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Even now, one of the tourist spots that really represents Kiyosato is Seisen-Ryo. paul rusch memorial 201907-01

Although when people think of the rural camp Seisen-Ryo, what often comes to mind is ice cream and an abundance of nature, however, it is also where Dr. Paul Rusch devoted his life to the Japanese post-war renaissance in mountainous regions and agricultural villages.

The name Seisen-Ryo takes a single character from the Kiyosato area and the Ooizumi village at the southern slopes of Mt.Yatsutake. Combining the character Kiyo which can also be read as Sei and means Pure, along with the the character Izumi which can be read as Sen and means springs, Rusch found joy in naming the area “Pure Springs”.

About a 200m walk through Seisen-Ryo’s back forest, lies the Memorial Museum of Paul Rusch “The father of American Football and Kiyosato’s Revival.”

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Dr. Paul Rusch loved Japan and wanted to devote himself to helping rebuild it. At the Paul Rusch Memorial Museum you see how he dedicated his life.

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These words carry the ideal that Dr.Rusch held close to him while spending his years on what mattered towards him. At the entrance of the Memorial Museum lies these words, and his photo.

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In order to be number one, you must set your sights on the best.

The reason why Dr. Rusch chose Kiyosato as a symbol for revitalization of Japan, is because from here you can physically set your sights on the best, Mt.Fuji.

paul rusch memorial 201907-07Photo provided by:Seisen-Ryo/ KEEP)

Dr. Paul Rusch was born in the American state of Indiana and was raised in the neighboring state of Kentucky. Dr. Rusch first arrived in Japan in 1925, initially to help the YMCA (Young Mens Christian Association) with reconstruction efforts in Tokyo and Yokohama after the devastation of the Great Kantō earthquake.

As the era shifted and the Pacific War began, Dr. Rusch left for America only to later return as a member of the GHQ with the mission of reviving the Japanese island nation. Setting his sights on building Japan up from the Mountainous regions and farming villages, he began his new work right here in at the foot of Mt.Yatsugatake.  

Areas as high elevation such as Kiyosato are unable to produce rice, and are very difficult to live in. During the food crisis after the war, it is said that those living in areas such as Kiyosato had to fend off their hunger by consuming the bark off of trees. Hearing this, Dr.Rusch thought that if an area like that can one day prosper then there is nothing stopping the rest of Japan from doing the same.

 With the development of a dairy farming industry and production of vegetables that could thrive even this climate in mind, he opened a model plantation here at Kiyosato. That model plantation is the Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project (KEEP) that still exists to this day.

At the memorial hall things such as the suitcases he used and other personal belongings can be seen on display. Especially impactful are the many letters he wrote in order to acquire funds for KEEP sent to America. As well as letters between him and his close companions from Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru, to General MacArthur, and American Business magnate John Rockefeller. And even a self-written biography and lesson manuscripts.

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And behind the memorial hall you can even visit the home that Paul Rusch lived in during his life in Yamanashi.

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On display within the study that Dr. Rusch once used, lie dozens of thank you letters. Looking at these you can truly understand how during his life time he greatly contributed to the revival of Kiyosato and Japan as a whole.

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You can also view his bed area. Although it was said that Dr. Rusch did not like spending money on himself and his room was indeed small and lackluster, on sunny days if he were to gaze out of his window he could take in the priceless view of Mt.Fuji. 

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Also in his room you can view the gifts of origami that were sent to Dr.Rusch for his birthday from the children who lived in the area.

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It is said that he was very much loved and adored by the children in the area, and he was thought of as the friendly neighborhood grandpa of the area. Dr.Paul Rusch spent most of his life devoted to helping Kiyosato rise from the ashes. Within the memorial museum you can see photos of Kentucky where he was raised, as well as Kiyosato side by side.

paul rusch memorial 201907-19 Kiyosato (L)、Kentucky (R)

It’s not hard to imagine that Dr. Rusch worked hard to help rebuild Kiyosato whilst dreaming nostalgically of his home in Kentucky.

Now after knowing the history of Kiyosato, upon visiting once again maybe it’ll feel a litte different for you. If you do have a chance to visit Kiyosato, we invite you to please check out the Paul Rusch Memorial Hall.

And don’t forget to enjoy some delicious Ice Cream when you’re done!!

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Paul Rusch Memorial Hall  Japan-America Football Hall of Fame

Public Interest Corporation Keep Association
3545 Kiyosato, Takane-chou, Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture 407-0301
TEL:0551-48-5330 External link )

HOURS :10:00~17:00 (Last entry 16:30)
CLOSED:Wednesdays and Thursdays Nov. ~ Mar.
ADMISSION FEE:Adult 500 \ Middle School and under 200 \
             Discounts available for groups of 20 or more
Kiyosato Sta > Seisen-ryo bus stop (via Kiyosato picnic bus 5mins) > 5 min. walk from bus stop. External link )
Guided Museum Tour
For those who would like to learn more information about Dr. Paul Rusch’s life and story we highly recommend the guided tour!
* For groups of at least 10
Fee:Admission Fee+200\/per person
*Reservations only 

Published on

  • August 23, 2019


Home > Staff Journal > Learn the history of Kiyosato! Paul Rusch Memorial Hall and Seisen-Ryo