A lot of luck led me to Japan. Thanks to the help of many people, I was able to survive in Japan as a refugee. I am grateful to all the people I’ve met.

日本語 Interview by Isao Tokuhashi Edited by Jennifer A. Hoff   Yoshihiro Paul Kitagawa Former Refugee and Company Owner My Eyes Tokyo has interviewed many people who have come to Japan from various countries. Some of them are refugees, and others are supporters of refugees. We would like to introduce to you Yoshihiro Kitagawa, who arrived in Japan as a refugee, and later became the president of a company. Aw Wanping, an entrepreneur from Singapore, whom we interviewed in the spring of this year (2023), was who told us about Kitagawa. She said, “I have a business partner who

Happy Birthday to the countries!

End-of-war Memorial Day

The National Memorial Service for War Dead, August 15, 2008. *Photo from Wikipedia August 15 is Japan’s End-of-war memorial day. It marks the end of World War II (August 15, 1945) as per the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. The day is called Shūsen-kinenbi (Japanese: 終戦記念日), also written as shūsen no hi (Japanese: 終戦の日). It is an informal reference used by the public, for August 15 and related to the historical events that culminated with the ending of World War II, and the restoration of Japanese political independence. Those events were: ●August 14, 1945, the day the Imperial Japanese government gave


Rakugo might prevent conflicts. I’ll try to achieve peace through it.

Interviewed & written by Isao Tokuhashi Mail to:   Kimie Oshima Professor/English-Rakugo Performer Have you heard of the word “Rakugo”? It’s a form of Japanese verbal entertainment. The lone storyteller sits on stage, using only a paper fan and a small cloth as props, and does not stand up from the sitting position. Actually My Eyes Tokyo has interviewed some foreign rakugo performers so far such as Diane Orrett from UK and Mizirakli Halit from Turkey. Also we met Johan Nilsson Björk, a rakugo performer from Sweden. They learned rakugo after coming to Japan, fell in love with the


Finding lucky in the unluckiest of tragedies (Serbia)

By Anna Fujiwara (My Eyes Tokyo) 日本語   In a charity event for the tragic Serbian flood of May 2014, jointly hosted by The International Center in Tokyo and My Eyes Tokyo (MET), MET had the opportunity to interview Ms. Jelena Jeremic from the Republic of Serbia and a cooking instructor of Serbian cuisine in Tokyo, and Mr. Nemanja Grbić, Attaché for the Serbian embassy, both whom are currently residents of Tokyo. Serbia and Japan have reached out to one another in times of tragedy and need, with Serbia offering help after the March 11 earthquake of Tohoku, and Japan

MET's Event


Join us at the Embassy of Serbia for the charity event for BALKAN FLOOD RELIEF!! Serbia has just been struck (May 2014) with a huge natural disaster, caused by heavy rain and overflowing rivers (Details: While this serious disaster in Balkan Peninsula has barely made the news in Japan, My Eyes Tokyo (MET) and The International Center inTokyo (ICT) decided to cosponsor this charity event for Serbia because it’s time for us to repay one of our greatest supporter who has donated more to the relief efforts for “The 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami”


There’re many Israelis and Palestinians who overcome religious and racial differences and make friends with each other.

Interviewed by Isao Tokuhashi & Mai Namiki Written by Isao Tokuhashi Mail to:   Kazuya Ogawa (Part3) Filmmaker We are bringing you the interview with Kazuya Ogawa, a film director who made a movie called “Pink Subaru”. The last part is the unique standpoint and ideas of a filmmaker who filmed a comedy movie in a conflict-affected region. *Interview in Omote-sando, Shibuya-ku *Edited by Daniel Penso 校正協力:ダニエル・ペンソ 日本語 *Pink Subaru official website (Japanese): Click here! *You can go to the previous parts here; Part1 Part2     Tokuhashi: I’ve heard that you studied film in New York before you went to Italy.


People lead regular lives exist even in extraordinary circumstances.

Interviewed by Isao Tokuhashi & Mai Namiki Written by Isao Tokuhashi Mail to:   Kazuya Ogawa (Part2) Filmmaker Kazuya Ogawa, a young auteur or film director who made a movie called “Pink Subaru”, which is set in a town on the Israeli-Palestinian border. In this part, we tell you about the true aspects of the Middle East which Ogawa and his staff saw. *You can go to the first part from here! *Interview in Omote-sando, Shibuya-ku *Edited by Daniel Penso 校正協力:ダニエル・ペンソ *Pink Subaru official website (Japanese): Click here!       Tokuhashi: When did you step into Palestine for the first time? The


I felt something strangely familiar about Palestine when I got there.

Interviewed by Isao Tokuhashi & Mai Namiki Written by Isao Tokuhashi Mail to:   Kazuya Ogawa (Part1) Filmmaker Today we’re introducing you to Kazuya Ogawa, a young auteur or film director who made a movie called “Pink Subaru”. The movie is set in Tayibe, a town on the Israeli-Parestinian border. A man fulfilled his heart’s desire and got a new Subaru Legacy, but he was robbed of his treasure on the following day. The story opens from that moment. Some of you may think that the movie depicts a war or is political. If so, it’s totally different from what


People never need my activities; that’s my ideal world.

Interviewed & written by Isao Tokuhashi Mail to:   Hector Sierra (Colombia) Founder of “Artists Without Borders” (He’s been in Japan since ’93) We can’t say that we’re in peace. The guns never fall silent and people release gunfire in any number of places. There is a man who walks through the conflict regions with crayons and drawing papers. His name is Hector Sierra, the founder of the Tokyo-based organization called “Artists Without Borders”. Sierra is from Colombia, a country struggling with civil war. The reason he came to Japan is because he was attracted to security and prosperity of the country.


They are not working as Jews, not working as Palestinians. They are tackling conflicts just as “human beings”.

Interviewed & written by Isao Tokuhashi Mail to:   Kenji Sekine (Part 2) Social entrepreneur My Eyes Tokyo is bringing you the interview with Kenji Sekine, a young social entrepreneur who manages the click-to-donate website called “ekokoro!” (It means “Good heart). In this part, we tell you about his method of balancing social action work and profit-making business, and the vision of his ideal world. *You can go to the first part from here! *Kenji Sekine (1976-) Born in Kanagawa, Japan. After graduating Beloit Collage, USA, he worked for several IT companies. He established his own company in 2002 and launched “ekokoro!” in May 2003. He changed