Just Japan Podcast: Getting Involved In Your Local Community
By Kevin O'Shea
Many foreigners who come to Japan spend the majority of their time with other foreigners. Although that isn’t necessarily a bad thing it isn’t going to help “connect” you with the Japanese people, culture and language around you. The more you get involved with your local community, the more you will feel like part of it.
Some people complain about not being able to “fit in” or find their place in Japan, but never take the time to get involved in community organizations. There are many things you can do to become part of the neighborhood around you. Taking part in neighborhood cleanups and festivals are a good start.
In this episode, Kevin speaks with Josh, a Canadian expat who has been living in Japan for ten years. He lives in Yao City outside of Osaka where he has become a very active member of the local community. He is a translator for the Yao Human Rights Center and is a volunteer with the Yao International Culture Committee which helps to inform the city of areas of need within the foreign community.
He also helps translate information about taxes and medical services for members of the foreign community. Josh also participates in his local Neighborhood Association and Children’s Association. When not working or volunteering in his many community organizations, Josh runs a Facebook page where he shares information about Yao City.
Josh has found that his involvement in many local organizations has helped him find a place not only in his local community, but also in Japan.