About 2022


This year will soon come to an end

War in Ukraine and Abe's death were things that hit me hard

Will write a bit about it

This year I was in Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Poland and Georgia

In September, when I was in Bosnia, I looked back at countries I'd stayed, also thought about countries I would go in coming months

And I got some strange feeling

Serbia is the country taking one of, or the largest number of Russian people

Poland is the country taking the largest number of Ukrainian people

Georgia is, kind of middle, people from both countries go

And Bosnia is a place where scars from 30 years ago are still vivid & visible, and it makes us think about the war and its consequences

I didn't have any journalist-like attitude, like "I want to hear stories from both sides"

It all happened by accident

I was planning to go to Serbia, Georgia over the past few years

I used to live in Poland and so it's natural to stop-over on the way

But in the end, I've met so many people from Russia and Ukraine, and also people in between

So then, what did I get?

Did I get very comprehensive, very authentic, very meaningful views and opinions?

The answer is, I don't know

Still everything is scattered in my mind

In few months, probably time will come to write about, in order to sort things out

One thing I quickly noticed was that none of them talked about this subject spontaneously

Only after I initiated, they did

There are several things that still stuck in my mind and still sometimes remember out of blue

In Poland, I met a couple of people from Russia, and they all had similar story, regarding how friendships, work environment, and their whole life in Poland, completely changed after February

Also in Poland, as well as in Georgia and Japan, I've met people from Ukraine

Before leaving Japan for Serbia in May, I was soaked in news, also DMs here, about this war and heard of almost too much of stories that people in Ukraine had to go through

Consequently, in my mind, subconsciously or consciously I had some image, an image of victims, around them

Victims...., those who we should be sorry for, those who we should feel pity for

This is obviously very rude & egoistic view of mine, but this was what I was subconsciously or consciously imaging before meeting the first Ukrainian person in real who left Ukraine after February

But it was all wrong

Unexpectedly, they gave off somewhat positive, light-hearted vibes, and all were showing smile

Perhaps it was their consideration of not making my feeling down

Perhaps it was their modesty of not showing the deepest side of their emotions to a stranger like me

Perhaps it was their willpower to stay positive

Either way, because of this, while meeting them, I didn't get any negative feel in the slightest

Rather, sometimes I felt like they gave me some positive energy

At the same time, their stories left me quite strong impact and often came back to my mind even long after the meeting ended

Reading someone's stories online & listening to it in real from the person who experienced......

These were a completely different experiences

This woman

She told me she left Ukraine alone to other country, and to Tokyo

Her family, parents and brothers, stayed in Ukraine, and only she left

She spoke her experiences nonchalantly, as if nothing special

While listening to her words, I was remembering some Japanese sentences...

".....Only I was evacuated from Tokyo where it was bombed. My father, mother, brothers, sisters, all remained there....."

Or ".....All my family died and I was the only one who is still alive....."

When I was learning the previous war Japan experienced in textbooks/videos/internet, I came across this kind of lines so many times

And I felt nothing

I never felt any sadness, never felt any sorrow, never felt any sympathy

It all passed through me, like strangers on the street

It all felt faceless, dried, dead information

I could not find any sharpness, acuteness & freshness that all our emotions must have

However, while listening to very similar story from a person, who was sitting just 1 meter away from me, who drunk the same latte as mine, who is much younger than me, therefore who holds more future than me, I felt I could finally understand what those dried dead sentences were trying to convey to people who know nothing about the war & its consequences

Her story continued....

Due to an intensity of emotions her story contained, I couldn't keep looking at her green-ish eyes and for a moment I looked around

I saw two high school girls taking selfies together, a middle-aged guy calling on his phone smiling, old ladies talking to each other without masks.....

Cafe was warm

Lights on the ceiling were soft

I looked at her again and then, I suddenly felt a huge gap

And I still don't know what exactly that gap was


perhaps between her stories & peaceful environment around us

perhaps between Ukraine she is from & Tokyo where we are now

perhaps between an intensity of pain she had to go through inside her mind & a woman in front of me who just looks like a normal young foreign girl on the surface

And Abe...., Abe San

The other day I was in a train in central Tokyo and seeing landscapes passing on the window

I saw a tiny street where old men and women were walking

Nothing special. There is a countless number of this kind of streets all over Japan

Nobody paid close attention to it. At least I never did

But momentarily I thought, perhaps Abe maybe paid attention

When he was prime minister...., he was the one who was responsible for this county and, just like an owner of the house takes care of every single corners of his own house, perhaps Abe felt responsibility for all things in this country, every single streets, every single houses, every single people living here

I don't really have an idea, such as "Politics is all dirty. Politicians are all dirty" of that kind

At the same time, I don't really think all politicians of all countries are always serious with their duties

And I don't really think Abe was such a clean, ideal, perfect politician and human being

But he was an important person in my personal life for my personal reasons, even if it's all my illusion and delusion

And I still don't want to believe he is no longer in this country that he worried, cared and loved

Abe...., Abe San, you still shine and will remain in my heart, forever with tears

One common thing in this war & Abe was that both is "technically" not tightly related to me

I never talked with Abe, even never saw him

I visited Ukraine, knew several people and was planning to stay there this year, but it's not like my significant other is from there or my family member lives there

In a sense, I could think it's all remote things

But the truth of the matter is, I was involved in it

Or I should say, my emotions were inevitably involved in it almost forcefully

On my personal level, it felt like almost "discovery" that I could feel sympathy and pain from things which are "technically" remote from my life

I never expected such distant things jolted me, my emotions, this much

I'm now in my hometown in my home country

Very boring

Yet, this is my one and only hometown, my one and only home country

I can go abroad, only because I know, whenever I want, I can come back to this very boring yet very precious place

But many people I met this year can't go back, no matter how much they wish

I wrote this in April, but I still can't imagine how I would feel if this street, this shop, this building, this park, this tree, this sea, and this friend in front of me, that all played a significant irreplaceable role in my life, are destroyed, broken into ash and vanished

I still can't imagine how I would feel if all these memories of mine and important people go away completely from me

Can't imagine how I would feel seeing them destroyed in my very eyes and I can't do anything

I hope all people I met in real & interacted online here this year can go back to their hometown as soon as possible

And 2023 will be a brighter year