|Centre alumnus has incredible life journey
RELEASED: July 31, 2003
DANVILLE, KYThe Rev. Washio Ishii has experienced more in one lifetime than many could expect in a dozen.
Ishii, a 1960 graduate of Centre College, was born in Tokyo in 1929. During his high school years he narrowly escaped death in a bombing raid during World War II. Weeks before he was to enter the Japanese Air Force as a Kamikaze pilot, the war ended.
To his father's dismay, he converted from Buddhism to Christianity. Ishii moved to Hawaii in 1953, where the 24-year-old began preaching to a tiny Japanese congregation in Honolulu.
Two years later, he left to attend Centre, where he earned a degree in psychology.
Ishii characterizes Centre as a top-notch institution, and he's grateful he had the opportunity to study in Danville.
He graduated from Louisville Seminary in 1963 with a master of divinity degree.
His first offer came from a small church in Alabama. Though friends told him he was crazy to go to the South as a Japanese pastor, he and his family made the trek and were welcomed by the congregation.
Twenty-seven years later, in 1989, he retired from the ministry.
He was recently honored for serving Big Cove Presbyterian Church in Alabama.
Ishii, who still lives in Alabama, has also written an autobiography chronicling his life titled The Grandson of a Samurai.
For more on Centre alumni, go to http://www.centre.edu/web/alumni/.
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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