a casual comment that led to community



Last year, it became difficult for us to see someone without a mask on in person. However, that year, I took a new step, and I gained lots of knowledge from new people that I met and new places I discovered. Because I had tried some new things and faced new challenges, it gave me feelings that I did not know before. And, looking back at this year, I realized how important it is to tell someone what I want to do. This time, I will share my story that made me think so.


About one year ago, I met an organization. Because I was enthusiastic about gender and women’s studies when I studied in the U.S. and I hoped to keep learning after I was back in Japan, and to focus on the situation in my country, I applied for the internship at a company working on supporting women, like single parent mothers or victims of domestic violence. One day, when I casually said ”I really want to see people who are my age and can talk about gender or feminism,” an employee told me, “Do you want me to help you connect to those people?” She shared information about the organization right after. When I met the people who were part of the organization, it was at an event they were talking about “peace.” I remember I wondered if I had enough knowledge to talk to them. I did not have much knowledge about this kind of field, so I was nervous, but I think I felt like “this is the way of learning together” at that time. There were more people like me there, but people who studied in that field seemed to be curious about what we thought and had to say. In this organization, if I didn’t know something, I could say I do not know, and if I said I wanted to know more, I could make space to learn with these people.