For readers who like opinions on our pages, please welcome Ginko Kobayashi.
It should be refreshing to hear from an eloquent and informed female Japanese resident of London, especially if you’re more accustomed to perspectives on biculturalism expressed by the typecast Tokyo expat staring morosely into his beer at the local Dubliners pub.
Ginko and I passed each other like ships in the night in 2001 as she left the Daily Yomiuri and I joined the paper that was last year renamed The Japan News.
I had felt relieved to once again have a chair, desk and salary in this safe and clean metropolis after stringing as a journalist for several years in dark corners abroad.
Ginko, meanwhile, was no doubt excited and intrigued at the potential adventures that awaited her in the ultimate melting pot that is the UK capital, as she embarked on that most uncertain career of freelance journalism.
I can’t wait to read how it went; if the first of Ginko’s occasional columns is any measure, opinions will not be in short supply.
Four days and Knights in White Lycra
Whatever happened to Tokyo Brits, the 10 middle-aged men in lycra who generously cycled a gruelling 320kms last year to raise funds for the quake-hit locals of Minamisoma?
Well, I can reveal they have more than doubled in size for this year’s effort and rebranded as Knights in White Lycra, bolstered by Australians, Americans and Japanese in their ranks.
The destination is Minamisanriku, 465kms and four days from the 15 May start, with a target of ¥5mn in sponsorship. The beneficiary will be O.G.A. for Aid, a non-profit organisation that wants to fund a small vegetable-processing plant.
Partners in grime
Custom Media, the publisher of BCCJ ACUMEN, shares a close affinity with the Fujisawa Beach Cleaning Project, not least because we are both celebrating our fifth anniversaries, having endured simultaneous start-up pains together.
We’ve helped the NGO with editorial to attract volunteers and sponsors, with a coordinator, Alana Bonzi, filling our early pages with reports of the biannual events that brought together foreigners and locals.
Here are some dates to save if you’d like to help this year’s campaign in the Shonan area:
Local festival, global taste
For a great time and cause, International School of the Sacred Heart will hold its annual Family Festival on 26 April in Hiroo, to celebrate the vibrancy of diverse Tokyo with food from over 15 countries plus dancing, games and shopping.
Proceeds will fund local and foreign charities for poor children’s healthcare and education, as well as the school’s many programmes.