Well why is the just launched HANDA OPERA ON SYDNEY HARBOUR named Handa? Who is this person who has the naming rights for this exciting new major opera event in Australia?
Dr Haruhisa Handa was born in Japan in 1951. He graduated from the Doshisha University in Kyoto with a degree in Economics. He was a postgraduate student at Musashino Academia Musicae, where he studied voice, and received an Honorary Doctorate from Edith Cowan University in Australia.
Dr Handa heads B C Consulting, Tachibana Publishing, Japan Pegasus Tour and Misuzu Corporation amongst other international businesses.
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. His artistic and cultural accomplishments have led to his appointment as Tenured Visiting Professor in Japanese Studies at Zhejiang University and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Tsinghua University in China, and Visiting Professor in Management at Wolverhampton University in the United Kingdom. He is also an Honorary Fellow of SOAS. Dr Handa is known as an authority in the field of Japanese arts, culture and spirituality and has written more than two hundred books on subjects related to modern civilization, religion and economics, and has been awarded the Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon of Japan.
Dr Handa has founded over 90 schools in remote regions of China, and two schools and a health Centre in Albania. He contributed $1 million to the Lambeth Academy.
After completing an arduous program of religious training on Mt. Hiei, one of Japan’s oldest monastic centres of Buddhist scholarship and religious practice, Dr Handa formally adopted the Buddhist name “Toshu Fukami”, replacing his secular name for his religious and artistic work. He is an ordained Zen Buddhist priest in the Rinzai tradition.
Dr Handa is honorary patron of the World Blind Golf Association and honorary chairman of the Japanese Blind Golf Association. He has been the Patron of Golf Australia since 2009 and sponsors major golf tournaments around the world, particularly for blind golf players and women.
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.
IFAC (International Foundation for Arts and Culture) was founded by Mr Haruhisa Handa as a public service corporation in Tokyo in 1996 to support and fund charitable activities through various events related to music and the arts. International Branch offices have been established world wide – including Australia.
In Australia, his philanthropic work in the arts includes being a major benefactor to the Perth International Arts Festival and to the Art Gallery of Western Australia, through his foundation IFAC – sponsorship of the Australian Singing Competition (Mathy Awards) since 1998, and now a Principal Partner in Opera Australia’s HANDA OPERA ON SYDNEY HARBOUR.
Well done Mr Handa.