[Original posted in Hatena Blog by Kazuto KANAOKA, 2020 Public Relations Intern (October 5, 2020); Translated by E. Miyazaki /H. Lai]
Hello everyone! This is Kazuto Kanaoka. I am an intern from public relations department. In the 2nd round of 2020 Interviews of Interns, I invited Yui Shoji who is also from public relations department. Yui is such an energetic person that she goes beyond the standards in various areas (LOL). Whenever I talk with her, she has all the stories that make me say “What?!”, and I feel that my mind widely opened over the past six months because of her. I hope you can experience the ‘World of Yui’ through this interview. Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself and what you are studying at college.
Hello, I am Yui Shoji. I am a senior college student and studying cultural anthropology and thanatology in Social Business Course of Faculty of Economics. I am currently working hard on my thesis!
You became interested in international cooperation since you visited the Cebu Island and Thailand and through the experience of watching documentary programs when you were child, right?
When I was seven years old, I was shocked at a documentary program at my grandmother’s house. It was about some south-east Asian children who were younger than me. They were living as scavengers in a garbage dump to support their families. Then I visited the Cebu Island to see the actual situation when I was 18 years old. During the visit I didn’t feel I was involved in an international cooperation, but if I take a look back, that was since when I became interested in it.
How did you join JVC and how do you feel after joining in?
Ever since I became interested in international cooperation, I have been doing things that I can do or I can help, but later I realized my supports were just based on personal value and idealism. When I saw images and the news, I assumed that they were struggling, and I felt sorry for them. By the chance to attend a JVC’s briefing session, I heard that JVC considers mutual communication important to solve issues fundamentally. I was touched and decided to join JVC as an intern. The working atmosphere here and their kindnesses to not only people but also the whole world attract me a lot.
What do you want to do as a public relations intern from now on?
To help young people especially who are under 30 to gain interests in international cooperation and be more familiar with it, I want to achieve this goal.
What do you think is necessary to gain young people’s interest in international cooperation?
After joining JVC, I noticed that the word international cooperation is not appropriate. Borders and nationalities don’t matter when it’s about helping people. You don’t need to know his or her nationality when you help, right? The more we focus on the word international, the more stressful we feel to do huge things, and the pressures hinder us from taking the first step. Let’s consider international cooperation the same thing as seat offers to the elder. You can start supporting by doing something you are familiar with, such as the Treasure Aid activity organized by JVC.
Do you have something you value much in life?
To live well without regret and accept the way you are. When I wake up in the morning, I often talk to myself saying “Well done for waking up today again” and hug myself. It helps me to be kind to myself. Then I can naturally be kind to other people and other living creatures. Living without regret is something I really value a lot about the view of life and death. I don’t mean I’m fine to die now, but I want to live and do all the things that I want to do, or I can do when I’m still alive.
If you were reborn and became something else, what would you like to be?
Either an alien or water because I love water. Water looks like it cannot think (LOL).
I heard that you were working part-time at a vegan restaurant and an organic farm when you were living in Australia. Sounds very interesting!
They were more like volunteer works rather than part-time jobs. I received items other than money as payments to my work. For example, at the organic farm, I used to do the entire process from sowing seeds to cultivating on the way the local farmers do. In return, I could ask the owner for some food and necessities and stay at the lodge provided, so I could live without money.
I like to think about philosophical things such as love, the universe, life, or death. I became interested in organic vegetables because I believe we need a world where all the living creatures are respected, and the organic farm shares the same belief with me. After thinking about what is good for me to learn about organic agriculture and to spend time, I came to choose these part-time jobs. I was so eager to work there that I jumped into the shop to beg for a job and they hired me.
I heard you experienced many challenges in Australia…
I studied organic agriculture for a year in Australia. I did two jobs that I mentioned before during that trip. Besides, I went to a village where many hippies live, and I had much fun with them. The nearest town was about 10 km away from the organic farm I lived. It would cost about 2,000 yen if you took a uber to go there, so I hitch-hiked many times to save money. The tip is to wait at places where people gather, such as car parks and gas stations! Local people were so friendly and nice. Once they gave me a ride, they gave me their contact numbers and took me to town many times.
You are very energetic. What motivates you to be so active?
Like what I said, I want to live without regret, and it’s what makes me active, I think. I am easy to be influenced and easy to forget, but I can be honest with these words because they come out naturally from me. I feel they help me make firm decisions when I am unsure about something. Many people say that my mind is strong, but it sounds like my perspective is narrow, so I try to listen more to many people to broaden my perspective and to see things from different angles.
What would you choose if you were to bring only one item to an isolated island?
Someone I love (LOL). It might not be practical, but I’d rather spend time with someone special than taking a knife or a box of matches. If I don’t have a knife, two of us can make one from stones (LOL).
To wrap up…
Have you enjoyed the ‘World of Yui’? (LOL) My personality is like usually planning a lot before actions, so I can’t help respecting her way to do things without hesitation. She said ‘Living without regret’ many times. I can see how vivid she is in believing these words through our talk. This interview encouraged me to work with her and work more as a public relations intern.
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