdom will fall into stagnation and inevitably collapse under the surge of time.
These imageries come to mind when I contemplate the mission of The Tokyo Foundation. We should try to discern the advent of a new era from the dewdrops and streamlets of human innovation, and allow these flows to cascade, without stagnating, to society's fertile plains. In terms of the Foundation's activities to facilitate this process, research and dialogue are fostered to find ways to adapt to these new currents. Education and human resource development is promoted to cultivate a new caliber of actors capable of channeling and navigating them. And systems and platforms for interpersonal exchange are established to facilitate communication and interaction among the new actors. Through these activities, The Tokyo Foundation ultimately seeks to be of service to society and its members, while contributing to Japan's own efforts to enhance its international stature and, thus, to restore the confidence of the Japanese people.