Category Archives: Others

Power of Alignment: The Campaign against Gangs


clip_image002     People not only in your neighborhood but also in your town and more should tackle the same problem. Come hand-in-glove with each other! That was the main statement of Mr. Kanji Wada, I think.

There was a big meeting for a campaign against gangs at Sun Plaza Seasons yesterday. After terribly boring, sleepy and empty orations by the ward mayor, the police chief, and other “great” people, Mr. Kanji Wada appeared on the speaking platform, when the mood changed.

He beamed and took a look-around in the room, where there were more than 500 participants. He looked like an ordinary Japanese old man with receding gray hair and glasses. But he is not. He is the vise-president of an association against gangs in Kobe and has succeeded in repelling a gang group from his area with his neighbors. He came to the meeting to make a speech yesterday. His story was really nice and impressing. I’m sure no one was sleeping while he was talking.

Mano and Higashi Shiri-ike, where he lives, is in Nagata in Kobe which is a quake-hit area of the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995. In January in 2006, another thing hit the recovered place. A gang group called Konishi-Ikka moved to their place. The atmosphere in the street changed after their arriving. Imagine many gangsters walking in the street.

But his area never gave up retrieving their place which used to be safe and pleasant to live. He and his neighbors have established a group for fighting against the gang group and won! The gang came to the place in January that year and went out of the place in November in the same year. Residents in town have succeeded in kicking the gang out!

Mr. Wada said, “Of course, we were scared, first. Everyone wore a cap and a mask to hide their faces when they walked in front of the building. Anyone is terrified when they are alone. But we unified and fought together, which got rid of our fear.

We patrolled around their building every night. Usually two of their men stayed in the building and they shined flashlights on us through the window. The patrol held by more than 30 people around eight or nine o’clock every night. The gang must have felt out of place. That was the purpose. We should declare that we don’t need gangs and they never fit in our place.”

His speech was impressing and made all the participants cheered. It’s difficult to fight alone. But we can tackle the same problem all one. I’d like to close by introducing a story written on the document for the meeting. The story was made for people in Mano and Higashi Shiri-Ike to remember their fights against the gang.

clip_image004     A story by a catfish in Mano-ike Pond: There has been clapping sounds by wooden sticks around the pond at every night for these 10 months. People in this area has worked hard and saved their homes and town. Residents’ power is really great once and now here. Those have gone. That’s great. I’m very happy. Have you ever heard this? There used to be an ancient tomb named Nembutsu-yama-kohun from 7 cho-me Karimo-dori to 6 cho-me Hamazoe-dori. It was so big as Goshiki-duka-kohun, the ancient tomb, in Tarumi that ancient people must have had a tough time to build it. So, you see that many people have lived here in Mano since 1600 years ago. I hope this place is safe and pleasant to live forever. I don’t worry about that because people love this place. They never complain about patrolling at night, cleaning the street, or helping with festivals. Many people got together and united with those wooden sticks….

A.H.I – Asian Health Institute


     The other day, my mom told me that she was going to throw some shoes away because she didn’t have opportunities to wear them. At that moment when I heard her words, I remembered a bazaar would be held soon.

     A friend of mine asked me during my second intensive course to contribute some something to the bazaar at A.H.I. I didn’t know anything about the A.H.I, but I agreed to her request.

     When I asked the friend if I could bring ladies shoes for the bazaar the other day, she asked me to bring things in Saturday afternoon at A.H.I.

     Actually, I had taken the A.H.I for A.I.H until yesterday. There is a hospital named Aichi International Hospital in Nisshin City. I had never visited to the hospital before, but I have known it is near Aichi Bokujo, a ranch because I saw the signboard many times whenever passing by the ranch.

     The word, A.H.I is written on the signboard of the hospital. That’s why, I had taken the word for A.I.H and it was shortened for Aichi International Hospital until yesterday! I had made a mistake! A.H.I is located in the building of the hospital. That is, A.H.I is completely another institute from the hospital!

     So what is A.H.I? A.H.I is shortened for Asian Health Institute. And as I wrote above, it is in the same building which has the hospital. Actually I don’t know about the institute well, it was established for helping Asian people, especially in poor countries, with health care through many activities. And the bazaar is held at the institute next week.

     I’ll write the rest of the story later…

New friends


 Last Saturday, I met a Mexican married couple in Kakuozan. A friend of mine introduced the husband to me the other day. I needed some software for my PC and he has it. He and I had contacted each other by email but had never met in person until that day.

     He and I decided to meet each other at a parking lot of a grocery store in Kakuozan. I was afraid that we couldn’t meet there because we didn’t know each other at all!

     After meeting at the parking lot, he took me to his new apartment. Actually he and his wife had just finished moving from Motoyama before the day. It took about three minutes to the apartment from the grocery store. When he opened the door of his apartment, his beautiful wife welcomed me with smile.

     I felt sorry for visiting there on the day when I saw inside their apartment. They just brought their staffs there. It seemed that there was no space to sleep yet. But the Mexican couple made me welcome. I was touched.

     According to them, they carried all of their things by a hand cart little by little. It means that they didn’t use a car! They walked! From their former apartment to the new apartment, it takes about 30 minuets on foot!

     So, why did they have to move? The husband is a student in University of Nagoya. He studies information science there. All of the foreign students who live at the university’s dorm have to move away within a year.

     I have studied Spanish language for a year, but I cannot speak at all. I can just greet people and say some easy words in Spanish. But they have lived here in Japan for less than two years, they speak Japanese fluently! They and I communicated in Japanese on that day.

     I enjoyed talking about many things with them and seeing some photos of Mexico that they showed me. I had a really good time.

     The husband emailed me today and said that he was going to have a Mexican food party after settling and he would invite me! Wow! Sounds wonderful! I made new friends!

New month has started.


     February has starts. The first morning in this new month brought me a headache and dizziness.

      At the time when I opened my eyes, the ceiling was warping. I wasn’t about to sit up because I had also terrible head ache and nausea.

      I had to attend a meeting, but I couldn’t even stand up. I gave a lady a phone call and told her that I wouldn’t show up.

      After some painkillers, I dozed. Then I thought I heard someone shouting. A man’s loud voice said, “Sagawa Kyubin desu!” I jumped out of bed and went to the door tottering.

      It’s about time! An electric dictionary which I had ordered on the Internet last week came to me at last! Seiko SR-V4700ES and Spanish SILUCA-Red! I was looking for a dictionary English-Spanish and Spanish-English. Then I have to study Spanish more…

      Anyway, I wish my headache and nausea disappear ASAP!