As a Believer in the Bible
In May 1948 the State of Israel achieved her independence after 2000 years of dispersion and persecutions. In the same month of the same year the Makuya movement started in Kumamoto, Japan. Its founder, Ikuro Teshima, saw the same invisible hand of God working on both events.
In 1954 Teshima encountered Prof. Israel Slomnicki and his wife, Leah, on a train bound for Nagasaki. Sitting opposite them, Teshima asked them if they were conversing in Hebrew and talked to them:
“Look, in the 20th century Jews return to their homeland from all over the world, which has been exactly prophesied in the Bible. People in the world look at this as a matter of passports, visas, and tickets. They are blind to the great miracle that is happening in front of their eyes. Since this is a miracle, no human force or might of the world could stop the process. So, you need not fear anybody or anything. Israel will develop and prosper.”
After this encounter Teshima visited Israel for the first time in 1961. The next year he began sending his students to Israel. He expected them to spiritually grow and discover their own missions in life through studying and praying in Israel.
In 1964 Teshima led Makuya pilgrims to Israel, which was the first Makuya pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Since then, Makuya has sent groups of pilgrimage every year. Teshima stressed upon the importance of reliving the same kind of spiritual experiences that the Bible characters had in the Holy Land.
Rejoicing over the Restoration of Jerusalem
Foreseeing the impending Arab-Israel war, Teshima set up the “Israel Emergency Relief Committee of Japan” in 1967. When the war actually broke out, he hurriedly flew to Israel with relief goods.
The war ended in 6 days before Teshima’s arrival in Israel. On June 12th he entered Jerusalem and rejoiced at the Wailing Wall. He offered a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the restoration of the Holy City and placed his prayer in the cleavage of the Wall: “The God of Abraham, the God of Issac, the God of Jacob, our God, I thank for the promise and the truthfulness of the God of David. June 12, 1967, Ikuro Teshima, Tokyo, Japan” He wrote in his diary, “Today is the best day in my life.”
Leading Tokyo Campaign for Israel
In the fall of 1973, the Arab world intensified its effort to destroy the State of Israel by using oil as a political weapon. One nation after another yielded to the Arab blackmail and deserted Israel. Japan, too, renounced her traditional policy of neutrality and adopted a pro-Arab stand.
Teshima called upon Makuya members to stand up for Israel and organized a peace march in downtown Tokyo. 3000 people, young and old, from all corners of Japan gathered in Tokyo and demonstrated their fervent love for Zion.
Teshima said: “Israel is the birthplace of the Bible, and the homeland of our Redeemer. Without Israel we could have neither salvation nor redemption. In fulfillment of the Bible’s prophecy, Jerusalem was restored after 2000 years. We must not allow Israel to become an orphan of nations. Israel cannot, indeed must not, be forsaken in her time of need.”
Makuya’s campaign for Israel created a sensation throughout the Jewish world. Teshima staked his life on this campaign as he was suffering from serious illness. Rising from his absolute rest in order to follow God’s guidance, he led the march in the cold of December. And 3 weeks later, he returned home in heaven.
Inscribed on the Golden Book
The name of Teshima was inscribed twice on the Golden Book of the Jewish National Fund; once in September, 1967 in honor of his staunch support for Israel during the Six-Day War and once in January, 1974 honoring his passing.