“One is never alone when one is part of the Red Cross family”
Mrs. Hashimoto was one of the leading Red Cross figures in Japan between 1948 and 1995. She was a pioneering spirit who devoted her life to promoting the ideas of Henry Dunant and the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and to spreading knowledge of international humanitarian law.
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Mrs. Hashimoto graduated from the Japan Women’s University in 1930 and not long after became a teacher at the university and the Japan Women’s Social Education Association. But it didn’t take long for her to realize she wanted to do more and something different. In 1948 she joined the Junior Red Cross Section of the Japanese Red Cross Society and her life wouldn’t be the same after.

She was a dedicated woman who attended many youth gatherings all around the world. And after twelve years, in 1960, she became the National Director of the Japanese Junior Red Cross. “My aim is to encourage the growth of the free spirit of the volunteer through individual wisdom and creative cooperation”, she then said. “Thought without action is just as futile as action without thought.”

Mrs. Hashimoto's gracious personality, dynamic leadership and deep commitment to the goals of the Red Cross earned her an honorable reputation throughout South-East Asia. She organized well known conferences and seminars and even set up the Henry Dunant Study Centre in 1970 to disseminate the ideals of the founder of the Red Cross, a man for whom she had the deepest admiration.

”Thought without action is just as futile as action without thought”

– Mrs. Hashimoto, Japan

As a recognition to all her humanitarian activities and contribution to the Movement, she was awarded the Henry Dunant Medal on 11 April 1972. Angela, Countess of Limerick, the then Chairwoman of the Standing Commission of the International Red Cross, commented on this award in the following words:

“Since the beginning of her period of service with the Japanese Red Cross in 1948, Mrs. Hashimoto has concentrated on the promotion of world peace through international understanding, and on the dissemination of the Geneva Conventions. It is no exaggeration to say that in its work to disseminate knowledge of the Conventions among young people, the Japanese Red Cross has been among the world leaders. Its achievements in this field have been almost wholly due to the efforts of Mrs. Hashimoto, [who has] worked unceasingly for the promotion of the type of international understanding which is the only lasting basis for a peaceful world. The number of imaginative projects by which the youth of Japan have learned more about the rest of the world, and the forms of international activities which they have pioneered, have been outstanding.”

Mrs. Hashimoto was a woman who took a leading role in disseminating the principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and set a lasting example for the Movement's volunteers. The best way to perpetuate her memory is to make her words our own:

“The Red Cross cannot solve the ills of the world, but at least it can certainly set it in the right direction, provide a compass with which to direct humanity. If we keep the Red Cross fire burning within us all along the way, there will always be light in any darkness, light to see the person before you and the person who comes after. One is never alone when one is part of the Red Cross family. It is a big family stretching across continents and seas. I am proud to be a part of it as long as I live.”

Mrs. Sachiko Hashimoto passed away on October 6th 1995.


Mrs. Hashimoto

Japan, 1948

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Globally, women are currently 118 years away from closing the gender gap.

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