Shimonoseki, near the South Korean border

Shimonoseki, geographically, is the closest town to South Korea. 99% of the people who live in our neighborhood are from South or North Korea, from the first, second or third generations.

Clara Jeong Hi, Korean has been working as a home help for elderly people for more than four years. The Korean people, especially those from the first generation, are happy that the little sister prepares meals in the tradition of their home country. They are also happy to speak with her in Korean mixed in with Japanese!

The elderly people of the neighborhood who live alone have health problems and all kinds of worries, but they manage by mutually encouraging each other. On listening to a grandmother who comes to confide her sorrows almost every evening we feel deeply the daily anguishes of those who have come to live in Japan and we are happy to be there with them.

Monica Ikuko has been working in a fish factory, one of about a hundred workers. She's been working there for six years and knows a lot of the workers. Among her co-workers, there are people who have a Japanese name while being originally from Korea, from the North or South. There are also young Chinese, 20 to 30 years old,who came with visas for three year's. The other workers are very welcoming towards these young people.

Very close to our fraternity there is a Korean school where a folk group founded by people of Korean nationality performed. The theme of the songs and dances  this year were specially centered on North-South unity.We felt very welcome and that we were truly a part of the family of our neighborhood.

Reaching out to each otherReaching out to each other