The Smile of a Ragpicker: The Life of Satoko Kitahara Convert and Servant of the Slums of Tokyo
Publish Date: 2014-10-27
Author: Fr Paul Glynn
Following his acclaimed work, A Song for Nagasaki, in which Fr. Paul Glynn told the powerful story of Dr. Nagai, a Christian convert of remarkable courage and compassion who ministered to victims of the atomic bomb attack on his city, The Smile of a Ragpicker brings us the heroic story of Satoko Kitahara, a young, beautiful woman of wealth who gave up her riches and comfort to be among the ragpickers in the Tokyo slums. Motivated by her newfound faith in Christ, she plunged into the life of the poor, regardless of the consequences.
As Satoko helped the poor with their material and spiritual needs, she also helped them to recover their self-respect and dignity. Satoko's story demonstrates how one person's life can affect so many others.
Every day Satoko encountered Christ in some new and challenging way, calling the Church back to identification with the poor. Like Dr. Nagai, she expressed her faith through the sensitivity and beauty of her own Japanese culture. Satoko died a young woman, in dire poverty. Yet her death, mourned by many thousands, reflected her triumphant life of deep Christian faith and charity.
This is a powerful story of reconciliation and healing, between people of different social, economic and religious backgrounds, inspired by a frail young woman of luminous faith. Illustrated with photos.