I’ve got a confession to make: I love samurai! Those of you who know me won’t find that very surprising, and it just so happens that one of my favorite samurai was born in today’s Key City: Isehara.

Japan loves its festivals and celebrating its traditions, and each October this city is home to one of the most popular, Dokan Festival. Thousands gather from all over the country every weekend during the month to honor Ota Dokan.
Dokan was a famous samurai warrior and poet who became even better known for his military strategy, architecture and engineering. At just 25 years old, he had already built an honorable reputation and was tasked with building a castle for one of the most powerful rulers of that time. That castle would eventually become known as The Imperial Palace.
With all the success he experienced and the strict honor he lived by, it’s sad to know that he was betrayed by those he trusted most and had served for nearly his entire life. His lord, Uesugi Sadamasa, had him executed after falsely accusing him of disloyalty.

Dokan wrote these words just before his death:
Had I not known
that I was dead
I would have mourned
the loss of my life.

There are over 100,000 people living in Isehara City that don’t realize that they are dead already. I mourn the loss of these lives, but that’s not enough.
Will you help me take the Gospel to Isehara City?