After an exceptional and mysterious experience at a church in Yokohama City, Satoko contemplated more deeply the meaning of life. She had encountered an irresistible force drawing her to something she could not understand. In her search for answers, she visited some Spanish nuns and there caught an understanding of the soul. Not long after this she converted to Christianity.
About this time she met the poorly educated Franciscan Missionary Brother Zeno, who took her to a community of ragpickers living on the banks of the Sumida River. The shanty village known as Antsí Town was made up of homeless people who had lost everything due to the war. In order to survive they were forced to collect rubbish for recycling. But City Officials were revolted by their sight and resolved to destroy the town and redevelop the area as parkland.
Since visiting the ragpickers, Satoko wrote, "I lay down in bed but could not get to sleep. Br. Zeno, a man without formal education, unable to read Japanese, had bridged a chasm separating two nations and two cultures. He had discovered a part of Japan I did not know existed, where thousands lived in unbelievable destitution"."Many of them lived less than a kilometre from my home! I had lived in the pampered, educated ignorance of an over-sophisticated world while this unlettered foreigner worked without thought of self in the world of painful reality... I lived surrounded by carpets and gas stoves while he went without even an umbrella into the terrible twilight world of destitution."