A Greeting from the President Kazuo Ouno (2022-2023)

The Rotary Club of Kyoto Rakuhoku was established in September 6th 1973, as the ninth club in “the Millennium City of Kyoto,” with 23 Charter Members, and the Rotary Club of Kyoto East as its sponsor club.

The meeting venue at the time of establishment was Holiday Inn Kyoto, which was then moved to Kyoto Royal Hotel & Spa, then to the present venue of Hotel Okura Kyoto, located next to the Kyoto City Hall. Through the 49 years of our history since the establishment, we have grown to become a club with 70 members. Currently, we are carrying out many activities based on our established tradition.

Though the average age of the members is at 64, our club holds each generation evenly, from ages of thirties to eighties.

The long tradition of the 100% attendance after MAKE-UP (absence supplementation) by all members that had lasted over 30 years has been revived, and the entire members have successfully achieved 100% attendance with MAKE-UP included for the past few years.

The COVID-19 disaster has made it very difficult to achieve the MAKE-UP, and even with the newly introduced system of the Deemed Attendance during the COVID-19, the average attendance rate for meetings (attendance to home club) has dropped to around 80%. Although it is slightly lower than average years, it still remains exceedingly high, and our club successfully maintains its bright and cheerful meeting atmosphere, which is the charm that keeps the high attendance rate for the home club. As the COVID-19 countermeasure at our meetings, we keep distance between seats, remain silent while eating, and take all other necessary measures.

  • Some of our recent activities are as follows:
  • ・We have presented Japanese black pine to Kyoto City Zoo, the place of recreation and relaxation for the residents of both the Kyoto City and neighboring municipalities. The donation was swiftly made after the news of pine trees in "Forest of Kyoto" located inside the zoo, being blighted and cut down was made public. The last generation of the pine tree was planted in person by the Emperor Showa when He was the Crown Prince.
  • ・In March 2020, in response to the severe shortage of medical masks at the COVID-19 frontline, where medical workers continued to fight, our members promptly endeavored to procure a total of 4,000 surgical masks despite difficulties and donated them to Kyoto Medical Association.
  • ・"Okazaki Wai-wai Bunkasai" is a cultural festival hosted by the local residents and held in Okazaki area, where many of cultural tourist spots of Kyoto are located. We have been co-sponsoring the event for over ten years since its start, sometime even participating as a band, and contributing to the vitalization of the region together. Participating in such social service programs is a part of our effort to make the Rotary Club known to the general public.
  • ・It has been 32 years since we established "the Rakuhoku Cup", the soccer tournament for boys, which has now grown to be "the Rakuhoku Rotary Cup", in which many U-9 teams participate. There was virtually no soccer tournament for elementary school kids in Kyoto back then and was highly appreciated. Now the tournament is regarded as one of the major and most traditional soccer tournaments for lower elementary school kids.
  • ・"Kyoto Sakura Yosakoi", one of Kyoto's own spring dance events in which many Yosakoi dance teams from nationwide come to perform, is another event we take part in; ever since the proposal of its antecedent, "the 1st Kamogawa Sakura Matsuri". Popularly referred to with the abbreviated name, "Saku-Yosa", Kyoto Sakura Yosakoi is one of the biggest Yosakoi gatherings in the Kansai region and is mainly planned and managed by the college students of our city.
  • ・Three doctors have been dispatched to the United States as exchange students from Kyoto so far, utilizing scholarship from the Rotary Foundation.

Thus, Kyoto Rakuhoku Rotary Club has been contributing to the local community and actively participating in various activities that contribute to the youth development.

Moreover, Kyoto Rakuhoku Rotary Club offers various lively group activities for friendship cultivation. Although many of club activities are on hold due to the current COVID-19 crisis, there are many opportunities to get acquainted with kindred minds of varieties of hobbies, physical level, and regardless of age. Some of the clubs includes: the "Golf Group" with the largest members, the "Music Band" with the big band consisted of mostly beginners who had never touched music instrument until their middle or old age, the "Outdoors Group" that tries on a wide range of fun stuff, anything from fishing, skiing to live music sessions, the "Hara Hara Group" that simply enjoy filling up their stomach with delicious meals, and the "Railroad Group" that enjoys travel by train.

Upon taking on the post of the 2022-2023 fiscal year President of this Rotary Club of Kyoto Rakuhoku, I set the presidential slogan for this fiscal year to be “Discover the New by Studying the Past”.

RI President Jennifer E. Jones’ Theme
“Imagine Rotary”
District Governor Yasuhiro Oga’s Slogan
“Moving, Inspiring, and Thankful”

along with my own in mind, I promise to fulfill my duty to make the Rotary Club of Kyoto Rakuhoku appealing.

Kazuo Ouno

President of the Rotary Club of Kyoto Rakuhoku
(2022 - 2023)