“I think my Japanese friends like hanging out with me because they feel free to be who they are when they’re around me. In a way, I know more about them than their friends do. I feel like people don’t normally open up or share their opinion or problems here. But for some reason, theyContinue reading

“The train commute in Tokyo is horrendous. You get pushed around, touched, and sometimes even groped. For four years, I did a 40-minute commute to work and it was brutal. The only way to survive is to feel nothing. To be on zombie mode. So I practiced feeling nothing. Otherwise your emotions get the bestContinue reading

[Tiếng Việt ở dưới]“It’s always been my biggest fear to not be heard. I’m from Vietnam and when I was 10, we moved to Hanoi. I felt ignored by people from the big city because I was a ‘village girl’ who came from the countryside. I didn’t have that ‘city vibe’. Years later, I cameContinue reading

“I’m from a place in Japan that’s called ‘Ninja City’. I was a high school teacher for 10 years. While teaching social studies to Japanese students, I noticed how strong their stereotypes about other countries were. But they didn’t engage in deeper discussion and had the same opinion (or no opinion) as their peers. IContinue reading

“My mom passed away when I was 10. She was diagnosed with breast cancer right before we all moved to Australia because of dad’s business. We were supposed to stay there only for four years, but she wanted to come back to Japan for treatment before that. Me and my siblings remained and I beggedContinue reading

“We met online. I’m from France and she’s Japanese. We decided to meet up in real life so here we are, lining up to watch a traditional Japanese kabuki theater performance. I’m a student and she works as a mechanic at the airport. By the way, we’re just friends. I’m only here for two moreContinue reading

Him: “We’re from Germany. We joined Servants to Asia’s urban poor, an organization that helps the poor. This is also where we first met and fell in love. We’re doing this because we care about social justice and why some people are poor and others rich. We moved to Manila to show solidarity with theContinue reading

“I’m trying to qualify for the Olympics. If not 2020 then the next one. I’ve been racing for 6+ years now. I got into cycling because when my younger brother broke his femur (thigh bone) while we were playing soccer, I was a bike mechanic and the doctor suggested I help him out. He wasContinue reading

“When the 2011 earthquake hit Japan, I dropped everything and left the US to come back here and work as a volunteer. Being bilingual and bi-cultural (I was born and raised in Tokyo), I worked as an interpreter for disaster and economic relief organizations. I also did PR and got major global coverage for oneContinue reading

“I’m Japanese but my mom got remarried to an Australian, so my last name changed to Smith. I also have a younger brother who’s half Japanese, half Australian. We all moved to Australia, where I spent the next 4-5 years. That was an important part of my life. It shaped me to who I amContinue reading