Voices of Courage with Ken D Foster
Show: The Courage to Be A Hero
Guest, Yoichi Utebi (Yo-EE-chee You-THE-bee), Happy Science Media Division Producer, VP of HS Productions
Topic: The new spiritual film from Japan, Immortal Hero
What is Happy Science?
What are its major teachings?
Who is Master Okawa?
The new Happy Science movie, “Immortal Hero,” is based on true events in Master Okawa’s life, namely his near-death experience and the will he exerted to thwart death. Tell us about that.
In the movie, Master Okawa is visited by spiritual beings. In real life, he says he is visited daily by several highly evolved beings in the spirit world and has been for most of his life. When did those visitations begin, and who does he communicate with?
Master Okawa says he is the incarnation of Buddha. Why do you think he has reincarnated at this time in Japan? Is there any cultural or historical significance to his appearance at this time and place?
Why bring this film to the US? What is the main message of this movie to the audience?
Where and when is the movie screening?
About: “Immortal Hero”
Based on the true story of the near-death-experience that compelled Ryuho Okawa to devote his life to spreading the Truth he received from the spiritual realms and masters, Immortal Hero tells the dramatic, inspiring story of Makoto Mioya, a highly successful Japanese writer and publisher who miraculously heals himself from a fatal heart condition after a near-death visitation from powerful spiritual beings. As part of the recovery process, Makoto writes about his powerful ‘rebirth’ as an enlightened and transformed teacher. Although he faces challenges at home and abroad, Makoto promises to use the second chance at life he has been blessed with to make a positive difference for as many people as possible. He commits to ‘die for the truth’, a powerful covenant that defines the purity and intensity of his message of love, our mutual responsibility for one another, and world peace.
Immortal Hero is the 17th film by Happy Science Productions, the award-winning media arm of the burgeoning Happy Science movement founded by Ryuho Okawa in 1986. The inspirational film reveals the depth and gravity of Master Okawa’s miraculous near-death experience in 2004 and its significance for the world.
About: Yoichi Utebi, Happy Science Media Division Producer, and Vice President of HS Productions
Born in Japan in 1968, Yoichi Utebi grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and New York City. Raised in a rare Japanese Christian family, he was deeply touched by Muslim culture and the beauty of Lebanon during his formative years in Beirut. However, the Middle East also exposed Utebi to the horrors of war, as he and his family dodged bullets and bombings before fleeing to London and back to Japan, leaving everything behind in a sudden evacuation. In the 7th grade, Utebi moved to New York for 10 years, where he was exposed to friends from multiple cultures and ethnicities. His rock band produced a popular album and gained quite a following in the city before Utebi decided to forego his musical pursuits and return to Japan.
After 12 years of experience in marketing and senior management at various American IT companies in Japan, Utebi joined Happy Science in 2010, where he quickly rose to Director of International Communications. In 2015, he was appointed Head Minister of Hawaii, and in 2018 he led the temples in Okinawa. Utebi is currently leading Happy Science’s International Media Division and is the Vice President of HS Productions and producer of “Immortal Hero.”
About: Happy Science (幸福の科学)
Mission: Happy Science is dedicated to bringing greater happiness to humankind by uniting religions and cultures to live in harmony
Tenets: Happy Science is based on four fundamental teachings: Love, Wisdom, Self-reflection, and Progress. Living ever day in accordance with these core values, anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or religion, can attain Happiness.
Love- Love without asking for anything in return. Love that gives is the foundation of happiness
Wisdom- Learn to distinguish good from evil in all things by learning the laws of the mind and gaining spiritual knowledge
Self-reflection- Purify the mind and restore the true self by correcting negative thoughts and actions
Progress- Make concrete efforts to create a happy society while improving one’s own character
History: After graduating from the University of Tokyo, Happy Science founder Ryuho Okawa joined a Tokyo-based trading firm. In 1981, while working for the firm’s New York City headquarters and studying finance at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Okawa achieved Great Enlightenment and awakened to his true mission in life, which is to bring true happiness to all of humanity. In 1986, he renounced his promising business career and established Happy Science (Kofuku-no-Kagaku in Japanese), which was registered in Japan as a religious organization in 1991.
Reach: Happy Science has over 12M members across more than 100 countries and more than 700 Shojas, temples, and branches. Over 2,500 titles by Ryuho Okawa, many of which have consistently ranked in the annual bestsellers list in Japan, have sold over 100 million copies worldwide and been published in 31 languages.
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