For my Journalism class, I had to interview strangers in Brussels by asking them a simple question so they would tell a personal story. At the whole beginning, I didn't know how to do this at all. I thought people would smile kindly and be like 'sorry, but I'm really busy'. However, it became an inspiring adventure!
'A long time ago, I lived in Japan, but I had to leave the country, because I was an activist against whaling. To continue the campaign, I decided to travel to Antarctica. However, after this I wanted to have a home again.
After a few years in England and Germany, I decided at the age of 59 to move to Belgium — my dream since such a long time! But I wasn’t happy at all. On the contrary. After the death of my only son, I wanted to die and thought about euthanasia.
Once in Belgium, so many kind people showed me that life can be beautiful again. I started working with Convivial, where I introduced refugees to the Belgian culture. I started living again. I may be Japanese, but I’m the proudest Bruxelloise! I am in love with Belgium!
Is this my dream life? Because of this dog, it isn’t. (laughs) I adopted it not so long ago, because nobody wanted him. He is blind, deaf and 14 years old. Because of this dog, I don’t have a life anymore. I’m always worried when he’s home alone. It feels as if it’s my child.'
'I don’t know you, therefore I have two choices, I can reveal my identity or make up a story. What is certain is that we see life through what we’ve already been through.
Personally I suffered a lot, I lost my beloved ones and I started fighting. Not in a war, I was fighting my own battle.
We can say that we have two choices when suffering becomes part of our life: we can try to find joy or become more and more depressed. I found a third path -- suffering leads me through life. It inspires me to become a better person every day.
After all of this, we could ask ourselves “God, where are you? If you’re almighty, why won’t you stop my pain and suffering?”, but still, I am very religious. So this means that God is not almighty, because he cannot stop certain things from happening. But he is mighty by his poverty, his humbleness. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” '
'What I try to change in the world is the way women’s pleasure is seen. Everything started with“Caliban and the Witch”, a book written by Sylvia Federici, where witchcraft is one of the subjects. In fact, those were innocent women, who lived alone and kept themselves busy with herbs.
That’s when I started to compare the 16th century with our society and I noticed that in one way or another, women were still limited. Right now I think specifically of sexuality, where the main objective is still bearing children and not pleasure. It’s been lasting for centuries and I don’t understand why, so I decided to do something about it myself.
While reflecting upon it, I saw a 3D-print of the clitoris at an exposition. Unbelievable, that the majority of people don’t know how big it actually is!
After admiring art for years, I’ve finally enrolled at an arts school in September. Thanks to embroidery and paintings, I try to liberate women. The clitoris is the theme, namely, the shape of the clitoris receives tiny arms and legs and is transformed it into characters.'