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Name: Masatoshi Nishimura

Hometown: Osaka, Japan

Present City: Toronto, Canada

The political issues that people care about are so different. I guess that in North America and Europe they are very concerned about racism. Feminism is quite a big deal there too, the number of women CEOs and whatnot. I studied humanities in university in Toronto, Canada, and that was a lot more feminist-oriented. So I guess this constructs the world I’m in, or almost like what I’m supposed to focus on. But traveling here to Tokyo, and coming into a different cultural zone, I feel like the focus shifts. For example, people here focus a lot more on China and national security. Military and pacifism issues are a big deal. Like, is it a good idea to have soldiers? And I never had that discussion in North America. That’s not something that people really talk about in Canada. 

Masatoshi Nishimura
Photo credit: Kimberly Hughes

You cannot focus on like 100 different issues at the same time; maybe just a handful. And that’s one of the reasons I love to travel: It kind of gives me a little bit of freedom in my thought process. And it helps me decide what I want to focus on more within the broader set of problems. I think that people should pick what issues they feel drawn toward personally; not just what they see others getting angry about on the news. This is the way that I like social issues to be solved.

#outsiderperspective #insideroutsiderperspective #Tokyo #Japan #traveltoJapan #observationofJapan #focusshift #feminism #pacificism #unfiltered #unfilteredontheground

About the author

Kimberly Hughes is a freelance writer, translator, editor, university educator and community organizer based in Tokyo. She was a longtime contributor of stories on grassroots socio-political movements for the Ten Thousand Things blog, and her feature stories on social issues, arts/culture and travel have appeared in publications including The Mainichi, The Diplomat, Kyoto Journal, Tokyo Weekender, Sixty-Six Magazine and Craftsmanship Quarterly.

This post is also available in: English (英語)

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Kimberly Hughes is a freelance writer, translator, editor, university educator and community organizer based in Tokyo. She was a longtime contributor of stories on grassroots socio-political movements for the Ten Thousand Things blog, and her feature stories on social issues, arts/culture and travel have appeared in publications including The Mainichi, The Diplomat, Kyoto Journal, Tokyo Weekender, Sixty-Six Magazine and Craftsmanship Quarterly.

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