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Smiling Hospital Japan (SHJ) was established in February 2012 and started to visit hospitalized children in May 2012. SHJ has been registered as a non-profit organization since December 2012. Its unique methods (go to Methods) are well received and appreciated by children, parents and hospital staffs. We are expanding our activities to many other areas of Japan.

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Smiling Hospital Japan believes “Happiness helps healing” and our mission is to lift the spirits of children in hospital, especially of those under very weak condition with low immunity, and of those obliged to stay long in hospital, through entertainment of professional artists.

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There are the present situation that many children are forced to long-term hospitalization for chemotherapy or transplant and enduring still hard treatment without being permitted the meeting with friends and brothers/sisters for the infection prevention. There are some hospitals holding a concert and the drama for the purpose of healing of the patient, but those who can't appeared from a sickroom are deprived an opportunity to enjoy even the event of the hospital. Activity to enjoy while being in a ward and the sickroom is necessary for children whose living environment is extremely limited by a fight against illness.

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regular visits(mostly weekly basis)
to let the children look forward to next activity
personal visits
to cherish every child
individual participation to creative activities
to make the children active
sharing professional art
to let them enjoy creative activities


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Monotonous and boring life with the pain can be brought close to the life that a cheerful child spends commonly, by providing the activity regularly so that hospitalized children can participate in the activity repeatedly and look forward to with a prospect. This makes the children regain sense of accomplishment and confidence and also keep on having volition of fight against illness. Furthermore, the activity helps cultivation of aesthetic sensitivity of the hospitalization children if we can share "rich time full of the creativity that an artist make use of their specialty" in conformity with the idea of our group.

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Official Title
Smiling Hospital Japan
Japanese Title
認定NPO法人スマイリング ホスピタル ジャパン
4-1-9 1-B Eifuku, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 168-0064
Tel: 03-6379-0028
Fax: 03-6379-0028
E-mail: info@smilinghpj.org
To lift up the spirits of hospitalized children, SHJ professional artists regularly visit children. We provide art activities such as music, painting, magic, balloon-art, craft-art, etc.
Board Members
Ellie Matsumoto : Representative Director
Ayumi Setoyama : Deputy Representative Director
Maiko Hirai : Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Nihon University School of Medicine
George Fujita : Attorney at Law, Forest Breeze Law Office
Akiko Taniguchi : Professor of department of education, Toyo University
Atsuko Maruyama : Director
Kaoru Kuzumo : Education Journalist
Ellie Matsumoto
Atsuko Maruyama
Ayumi Setoyama
Hinako Hattori
Eiichi Yamaguchi
Regular Mamber
10 members
25 February 2012
Registered as NPO
18 December 2012
Registered as Certified NPO
27 July 2017 About Certified NPO

Financial Reports

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Founder's Messages

Message from Founder of Smiling Hospital Japan

"Happiness Helps Healing" This is what we believe.

Founder and Representative Director, Ellie Matsumoto

Laughing out loud, being amazed, enjoying music and art……
By spending lots of good times, monotonous and boring life with the pain can be brought close to the life that a cheerful child spends commonly.
And when these activities are provided regularly, children can participate in the activity repeatedly and look forward to with a prospect. Then they can keep on having volition of fight against illness.
This is our mission.

These are what I had been thinking for 7 years spending times with hospitalized children as a teacher at hospital school before starting to visit children's hospital with a professional artist in May 2012.

Here I have to thank the hospitals for accepting and thinking highly of our activity and also thank the artists for sharing the eagerness to support children in hospital.

We think much of regular visit, but sometimes meeting is once-in-a-lifetime encounter. Having an impressive good time with an artist during hospitalization would be a very precious experience to remember to be encouraged when one encounters a hard time even long after discharging.
This is also what we hope.

Children are our teachers. This is what we think whenever we are with them. Children, especially those fighting against illness for a long time, teach us and realize us the most precious thing and sometimes about life itself. Things we can do for them may be limited, but we keep sharing happy times with children considering how they are feeling and what they want to do because happiness helps healing.

We wish all the hospitals in Japan will be full of happy events like SHJ's activities and be filled with smiles of patients.

Thank you for accessing our website and I would like your deep understanding and support.

Founder and Representative Director,
Ellie Matsumoto

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Greetings from
Dr. Albert Royaards,
Founder of Smiling Hospital Hungary, Smiling Hospital International Foundation
at the opening ceremony at FIAT Symposium on 7 December 2013.

Good Afternoon everyone.

Greetings from Dr. Albert Royaards

It is with much appreciation that I introduce our brainchild, the Smiling Hospital Foundation to you all. It was in 2000, that I met with Hungarian-born Countess Eva Csaky Bornemisza, who used to work in London together with Princess Diana for the poor and the sick for many years. Countess Eva and myself - a retired lawyer and banker from Holland - established in 2004 the Smiling Hospital Foundation in Budapest, Hungary in order to help sick children in hospitals with a focus on calming their souls. And since then we have often heard from parents and doctors alike that treatment of the soul is equally important as the treatment of the body. How are we treating the soul? By regular entertainment programs for the children in hospitals with the aim to let them forget their unpleasant situation and to lift up their spirits. Our tools are the various forms of art. Musicians, magicians, doll-players, story-tellers and other artists go to the children wards of a hospital and visit the children -room by room and from bed to bed.

We have seen during these last ten years so many examples of the importance of the work we do. We all know quite well that a calm soul and positive attitude could only contribute towards the recovery of the patient. But there is not yet any clear scientific proof of such a statement. However, I am proud to say that our Smiling Hospital Foundation has also started to make a first effort to show scientifically the importance of the treatment of the soul. There is a young doctor in Hungary by the name of Dr Andras Beres, who took blood samples in a non-painful way through branules from sick children on an Infectology Ward, 30 minutes prior to, and 1 hour after a visit by Smiling Hospital Foundation artists. From twenty-four children the number of lymphocyte cells of 13 children were substantially higher. This research is only a beginning, but it has been published in the website of the renowned Hungarian Medical Association. We are well aware that the research has to cover thousands of children to give it the status of scientific proof and that will take a many more years.

Why did we start the Smiling Hospital Foundation? It was a personal experience in Singapore. I lived there for 17 years and in the first year we had a most difficult experience when my son of not yet one year was very ill and sent to hospital. He had diabetes mellitus and for several months was hanging between life and death. That was a time that everything around him in the hospital was sad and without any effort to lift up his soul. When he made it and came home, we were then able to make him happy with words, actions, color in his surroundings and a show of care and love. That was a big difference: the situation in the hospital versus the situation at home. Of course, that was in the old days and much has improved. But even nowadays, there is clearly not time enough for doctors and nurses in hospitals to focus on the soul of the young patients and that is why the Smiling Hospital Foundation has been founded.

n Hungary we already cover 23 hospitals. Many of these our artists visit on a daily basis. Always beautiful stories to hear. Several times already we heard from artists the wish of a child not to go home yet, because the Smiling Hospital artists would be coming the next day.
About five years ago, we were invited by the sister of the queen of Spain to visit Madrid and to discuss a cooperation with her own Foundation for "smiling activities" in Spain. That was the start of going international. We began "smiling hospital activities" in seven other countries: India, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Croatia, Slovakia and last year in Japan. In two countries we have founded separate foundations, namely in India and Japan. In order to guide the activities abroad and to help the local management with organization and funding, we established this year in Budapest the Smiling Hospital International Foundation.

How did we come to Japan? It was my friend, Mr Alessio Tuccillo, the Treasurer of Fiat Japan, who sent me a note on March 11, 2011 if we would be interested to start "smiling hospital activities" in Japan. Fiat in Hungary had good experiences with our Foundation in Hungary and apparently Mr Tuccillo wondered if we could develop a similar good relationship in Japan. I answered to be very enthusiastic and began to make my own inquiries how to make a start in Japan. In fact, we have been very fortunate to find the right persons to lead the newly established Smiling Hospital Japan Foundation. First, my good friend, Hans van den Houten, President of the Board of Trustees of the Smiling Hospital International Foundation, asked his friend, Mr Seiichi Takahashi, for advise whom to invite to become our Coordinator in Japan. Mr Takahashi approached Mrs Ellie Matsumoto, whom he had known for a long time. Mrs Matsumoto has much experience with the education of children in hospitals and readily agreed to support us. We feel very fortunate to have Mrs Matsumoto managing the Smiling Hospital Japan Foundation. We are already active in two hospitals in Japan: Kanagawa Children's Medical Center and Hiroo Japanese Red Cross Medical Center.

Now we are in a stage that hospitals in Japan are coming to us with the request to visit their children in the ward. This we could do if we have more artists and would be able to expand our management capabilities. Artists with skills and loving children are not difficult to find in Japan; also we could find easily good office managers and bookkeepers in Tokyo. The question is only: how to raise the small amounts to finance the costs of such expansion. That is why I am now in Japan. Together with Mrs Matsumoto we have meetings with corporations and much hope that these meetings will result in the end in more smiles on the faces of more children in more hospitals.

I thank you for your attention and hope to have an opportunity to meet with some of you.

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