感状 Letter of Commendation

At the BUTOKUSAI International Martial Arts Event (Wickford, Essex, England) November 8th 2003, Grayston-meijin was given a 感状 LETTER OF COMMENDATION from the Embassy of Japan that was delivered by Asano Atsuyuki-sama, First Secretary Ministry of Education.


8th November 2003 EMBASSY OF JAPAN 101 - 104 Piccadilly London W1J 7JT

Dear Mr Stephen Grayston and friends,

On behalf of the Japanese Embassy, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Stephen Grayston on the fortieth anniversary of his involvement with Karate. Mr Grayston began practising Karate at the age of only eight.

Mr Grayston has pursued his passion for Karate for forty years now and I'm sure that this is set to continue. This is a laudable feat, given that Karate is extremely demanding, both mentally and physically. I am full of admiration for his steadfast dedication to this discipline as such single-minded commitment and devotion is precious and rare, and is becoming even more so in our fast-paced world of today.

Mr Grayston has contributed enormously to furthering UK-Japanese understanding through Karate and has made people in the UK aware of this centuries' old martial art. Japanese martial arts are an integral part of Japanese culture and are appealing because they train one's body and one's mind in a complimentary way. Through people like Mr Grayston they have become better known and appreciated in the UK.

The Japanese Government, through its embassies around the world, does its best to foster appreciation of Japan and its culture. Nevertheless, the most effective way to promote understanding between countries is for people, rather than government officials, to promote exchange at grass-roots level. People like Mr Grayston who are able to inspire interest in their chosen cultural activity or sport, and are able to attract enthusiasts. These enthusiasts may not initially know anything about Karate or Japan, but through the medium of Karate develop an understanding for both.

On behalf of the Embassy of Japan and our people, I would like to extend my appreciation to Mr Grayston for his indomitable energy and spirit in promoting Japanese martial arts within the UK and also for having so actively disseminated Japanese culture in Essex, where he is President and Chairman of the Essex Anglo-Japanese Society. He has also been involved with countless other organisations, through which he has worked to deepen the good relationship between Japan and the UK and disseminate knowledge about Japan. He organised a Sushi event for example and contributed to the Japan 2001 programme of Japan-related cultural and sporting events.

We thank him most sincerely for his hard work and appreciate his valuable contribution to raising awareness of Japan in the UK. I heartily commend him and congratulate him on this very special fortieth anniversary.