This is my last day with my host Keiko-san and her husband. my breakfast is very healthy and very delicious. I love the beef stew! Oishii desu! I say goodbye to them and their cat abby. Together with Keiko-san, who will also join the rally, we took the train to Yoyogi park.
May 1 is a very important day for Filipino people because it is the Labor Day. Workers hold rallies in the different parts of the Philippines. This year I saw some pictures of the rally in Manila, and I’m surprised about the turn out of Labor rally.
There is a lot of people who participate in rally here in Tokyo. They call it May Day. It is also a Labor or Workers Day. People from different parts of Japan gather here in Yoyogi park. It’s been 85 years since they started this event. It’s my first time to be part of the May Day rally. And I can say this is a very successful event organized by the Zenroren, Japanese Communist Party, Gensuikyo and many other great organizations like lawyers, farmers, women, youth, medical group and many more.
Good thing the skies are clear and the program went well. I saw many familiar faces especially some delegates from the World Conference in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and some women’s group whom my mother and my sister worked with. Together with my buddy and my interpreter Kajihara-san and Fumi-san we went around the park and greet ed them and they introduced me to different groups. Of course I needed to talk in Nihongo so they taught me some words for my introduction.
This is one way to ask for donations from other groups to help the Peace March.
Many people also give some flyers to ask for support on their campaign. Like what we have with Gensuikyo where we promote the 2014 World Conference Against A&H Bombs, and the 2014 National Peace March Against A&H Bombs. banners and posters are everywhere.
Outside the park there are vans lining up the streets, they have effigies displayed about their work, about Abe, about the Fukushima plant, about their protest slogans. and many more. This is something very important for a rally or demonstration where you can show something interesting to the people. Because some don’t even bother to read what is in your banners.
We marched around the Harajuku shopping district. It is lined up with malls and the traffic in the area is temporarily blocked. Leading our march are some prominent leaders and politicians from the Japan Communist Party. This is a very meaningful day for the Japanese because the labor force of Japan is the backbone of their economy. And I hope their leaders listen to their problems and give them the right working conditions and right compensations and benefits.
We marched for like a kilometer or two. We chant a lot of protest slogans in Nihonggo like ‘Abolish poverty’, ‘Protect nuclear plant workers’, ‘We don’t support change in Article 9’, ‘Abolish special secrecy law’, ‘We are against nuclear bases and new base in Henoko’, ‘No more Ospreys’, ‘Stop Abe’ and many more.
As expected, it was a very peaceful demonstration. Everybody was lined up in an organized way. Many pedestrians local and foreign are waving at us and we end the march at the Meiji park.
Mizuki nNkamura and Minoru Tagawa from Japanese Communist Party accompany me to our lunch in a nearby resto. Minoru-san, who works with a local news paper, had a little chat with me and Mizuki-san about the May Day rally and the bases in the Philippines. Almost 20 years ago, he went to the Philippines to join a working tour and also he had his honeymoon in Boracay when it was still unpopular and undeveloped not like today. He is very funny and smart like Mizuki-san.
Then we proceed to Koenji where I’ll be staying at Manuke Guesthouse in Central Road near Koenji station. This is my first time to stay in a place so cozy as this. I have roommates from Italy and Mexico. A brief talk and introduction. They stayed here for 2 years now and they toured japan in their bicycles. I think they also make some gigs by singing and make some friends.
Just like what Mizuki-san said that I will love koenji. As we are on our way to Asagaya which is a 10-minute walk we passed by a lot of small stores under the Chuo train line. Most of them are small bars where you can order beer and enjoy the place with your friends and sometimes there are musicians who perform live.
Today they treated us with their slideshow story on their travel to Takae Okinawa. It sits in a rich forest where the locals before live in peace. Their mission is to gather as many information as they can because Takae area is now being developed into another US base. Locals there always fear of their lives because of the flying planes and Ospreys.
As sign of protest they block the construction trucks before it can enter the US base.
They document the activities there then come home to share those photos and stories. along with the Okinawan dishes they serve in Inelle cafe.
Then along with Suzu-chan, Mizuki, and her husband Taku Tomita we went to their friend’s bar Aruporan. And drink the night away.