150819_walk_jas

Matsuo Machidai, Nagano, Japan, walks on U.S. Highway 36 Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Machidai is walking from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., to protest Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s imprisonment in Danbury Connecticut from 1984 to 1985.

Matsuo Machida’s 86-day journey will take him from one end of the country to the other, but Tuesday he marked Day 55 in St. Joseph.

Mr. Machida is from Japan, but has taken on the task of walking across the entire United States. So far he has walked almost 1,800 miles from San Francisco to Denver, across Kansas and now into Missouri.

He walks an average of 14 hours a day with a goal of making it to Washington, D.C.

“It is half over, so my goal this time is Sept. 18 — so 31 more days.” Mr. Machida said. “So I’m very happy and I’m very happy to arrive at Missouri.”

But Mr. Machida is not walking just for fun. He hopes to share a message of peace and redemption and the teachings of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

“He (taught) me to love and live and he gave us a very wonderful idea to establish one world family under God for world peace” he said of the late reverend.

The Rev. Moon was charged with tax evasion in 1984, and Mr. Machida said he hopes people can learn his teachings to help clear his name. He’s not doing it alone, though.

On his trek across the country, others have joined Mr. Machida for a few hours of walking. Tuesday he was joined by the Rev. Peeter Saarna from Kansas City, inspired by the journey of hope and peace.

“Well I’m very moved by it. This guy is walking across the country. ... It’s just incredible to me,” the Rev. Saarna said. “To me it is like a spiritual condition. He is doing it as a spiritual thing, not just an endurance thing, so there is a meaning to that.”

And part of that meaning is Mr. Machida’s love of America and spreading his message to his second home.

“All of America is my second country, so I love this nation,” he said.

To follow Mr. Machida on his journey, go to https://familyfed.org/peacewalk/blog/.

Cecilia Reeves can be reached at cecilia.reeves@knpn.com. Follow her on Twitter: @wxcecil.