Sports Diary (VII)
Next to Olympic Tokyo is still a community of worshiping nuns, who wander into brothels and roadside ditches trying to pull women trafficked out of the dark.
Some of the veteran nuns of this congregation, formed in Madrid in 1856 to rescue women from prostitution, still live at the Casa Allegra de las Adoratris de Kitami, 20 kilometers from Olympic Tokyo. All the nuns in the Japanese community are older and, although they have already been vaccinated, with more than 3,000 new daily infections in the city by the delta variant, it is not advisable to climb the stairs of their residence to visit their place.
In the three hours between the end of the golf course and the beginning of slalom canoeing, it was time to go for a walk in search of the home of some of the nuns who had become popular in Spain for visiting brothels and street ditches. Liberate the trafficked women from darkness.
That mission in Japan was carried out by a woman, Victoria de la Cruz, He was born in Málaga and died in 2018 shortly after turning 110. His story, well produced and with good actors, makes an Oscar film.
When she was young, Victoria would give up the habit of landing in Japan before World War II and visiting places of prostitution every night to try to convince women that they were not owned by a man. showed them the way out: move them out of the backyard of traditional Japanese society to centers where social educators offered them protection, training, and a future for themselves and their children.
Five years ago, we picked up the phone from the Madrid newsroom and found Victoria at the Kitami residence, one of seven communities of worshipers in Japan. He told us that he had been away from his native Malaga for 80 years. From there he traveled to the Asian country for the first time in 1936., on a boat trip that lasted two months.
Victoria was in Tokyo for three years when Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor. For the next six years she lived as a refugee, with the sisters of the community, in the mountains of Karuizawa, away from the city. When World War II ended, his community settled in Yokohama.
The social work of Malaga and other worshipers there multiplied Healing the physical and moral difficulties left by the Hiroshima bomb. Victoria paid particular attention to investigating how the network worked to sell orphan girls into geisha homes, where they were taught the Japanese art of music and dance.
But some were also forced to rent their bodies DannaWealthy older men, usually married, who paid for the training of these girls in exchange for their sexual relations. They were at the time of Victoria’s night walk, without habit, camouflaged as a Western man ready to mingle with the ladies of the night.
Already in old age, after marathoning as a missionary, Victoria, the second of nine siblings who went on to become a teacher before becoming a nun, also won a gold medal like Olympic athletes. They were decorated by the Japanese government to protect and remove hundreds of women from the streets and brothels.