Japan, my country
We all are part of a respectful, traditional and historic culture, we have many values that many other countries are in awe of, inspire to be.
Respect for our heritage, our community, our language form part of everyday life. We conform, we obey and we do as we are told, we follow a way of life shaped through centuries of practice and thus have created a resilient cultural identity known throughout the world.
We are innovative, entrepreneurial, hard-working and loyal, we place great trust in the institutions of our country, the government, and our leaders to help better ourselves and achieve great things.
This is a great country, a leader in many pursuits, a powerhouse of business and development, we have achieved so much with no natural resources whilst living on one of the most actively volcanic islands in the world. We can do anything, nothing is impossible, everything is great.
Then why do so many feel so sad?
Everyone is so busy, so active, so determined, moving from one task to another. Everyone is trying to survive, do a good job, earn a good wage, and support their family whilst carrying a weight on their shoulders, a burden of this willingness to conform, to accept, to follow.
People care about what other people think, care about what society thinks, what the neighbor’s think, what the rest of the family thinks, even what the government thinks.
If a person doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, doesn’t adhere to all rules of society they are expected to hide, to fall into the shadows, to remain invisible, to remain silent.
As great as my country is, it is also one of the worst for abandoning people, for not providing support, for not caring both at all levels in society from the individual to the family and government.
In moments of peril, such as natural disasters, we all work together to help one another through the ordeal, remaining supportive until some sense of normality is present again. But can that ‘normality’ really be classed as ‘normal’.
Our culture, although great and historic, has resulted in the rejection of whole sections of society to maintain values and ethics. We have over one million hikikomori victims, very limited counseling and support services and no real charitable facet of society.
People are expected to remain silent regarding their difficulties, their needs, their concerns. Any indication of weaknesses, suffering, and pain is considered a ‘loss of face’ and therefore ridiculed and banished.
So many people are crying out for support, for help, for someone just to listen, but they have to remain silent and entomb the suffering in their mind.
The result of this has led to a nation of lonely people, a breakdown of the family, a very judgemental and ignorance society where everyone has a place either in the light or the shadows.
If we continue in such a manner I am scared for my people, my country, my culture disappearing into oblivion as a result of the ethos we follow and trust.
However much I love my country and its culture I just can’t allow this suffering to continue, this pain, this loneliness; it is all so unnecessary, so unjust, and so sad.
I may be just one voice, one person, one individual, but I am going to do something about it, ignite change, help my people.
I am going to set up a charity providing discounted, confidential, none-judgemental services to my people.
Initially, I plan to provide a listening service, a heavily discounted online service to anyone in need who just wants to talk to someone far away from their society, to talk about anything they need help with, accessible from any mobile phone.
The money I hope to raise will help fund that start-up of this service and over the next 6-12 months, I aim to expand this service to include more resources, and trained listeners so that ‘Momomimo’ can help more and more people.
I aim to reach all facets of society including the long-abandoned hikikomori and their long-suffering relatives.
The ideal situation is within 18-24 months to become a registered charity in Japan and become self-sustainable providing an international service to all Japanese people around the world.
With the help from my husband to set up this service (will provide free IT resources, website etc) I will do everything I can to make this a success and would be more than happy to hear from anyone else who would like to help.
Momomimo will be a run as a charity and will not look to turn a profit, all donations and service charges will be used to expand and improve the services we offer.
My name is Keiko and I live in the United Kingdom and am originally from Tokyo, I have lived in London for over 10 years. I miss my country and want to do something good for my people. I am passionate, hard-working and driven and will do what I can to make this a great success.