“I was 27 when I started learning Japanese, I had no contact with the language until that time. I started studying in the U.S. and I came to Japan as an English teacher originally, but now I work as an assistant to an author and attend graduate school to study journalism. Even when I was studying Japanese I didn’t really know about the culture. So when I came here and was learning the various stuff about the country, one of those things very new to me was the idea of idol culture. After being introduced to the famous music group AKB 48 I noticed that no one was doing a foreign version of it. Thinking in terms of depopulation in Japan and the need for foreign labor from outside the country, I thought a band made up of foreigners could be a means to introduce the different cultures of the foreign community living in Japan. I was also hoping the band could help people have a better understanding and acceptance of foreign cultures, not just expecting people to become 100% Japanese. I think the more cultures I can include in the band the better. There is currently an American, Venezuelan, Filipino, Korean, and Chinese band members.”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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