“It’s amazing how few social connections we are away from each other. I once met these doctors who showed me pictures of their now grown-up children. I realized the photos were taken at the exact same place where my husband had traveled to many years ago in India. I suddenly remembered the story of howContinue reading

“He’s very shy. He won’t even let me take his picture with my phone, let alone a stranger. But his older sister’s not camera shy. Actually, she’s inside this building, auditioning for a TV commercial role as we speak. We’re from India and I’ve been living in Japan for 13 years. Both of my kidsContinue reading

“I wasn’t very serious in life. That’s why I’m desperately making up for it now. I’ve been here since 1989 and it’s only five years ago that I finally opened this restaurant. I’m from Nepal. I learned about Japan when my uncle got captured by Japanese soldiers during the war. You see, we got involvedContinue reading

“I wasn’t allowed to go out at night after school or work. My parents were always worried about my safety. I’d go straight home while my friends were out having fun. OK maybe there were a few exceptions. But only when I asked for a special permission in advance. However, I don’t blame my parents.Continue reading

“I used to suck at fighting and was no good at sports when I was a kid. I was this quiet boy who’d hide behind his older sister. But my dad, who was a judo practitioner, he encouraged me to learn kendo in elementary school. From there I moved on to judo, and eventually wrestlingContinue reading

“I proposed to her the day I was diagnosed with leukemia, which is a blood cancer. The doctor in Japan told me to get on the next flight back to America because I would need a genetic match if I needed a transplant. When I tearfully shared the news with her, she said, ‘OK. I’mContinue reading

“I applied for refugee status because my life is in danger in Bangladesh. But I still have to wait for 8 months to a year to get final confirmation. If I get denied then I can always appeal. I fled after receiving death threats for being an atheist. And three of my friends have alreadyContinue reading

“We’ve been best friends and travel buddies since at least five years ago. But she left and I remained. And now we’re having a reunion. I just got a job offer at a consulting firm. I think they hired me because I’m from South Africa, where Japanese businesses are expanding. At least that was myContinue reading

“Something happened which I thought would never happen to me in Japan—get asked if I was Japanese. I was walking down the street, talking to my niece on the phone, when someone approached me and asked that question. Turns out he just wanted directions to where he was going. Maybe he heard me speak bitsContinue reading

“There’s so much conflict in Ghana, where I’m from. Tribal chiefs are fighting for power. It’s dangerous there now. That’s why I fled to safety and applied for refugee status in Japan.” 「私の出身地であるガーナには非常に多くの紛争があります。部族長は権力をめぐって争っています。現在は危険です。だから私は安全に逃げて日本で難民の地位を申請しました。」【翻訳:Google Translate】

“The secret to staying young is making love to your wife everyday. Just look at me. I’m already 55 years old. I have children with my Japanese wife and grandchildren from my two previous marriages in Turkey. I also had a Romanian girlfriend there before. But I’m a reformed man. I’m different now. I justContinue reading

“People are being killed back home in Congo. And it’s because of diamonds and gold. The political situation there is dire. That’s why I came to Japan. I’m here on a 3-year visa. Life here is not so bad, but also not super great as someone from Africa. It’s not easy finding a job. IContinue reading