After a heavy breakfast at Kawaisan’s house (with a view of her colourful garden), Kudomarisan and I picked Mizunosan at her place so I can meet Satakesan and take the train to Yokohama and meet Aichan of Gensuikyo. Mizunosan gave me a print out of her story on our way to the station. As I mentioned earlier, she is a Hibakusha. Hibakusha means a person who is a victim of radiation from the atomic bombing in Hiroshima in 1945. After the Fukushima melt down, the definiton of hibakusha extends to those who are victims of radiation from nuclear melt downs as well. I am sharing her story with images of the text above. Please take time to read it.
Despite her past, Mizunosan radiates with energy and looks healthy. She is one of the many hibakushas in Japan who dedicate their lives sharing the stories as part of a continuous campaign to abolish all nuclear weapons in all states. In the next few months, I will surely be sharing more hibakusha stories and local efforts to promote lasting peace thru abolition of nuclear weapons.
Since yesterday, they have all been very kind to me and made sure that I am well taken cared of everyday. I am very much struggling with my freshly learned Japanese and it helps a lot that I get to stay with Aichan and her family in the evening and head to the Japan Gensuikyo tomorrow for the Peace March briefing.
In the afternoon, Aichan and I joined his father in one of his walking routes to their local market street to check out how I can get a prepaid phone using my phone from the Philippines / Dubai. It turns out that the phone I have is quite outdated in Japan and that it does not fit in their system so Aichan was kind enough to lend me her old phone and convert it to a prepaid Japanese system. As a person who is not so much eagerly up to date with mobile phone technologies, this situation atleast made me appreciate the flexibility that comes with being updated with technology hahaha.
Aichan’s father took us a scenic route both ways. He has been a long time member of the Japanese Communist Party like his parents (Aichan’s grandparents). As walking is part of his daily routine, he was like our guide in this afternoon walk. We walked along the bordering road between Kawasaki and Yokohama cities. Quite cool! Sugoi! We also passed by some bamboo forests and saw some bamboo babies along the road. Those were surely big baby bamboos. Aichan said there are still many bamboo forests in Japan.
They also bought some sashimi for dinner along their local market street. This specific street was carless and people either rode bicycles or simply walked – aruite. In the evening, Aichan’s mother prepared a very nice dinner of sashimi that you can wrap in seaweed paper and rice by yourself – among many other delicious food on the table. Itadakimasu!
The Satoh family of Yokohama. My host family for the night. Aichan, the eldest of 3 kids, works with Gensuikyo as coordinator for foreign delegates. Her father, Yukihiro Satoh, is an active member of the Japanese Communist Party. Her mother, Mitsuko Satoh, is a public servant working at the local jidoukan. Jidoukan is a place where kids can stay safely after school before they go back home. Since school hours earlier than office hours, the kids aged 10 and below might not have company at home so it is preferred that they stay / hangout in jidoukans. Younger kids can be fetched from this place whole the older more able ones can go home on their own.