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saying your dream out loud




I have a dream. It is to contribute to making a change in Japanese society.

I am sure making this a reality is going to be more difficult than I can imagine, and I used to hesitate to tell people about this dream. It’s only recently that I have become able to talk to people about my dream confidently like this. I’ll share with you all about what led to this and how I think about dreams.

アメリカ留学中に出会ったジェンダーや女性学を学び始めてから、環境問題や移民問題なども含めて社会問題に目を向けるようになった。学び始めてみれば、今まで気づかなかったことが沢山あった。日本ではきっちりとした性教育が行われていないのに性的同意年齢が13歳であるという矛盾しているところや、未だに社会から「女性=家事・ 育児をする人」「男性=仕事をする人」というジェンダーの役割が刷り込まれているということ。そして同時に、それらの問題に立ち向かって活動している人たちがいることも知った。こういう風に私は今、学生として「気づく・学ぶ」という機会に恵まれていて、もっと社会に関心を持とうという気持ちになった。だけど、どうすればこれらの情報が学ぶ機会の少ない人たちに届くだろうか?私は今の日本の問題やそれらに対して活動している人たちを知って、日本における問題について「気づく機会」を作りたいと思った。その方法は模索中で、これからの経験の中で見つけていきたい。1人でも多くの人が自分の国にもっと関心や責任を持てるよう貢献していきたいと思っている。

Ever since I encountered gender studies and women’s studies during my study abroad in the U.S., I started paying attention to social issues like environmental and immigration issues. After I began to learn these things, I found out about many things that I did not realize before. For example in Japan, although sex education is inadequate, the age of sexual consent is only 13 years old which is contradictory. Also, I realized that society still shapes our gender roles, teaching us that women cooks and takes care of kids and men go to work. At the same time, I found out that there are people working hard to tackle these issues. As a student, I have many opportunities to notice and learn things which motivates me to explore even more. However, I sometimes wonder, “What would it be like I was not a student?” and think about what I can do to share this information with others who may not have as many opportunities as me to learn about these issues. Finding out about issues in Japan and the people involved in activism made me want to take advantage of what I learned to create opportunities for people to realize issues in my country. I am still searching for how I can make this happen. I hope to make as many people as I can become more aware of social issues in their country.


Every time I learned something new in gender and women’s studies, I imagined what an ideal society would look like and talked about it passionately. However, I have not always been an idealistic person. I faced the cold reality whenever I heard about sexism, racism or ignorance of sexual minorities on Japanese media. Even when I was casually chatting to people around me, I heard things that exhausted me. One day, my relative told me that I need to marry and have a baby in the future since Japan has a declining birth rate, and it made me really feel how hard it is to get people to rethink their way of thinking. But I do not plan to stop talking about my dream. It is because talking about your dreams inspires and motivates you to pursue them.

留学中に履修したフェミニズムの授業の最後の課題が「自分の理想の社会を作り出すこと」だった。エッセイやポエムで、自分の思い描く夢の社会を作り、表現するというもの。まず、その課題をやり始める前に見本として『The Feminist Utopia Project』という本を読んだ。この本には色んなフェミニストたちの夢がたくさん詰め込まれている。ポエムやイラストなど、表現方法は様々。現代を昔に例えて、今を生きる私たちの性別を男女で分ける考えを不思議に思う未来の人の話は印象深かった。どれもユニークで、どの人のページも希望に満ち溢れていた。そして何よりも、私はその本から力強いパワーを感じた。

The final assignment in my feminism class during my study abroad was to create my dream society. We could express our ideal society in various ways like through poetry or an essay. Before I started working on the assignment, I read a book called The Feminist Utopia Project. Many feminists contributed to this book, and the book is full of their dreams for the future. They portray their ideal society through different ways like poems and illustrations. My favorite work in this book was a story that described a future where people look back on our current world, and view how we treat gender as a binary as a strange concept. Every utopia described in the book is unique and full of hope. Moreover, I felt so much power and inspiration from this book.

正直、この課題に取り掛かり始めた頃は、ただ自分の理想を書き連ねることに戸惑いや恥ずかしさがあった。そんな時、私は今まで夢や理想をこんなに語る機会がなかったと気がついた。中学生の頃をすぎると「叶わないかもしれない」と自分に自信が持てず、夢を語ることに対して恥ずかしさも生まれていた。だけど『The Feminist Utopia Project』を読んだ時に、同じような夢に向かって頑張る人を見つけた気がして、「私もやってやるぞ!」とパワーがみなぎった。同時に、彼らの夢に対する自信と夢を貫き通す強さも感じて、私も自分の夢に自信が持てるようになった。そして、自分の夢を誰かに伝えている瞬間にも一生懸命に聞いてくれる相手の表情が応援してくれているようで、心の中が希望で満たされるような気がした。

Honestly, when I was just beginning to work on my assignment, I was embarrassed to write about my dreams. And I realized that I never had a chance to talk about my dreams that much. Growing up, I did not have confidence in my dream because I doubted that I could make it a reality, and felt embarrassed to tell people about it. However, The Feminist Utopia Project made me realize one thing. It is that reading about others’ dreams that had the same essence as mine motivated me a lot. Finding people working hard toward the same thing made me think to myself, “I can make my dream come true.” At the same time, I felt their confidence and strong willpower. This book gave me the strength to push for my dream. And from then on, when I tell someone about my dream, I feel their encouragement and it fills me with hope.


I think even people who say that they don’t have any dreams actually do have many things they want to do in their life, like a place they want to visit or food they want to try. I consider these to be dreams too. When it comes to dreams, I think people tend to picture something big and profound. My dream to contribute to changing Japanese society, fits the idea of a “dream” that people usually think of, but I also have more things I want to do. For example, I want to learn Spanish, and I want to visit a pizzeria that makes huge pizzas. To me, these things are a part of my dreams as well. I do not think there’s any restriction on how big a dream must be for it to be called a dream.


When someone talks about their dream, they look lively, and it makes me feel inspired. Also, when I tell people about my dream, it fills me with motivation to make my dream come true. Hearing and talking about dreams is powerful. I believe your dream can encourage others as well as yourself. If you ever want to tell someone your dream, I hope this article gives you the push to express it and speak your mind.

Images by Rio

Edited by Kiara and Hikari

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