Dr Haruhisa Handa
Born in Japan in 1951, Dr Handa operates more than a dozen companies in Japan and abroad, ranging from management consulting to publishing.
He is heavily involved with social causes; currently serving as the vice-president of the UK’s Royal National Institute for the Blind; trustee of World Faiths Development Dialogue; founder and chairman of Asia Faiths Development Dialogue; president of the International Shinto Foundation; advisor to the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions; and chairman of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture.
Dr Handa took lay ordination and studied Tendai Buddhist chanting under Reverend Denchu Amano, Daisojo of the Tendai sect. He received the Buddhist name "Toshu." He also received the lay practitioner name (koji) of "Daigaku" at the Rinzai zen temple of Tofukuji in Kyoto.
Through a representative organization, Dr Handa has founded over 120 schools in remote regions of China, and two schools and a health Centre in Albania and also contributed $1 million to the Lambeth Academy.
He has made a significant contribution in Cambodia where he built a 24 hour free emergency hospital and runs this hospital in collaboration with a local Christian group. Recognized for his contributions to the nation, the decoration of Commander of the Royal Order of Sahametrai, Grand Officer of the Royal Order of Sowathara, and Commander and Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Monisaraphon was conferred on him. He is co-founder and chancellor of the University of Cambodia, honorary consul of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Fukuoka and also advisor to the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Dr Handa is a poet, artist, author, actor and opera singer of note and contributes to many artistic and cultural activities. He has published and sold many books and paintings, and is a well known radio personality in Japan.
He is the recipient of the Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon of Japan.