The Other House and Wafoo!Japan projects
The Other House and Wafoo!JAPAN（わふぅ！JAPAN）are names of projects that have been operating for about 2 years+, specific ideas of the projects are still a concept, while others have been put into real life establishments.
Human’s desire to contribute = Dog’s desire to leave “markings” = It’s nature of our being!
I think that many of us are born looking forward to “participate” in this wonderful world of human society. I think the motivation to “participate” comes from a natural human desire to “wanting to contribute” to society. “Contributing” “Volunteering” is human equivalent of a dog peeing on a tree to conduct a “marking”. Instead of peeing, we, the humans can speak and use our hands and feet to do quite a few things.
The Other House Project:
The Other House project is a project that started in 2017 April. It was much like a social experiment to see how much travelers in Japan wanted to contribute to communities they were visiting. I have invited over 100 people from 40 or more countries.
Concept was molded by Avril who also made the cool logo, and the sign.
Wafoo! JAPAN Projects:
Wafoo! (or technically “wa-fu”) is a word used to explain something that is authentically Japanese. However, we foreigners to Japan also know that many people in Japan are shy and reserved and takes a lot of time for engagement. The following programs are designed so that we can contribute to the local community in various ways and then get to know each other through other communal work.
- Find your “Engrish”
- English with Kids / English with Locals
- Monitoring local crafts workshops
- Ecology Volunteering
Find your “Engrish”
“Find your ‘Engrish’” is a program designed to go on a 1-2 day trip to a rural part of Japan to go see vital touristic attractions while evaluating local English signs. Many of us foreigners are aware that many of the signs in Japan are not always correct.
In this project,
- we will work with municipalities to assess the usabilities of the signages to be ready for a more English speaking global audience.
- Write 2-3 paragraph composition to write YOUR take of the local culture, so you can share it with the rest of the world.
*The name “Find your Engrish” is a pun, but at the same time it is not made to disrespect the countries lack of English knowledge. Some “Engrish” signages are the results of people’s efforts. Some mistakes are worth preserving. Looking for those who can enjoy the good and bad of things.
English with Kids
In rural areas, not every child gets a chance to go to English schools. However making kids ready to speak to somebody from another country with different complexion, hair and eye color will definitely be a good way to get rid of prejudices at an early age. Also this will give reason and motivation for many kids to properly learn English in school. It’s also a good excuse for a lot of us adults living in a complex modern world to be just normal human beings… or just let the child within you flourish!
English with Locals
There are always a lot that elders (technically, the more experienced “senpai’s”) can teach us. There are small yet important traditions in every part of rural Japan. Come and dine, or learn crafts and other things so that you can help pass-on vital traditions worth sharing with the rest of the world. Let’s make memories personal so you can remember and reminisce from time to time.
Monitoring local crafts
Craftsmanship, art and tools/utilities for practical use only have a thin line in between them. They are almost indistinguishable from each other. In Higashiizu town, Shizuoka prefecture, you can learn about Tatami making from a 4th generation tatami master (known as “Tatami Doctor”). Help develop some educational activities of local traditional, but everday culture.
As we all know that Japan is famous for its clean streets, but there’s alway somebody doing that dirty work. Come and join beach & street cleaning programs in different cities to help make Japanese streets even cleaner. Also, during the summer come and join bamboo cutting to clear out some of our neighbors backyards. Cold tea after a hard day’s work should be rewarding.
Check here for dates: