Emmaus International

Sister Hatsuki Murakami recently passed away. She was a key figure for the Emmaus movement in Japan, where she set up initiatives in Tokyo after spending more than four years immersed in international youth camps and Emmaus communities in France until 1977. Many people in the movement met her and have fond memories of her. Read more about her story here.

Sœur Hatsuki

In 1973, Sister Hatsuki discovered Emmaus thanks to a French volunteer sent to Japan by Abbé Pierre, when she taught him Japanese. She had worked for several years at a nursery school that was set up by the MEP (Paris Foreign Missions) in a shanty town on the outskirts of Osaka and, after meeting this volunteer, she went to France to find out how the Emmaus communities worked.

After a short stay in Blois, she travelled to several communities around the country: Montpellier, Nimes, Toulouse and many others, helping to organise the international Emmaus camps in these cities, which brought together thousands of young people from all over the world, including Japan. She spent almost two years in a community in Bordeaux where she worked with companions and with an Ecumenical association called ‘Stop à la misère’, which worked with people living on the street.

Father Robert Vallade, a French missionary who came to set up the communities in Japan (in Kobe, Osaka, Tokyo and Maebashi), was the person who called on Hatsuki in 1977, while she was still living in France, to help him in his mission and to set up the Emmaus community in Tokyo. On returning to her country, she dedicated all her energy to the Emmaus communities and companions. She liked to say that “we are all small but for Society we can act like a small pebble in one’s shoe, which forces us to stop and look at things closely”.