29-year-old Koichi Kuwabara has made it his mission to distribute ‘Free Hugs for Peace’ to as many people as he can – he’s been traveling across Asia for the past three years, hugging random people on the streets. His videos have gone viral on YouTube, garnering over 1.5 million views. He also has over 5,300 followers on Facebook and about 3,000 on Twitter.
Koichi, an aspiring school teacher, said: “I don’t want to just regurgitate theories written on textbooks. I want to tell the kids what I saw and learned first-hand from giving free hugs worldwide.”
He began his extraordinary adventure in August, 2011, just after he graduated from university. Since then, he has taken his Free Hugs initiative to several cities in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. At each location he visiyed, Koichi held up a sign that displayed the flags of Japan and the country he was visiting, along with the caption ‘Free Hugs for Peace’.