Conditions in the township were deplorable and having lost everything during the war, its residents were considered beneath Japanese society. So, Tokyo officials were determined to destroy the township and remove it from Sumida Park.
Satoko’s Shinto/Buddhist background had prepared her for a truly Christian life of sacrifice. Whilst the decision for a person of such character to help the less fortunate was not difficult, her choice to completely abandon the life of luxury was extraordinary.
She started visiting the ragpickers every day to teach the children basic grammar, music and hygiene, and to help wherever else she could. But she was to be deeply challenged in her beliefs by a non-believer called Tooru Matsui.
Shaken to the core by this challenge Satoko wrote in her Diary, “I had thought I was a great Christian because I condescended to dole out some free time, helping Ants children with their homework! … “To save us, God sent His only Son to be one of us... He really became one of us! It hit me now. There was only one way to help those ragpicker children: become a ragpicker like them!" So Satoko gave up her life of wealth and privilege to really live the Gospel of Jesus with the wretchedly poor. Instead of visiting the township, she went to live in Ants' Town.