BLUE WING -WINGS FOR CHANGE- 「Next Changemakers」

Introducing the young Social Entrepreneurs who have the makings
to become the next crop of Changemakers

#nextcm #tazawayu

Bed & Art Project, Tazawa Yu

Meet the other Next Changemakers

2018-01-15 12:04:00
NEXT Changemaker Series: Preservation is not “Avoiding Change”, it’s “Embracing Change” Ohara: Our vision which is about maximizing the power of matsuri can be split into two parts: using matsuri to revitalize towns and communities, and encouraging more people to embody this ethos. Matsurism is the inherent value of matsuri. It’s about deepening one’s love for one’s hometown, about raising your voice as loud as you can and putting you whole body into it; it’s about real interactions between people. Life in the cities is logical and robotic, but I think there is more to humanity than that. And from an educational standpoint, you learn more running your own matsuri than you do sat in front of a desk. I worry that old traditions like this might be lost with the advancement of technology, and with it humanity itself. Matsurism challenges the idea of keeping things the same to protect them. To change is to preserve and it’s that ethos that we want to promote by getting more people involved with matsuri, which I plan to do on a much wider scale by taking matsuri around the country. That wraps up the interview with Manabu Ohara and Kyoji Iwadate and with it another edition of the Next Changemaker series. If these posts have piqued your interest in matsuri, why not join one of Matsurism’s tours. BLUE WING will continue to support Changemakers like these and put them in the spotlight. #nextcm #ANABLUEWING #matsurism
2018-01-14 11:44:00
NEXT Changemaker Series: Matsuri that Resurrect Towns With around 300,000 matsuri in Japan, it would be wrong to generalize, but the decision making system behind matsuri is an outdated one. As the decision making process and people are all part and parcel of the tradition of matsuri, it’s always been this way and it’s hard to change. However, it’s a system that in some regions, puts young people off from joining in, creating a bit of a dilemma and a stalemate between the generations. Matsurism comes in and untangles the knots. As outsiders, we are able to communicate the appeal of matsuri through a more objective lens. The people who join us are attracted by the passion and unity that goes into rural matsuri; it allows them to experience a warm human-interaction not found in the urban sprawl. And in return, seeing the city dweller’s reactions, instills the people in the region with a newfound realization and pride of just how amazing their matsuri are. The focus then switches from lack of money and people to the fulfillment of the matsuri-goer. The more people that are involved with matsuri viewing the challenges of the matsuri as that of the town, the more people there are adopting a proactive attitude towards their region. Iwadate: For 3 years now we have been involved in the Takagi Shrine festival in Tokyo’s Sumida ward. I will never forget what one of the 70 year-old organizers once told me. “This town almost died, but you’ve resurrected it!”, he told me. “But we can’t rely on you forever. We need to think for ourselves from here on”, he added. If we had more people with that mindset, we would have more success in reviving these regions. That’s what we mean by the power of matsuri. #nextcm #ANABLUEWING #matsurism
2018-01-13 12:00:00
NEXT Changemaker Series: Matsuri that Transcends Borders, Changes Lives Ohara: “This year will be my third year of involvement in Chichibu’s Yomatsuri (night festival) which came about through a friend at university who lived in the area. I met current Vice President, Kyoji Iwadate, in the University’s Yosakoi Dance club. Coming all the way from rural Kanagawa, the hustle and bustle of Tokyo was a huge culture shock for me, and failure to immediately adapt to university life was getting me down, but that’s when a friend, unfazed by my somewhat withdrawn personality, took me along to the school festival where I made the chance encounter with the Yosakoi dance troupe. Seeing them perform with such energy made me want to join in and before long I had become a member of the club. Dancing with them was so much fun. I still remember that reassuring feeling of acceptance. This was in my 2nd year of university. I spent my third year on a year abroad in America, and decided to use the opportunity to spread some Japanese Festival culture. I taught Yosakoi dance to foreigners, showing off my skills everywhere from the local nursery and retirement home, to the graduation ball, anywhere I could. “Your so cool!” they would tell me. The wealth of compliments helped alleviate the inevitable loneliness of being in a foreign country and filled me with happiness. Inspired by this positive feedback, on my return to Japan, I began working towards creating a place where both expats and international students alike could share their country’s culture. My slogan was “matsuri transcends borders”. Yosakoi and matsuri had given me so many moving, almost tearful moments that stayed with me even after entering the world of work. I never forgot the wonder of matsuri and how it had the power to change lives. And then, on 30th November 2016, I setup Matsurism. #nextcm #ANABLUEWING #matsurism
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