Japan Small Kindness Movement
It is the oldest and perhaps the most famous kindness movement in the world, but Japan’s Small Kindness Movement had its origin in an unfortunate incident. On a wintry morning in February 1963 in Tokyo, Mr Seiji Kaya, then the president of Tokyo University was mugged for ticking off a commuter who had jumped queue. He was saddened that other commuters did not lift a finger to help him. He decided to start a crusade and urged his student to practice it. “I want you all to be brave in practicing small kindness, thereby creating a wave of kindness that will someday wash over all of Japanese society”.
He received the support of Japanese opinion leaders, and the Small Kindness Movement was born and duly endorsed by the Japanese Government. The movement’s slogan is: “Let us show whatever kindness we can, so that kindness will be the norm in society”.
Today, there are more than 460,000 paid-up members and the movement’s activities involve some three million people and corporations. It has handed out 3.4 million awards to people all over Japan for their kind deeds. The movement went global in 1997, when it initiated the World Kindness Movement.