フードバンク (Food bank)


We had a guest who has been engaging in “food bank” activities. Charles E. McJilton, Executive Director of Second Harvest Japan (2hj). We talk about food, which is essential for every single human being.

Charles founded the Japan’s first “food bank”. Do you know what it is? “Food bank” originated in the U.S. more than 40 years ago. Foodbanking is an activity to collect the food resources that would otherwise go to waste and redistribute them to those in need.

Charles told us extraordinary facts about Japanese society. For example, the percentage of poor in Japan is at 15.7% (as of 2007). It means there are as many as 20 million people who live under the poverty line; the minimum level of income deemed necessary to achieve an adequate standard of living. And most of them live in houses or apartments. 2hj estimates that more than 750,000 people lack food security in Japan (“food security” means that one can secure safe and nutritious food in a socially acceptable manner in his/her daily life). He revealed many unknown findings one after another.

2hj has been working on those issues under the slogan of “Food For All People”. Now many people would relate to this but foodbanking was totally new to Japanese people 10 years ago. Why did he start activities that had no precedents in the past here in Japan? What is the origin of his actions? Charles will tell you more stories about food situation in Japan next week, so don’t miss it!

*Second Harvest Japan: http://www.2hj.org/










今まで見えなかったこと(The facts that I didn’t know)

I’ve been in Japan for almost 15 years but I realized that there are many things that I didn’t know.

First of all, I got shocked when I heard that there are as many as 20 million “needy folks” in Japan. 20 million! But Tokuhashi-san said that he also didn’t know that so maybe I’m not the only person who didn’t know that fact.

Also I learned about the working-class town called “San-ya” for the first time. I have more to learn here.

On the other hand, I was moved by Charles’ kindness as a fellow foreigner. He’s been delivering food to people in need for a long time. It’s not something that can be done easily.

So I can learn a lot from him. It would be hard for me to deliver food to people but I can sing songs for those who yearn for spiritual richness. I would like to feed their hungry minds by singing. His words made me feel like that more firmly.






「世界の言葉で音楽を!」(Working on tunes in various languages!)


Today’s our guests were young guys who write songs in various languages. The band called “Pandora’s Beatbox” are made up of TUFS students (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies). They excel in a performance skill but it’s striking that they work on tunes in languages we hardly hear.

*Pandora’s Beatbox on facebook;

They write songs in Japanese, English and… Urdu! Do you know that language? They sing in various languages including Urdu and Italian now and they’ll try to write in Arabic, Hebrew and Chinese hereafter, they said.

They’re going to send a demo tape to the organizer of “Fuji Rock Festival”. It means they’re waiting for their chance to perform in the big-name music festival. So let’s back them up together!

今週は4ピースバンド「Pandora’s Beatbox」から、ボーカルの「編集長」さんと、作曲や打ち込み担当のバンドリーダー「Yugen」さんにお越しいただきました。

「Pandora’s Beatbox」は、東京外国語大学の学生たちで構成しているバンド。演奏技術は”学生バンド”の一言で片付けてしまうには惜しいくらい高いのですが、このバンドがユニークなのは、僕らが日頃めったに耳にしないような言葉で詞を書いているというところです。

*Pandora’s Beatbox on facebook;





*「編集長」さんの名前ですが、ご自身がほぼお一人で『Oar』という音楽雑誌を手がけているのがその由来です。編集長さんのほとばしる情熱が詰った雑誌『Oar』の詳細については http://ameblo.jp/hakusann-eki をご覧下さい。

「ロシアの日」イベント報告(Open-air live performance on GW holiday)

It’s getting hot now but it was hot during the Golden Week, too, wasn’t it? You may have felt like you said goodbye to the winter and said hello to the hot summer! But honestly, I prefer hotness to chill even though I’m from Siberia!

So I enjoyed the event at Yomiuri Land on May 5. They had a special event for Golden Week vacationers called “Sekai No Yatai Mura” (Literally means; A Village of World’s Cuisines’ Food Stalls). It featured Russian culture on that day so I sang Russian folk songs on the special stage.
Big crowds enjoyed my performances and some of them were Russians. Thank you very much for coming and listening to my songs on such a summerly day!

Now I’m working on the next big event on June 5 (Sat). I’ll hold a big fashion show at a live house “Ginza Salvia” from 3PM. (5th Floor, 6-6-9 Ginza, Chuo-ku Phone: 03-3573-0120). It’ll feature my hand-made kimono dresses.

In addition, I’ll perform with a choir at “Minato-mirai Hall” in Yokohama on June 25 (Fri). It’ll start at 6:30PM. Don’t miss any!




(@銀座サルビア http://www1.ocn.ne.jp/~salvia/ 午後3時〜5時)



人と向き合う(Respect each other)


Today we talked with Sibylle Ito from Switzerland again. Its theme was the “international marriage”.
She got married with a Japanese guy but in Japan, international marriage is still unusual even though the number of mixed couples has been increasing. That’s the reason we took it up as a theme.

Before starting to talk about that issue, Ito showed us this article; http://www.japanstyle.info/?p=5325 (“Japanese Men are Too Shy”)
She was angry about it because they seemed to judge Japanese men by their own standard. She wondered if those women respected their attitudes or sense of value.
She emphasized that it would be very important for especially mixed couples to confront each other in person and to respect their cultures each other.

Ito said, “Whichever international marriage or other kinds of marriages, marriage is marriage.” Because she originally thinks of any person as a human being.



*ちなみに、この記事です→ http://www.japanstyle.info/?p=5325(英語)