Bread and Roses

The film ‘Bread and Roses’ is a story about janitorial workers’ struggle to get better work conditions and the right to unionize in Los Angeles. Most of the janitorial workers are immigrant workers who have illegally entered the U.S from South America. They are viewed as commodities and expendables. They reluctantly continue to accept low wages and poor working conditions to make their living. However, they protest for higher wages and benefit packages, and the employers decide to meet the workers demands in the end.

The film’s title, “Bread and Roses”, comes from the textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1912 which was led by large groups of female workers. They struggled and fought under the slogan ‘We want bread but we want roses, too!’ In the end, they got their salary increased. In the film, janitorial workers unite and march through the streets, shouting ‘We want bread but roses, too’, like the 1912 textile strike in Lawrence. No matter how hard they work for it, they do not get paid enough for their hard work. They struggle not only to get bread, which symbolizes the minimum requirements to survive, but also roses that symbolize human dignity. They have to put up with terrible work conditions such as low salaries, as low as 5.75$ an hour, no health insurance, paid holidays or sick leaves. All of this is because of their economical troubles and the treat to be exiled. However, they fight against the ruthless employers for fair wages and dignified conditions and also to restore their rights as a worker and a human through unity.

There are a huge number of immigrant workers in the U.S. Most of them are Hispanics, including Mexican people who have smuggled themselves into the U.S. Actually their life is terrible beyond imagination. Even though they have crossed the border at the risk of their own life to overcome poverty and seek better opportunities, they cannot escape from the cycle of low wages and being exploited by employers. In the film, janitorial workers won and got back their rights, however in reality it is difficult for immigrant workers to organize a labor union. They are forced to put up with poor working conditions that exploit them, under the constant threat of dismissal or exile. In the film, janitorial worker Maya asked Sam, a labor organizer, “What do you risk?” Because they should put more than everything they have to fight against unreasonable working conditions, mostly they accept the reality and give up their hopes to struggle. If they can eat the bread, they cannot have the rose; this is the reality they will have to face. To be able to eat bread, they will have to sell their roses.

Being guaranteed immigrant workers’ rights as a worker and a human is still far off. However, the film shows also hope that they can do it. Fighting for immigrant workers to get bread and roses will not stop.


by Jeawon Moon

Feel Of Outsider

 Almost people have own parents, family, community and so on. There are our greatest supports to live our life. Especially, hometown is very precious thing for us. We can feel that where we belong with because of hometown. However, sometime we feel like as if we were outsider in spite of we are in hometown. Why people think that so? What is hometown? I consider about the topic.

   I think that change is cause of feeling like outsider. Every time when I go back to my hometown, I can see the regular scenery and meet the regular friends. So, I can feel there is my hometown and I belong in here. Although, I guess that I may feel like as if I were an outsider if the scenery and friends gone, and change my hometown that I pictured to strange space. Even if the location of my hometown has never change, there is not my hometown any longer if there have no things that belong with me. Therefore, we need hometown to proof where we belong with and who I am, I think.

      In the class, we learn about outsider in some countries. I think that they also feel about the changes. Increasing immigrants make their hometown strange place. Opening new cultural restaurants, selling some strange things are the instance of changes. Only that things, but it is very important things for people who living there. Finally, people feel just like they were robbed job and treated cruelly. Can it really be true? I think that it is not true in almost cases, but some changes make them feeling so.

      In conclusion, feel of outsider come from the changes. We cannot live without relations. We need to proof where we belong with and who I am. So, we need to hometown too. I think that if people know about the relations, the matter of outsider is decreasing.

by Erina Hayashi

How had foreigners who live in Kyoto been treated?

Do you know that there were areas for discriminated people in Kyoto until pretty recently? These areas are called “Buraku” area, for example, “Sujin-area” in Higashikujou. Surprisingly, people in Buraku are divided from other people by Kyoto City. I state the situation of Sujin-area at that time.

“Sujin-area” is at the east of Kyoto station. In the Edo period, there are people called “Eta” or “Hinin” who play a role of socially undesirable characters. It is Sujin-area that they lived in. And then, Korean people who lost their home town by the fires of war are getting to live in Higashikujou. People who live in Kyoto were cautious of Korean people who started their living suddenly. The situation of Sujin-area at that time was so terrible. People in Sujin-area lived in shabby shacks, broken glasses and plastic bottles were thrown away, and crows ravaged garbage. Kyoto City considered living of Korean people was illegal, didn’t equip infrastructure (a water supply or electrical instruction) and dispose of garbage and human wastes for long time. So, they had no choice but to drink river water and flow human waste into Kamogawa.

Furthermore, children live in Buraku (whether Korean or not) were discriminated in education. The differences between children live in Buraku or other children caused the differences of employment similarly. As a result, it was caused a vicious circle that children were born in Buraku area cannot receive enough education and get jobs. In 1980s, school violence was serious problem. Children disturbed classes, broke facilities of school. However, teachers didn’t scold children and ask their parents to cooperate for normalization of school. On the contrary, schools tried to hide the terrible situation. It was because Kyoto City adopted special treatment for children live in Buraku that these problems happened. Teachers gave the special classes and projected special camps for children live in Buraku. So, children misunderstood that they get away with murder. It was the most important problem that Schools or teachers were under children thumb.

Now, the situation has been improved. However, it seems that the minds of discrimination against foreign residents still take root in people live in Kyoto. Kyoto still seems to be difficult place to stay for foreign residents in getting jobs, looking for houses and so on. Now, it is not administration or government but people that things make the mind of discrimination exist.

by Ayako Takagi

The country of immigration, shaking tolerance ~Norway terrorist explosions~


Anders Behring Breivik

Terrorist explosions and death by shooting case broke out in Norway and 76 victims were sacrificed. A lot of people who has the bouquet offered to victims came near a government office quarter in capital Oslo where terrorism broke out and they shed tears and embraced each other. Trial was performed Anders Behring Breivik who is defendant in Oslo court in 2011,7,25. His motive of a crime is rebounding of immigration tolerant policy in Norway. They that are “Open country” face big crisis.

Defendant said “Labour Party of governing party accepted Islamic system immigration too much. The strong signal was sent in order to make it stop.” He justified his action. On the other hand, one woman who lives in Oslo said “nobody sympathizes. It is wrong to do. He should have stopped only by thinking.” Norway government kept to accept immigration positively by Labour Party initiative. Islamic system immigration, such as Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia are 2% of a population of about 4,850,000 in Norway. The economy of Norway was favorable by the favor of abundant oil incomes however Norway growth rate of the gross domestic product decreased and the unemployment rate rose, thereby sense of incongruity to immigration acceptance spreads among people.

Islamic system guerrilla groups can pose a threat for Norway by intelligence service. Extreme right-wing organization is very quiet in recent years however they are a tendency of the increase in activity from last year. There are a lot of people who value foreign culture in Oslo however there are also some people that eliminate other culture. The guess that Islamic system guerrilla groups attacked Oslo where big terrorism has not broken out flowed into Norway.

A woman who lives in Oslo said “People are skeptical to immigration that differ culture, but the natives in Oslo and immigration live together satisfactorily.” It is important for us to understand each other. What do you think?

by Sunao Tanaka

Citizenship of Korean Resident in Japan

About 600 thousand Korean Residents are living Japan, and they nationality is “Korea (朝鮮籍)”, “Republic of Korea (韓国籍)”, and “Japan (日本籍)”.  That history is started in 1910, when Japan amalgamated with Korea peninsula.  In 1945, Japan was defeated in WWII, when a lot of Korean was living in Japan.  When Korean resident had “Japan” citizenship.

In 1974, Japan government promulgated “Command of Foreign Registration (外国人登録令)”, that later, Korean residents became “Foreigner” in Japan.  When they haven’t Nationality, because Korea was not country.  They “Foreign Registration” have written “Korea”.  That is symbol of “From Korea”.  Some time lather, Republic of Korea (ROK) and Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) was founded in Korea peninsula.

In 1965, Japan had entered into diplomatic relations with ROK that made “ROK” citizenship Korean resident.  Before, Korean resident haven’t Nationality, however if they get “ROK” citizenship, they can change “From Korea” to “ROK” citizen.  When a lot of Korean resident changed “From Korea” to “ROK”, because “ROK” and diplomatic relations country citizen can get right more than “Symbol”.

In Japan, “Korea” mean DPRK, however, that not truth.  A lot of Japanese think “Korea” nationality people is “DPRK” citizen. However, DPRK nationality does not exist in Japan, because Japan and DPRK haven’t diplomatic relations.  “Korea (朝鮮籍)” is meaning “From Korea” only.  So, they are stateless person.  In this case, why Korean resident are keeping “Korea”? Some Korean resident think “Korea” mean “Unification Korea”.  Because, Korea peninsula is cutting DPRK and ROK, however they have spirit of Unification Korea.  Some Korean resident have “I’m DPRK citizen spirit”.  For example, CHONG Tae-se has “ROK” nationality, but he is player national team of DPRK.  He has spirit of DPRK citizen.

Korean resident have a lot of problem that is too.  Korean resident problem gave by Japan government.  Japan government should change policy of Korean resident.  Korean resident citizenship problem have one of most important problem.  And Japanese people should understand Korean resident problem.

by Kazuki Baba

Is Brain circulation good?

What do you think about “brain drain” ?

The meaning of this term is the people who live in own country has gone to somewhere.

I thought that “How the county to be?”. I can not state positively, but it is said that brain drain has some bad points. Brain drain means the exportation of people who have good skill. Now, the world focus on the globalization. A lot of conuntries depend on the foreign countries. Their jobs does not work without their help. People focus on from the brain drain to brain circulation. On the other hand, brain circulation is to study other country and develop the country or their country.

Some suppliers are worry about the fear of less and less talent. Actually, centuries ago, some people are absorbed as workers. If governments take a policy to encourage the talented person, it become easier to back their place. China take support for them to give the money and held the meetings. Knowledge or technology they bring takes a big role. How about small town and country side? These places will prosper.

The suppliers hesitate to send people to other country. They think it creates the rival in the world. It is difficult, but it is ok if the country will be good. The people who change it also will be praised. Now that we have to cooperate to each other. Furthermore, it stimulates them to be more experienced person.

We can communicate with devices. In past, there was no technology, but now it improves, we can use telecommunication. For example, we can say the TV-phone, cell-phone and PC. We do not so worry than before.

In addition, they will come home. They bring their skill. They study abroad and gain new skills or improve traditional skill. They will help their countrys, too.

In conculusion, I agree to the promotion policy of brian circulation. I found more advantages to brain circulation than without it. People contribute the society where they are sent off, and most of them will come home. Is it win-win relationship, isn’t it?

[New York Times – A Japanes exports] 2011/11/26

by Rie Murata

Is it better to assimilate or to keep your ethnicity?

First of all, I would like to tell you about what ethnicity is.  Ethnicity means that the fact of belonging to a particular culture, language, where you were from, and religion.  In short, you have an identity who you are.

What is the difference between assimilation and ethnicity?  It is that whether or not you keep on having your own identity in emigrated country.

In the past, some Japanese moved to the U.S.  There is Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, Seattle and so on, but now it outdates.  Most of present Little Tokyo’s shops are managed by Chinese or Korean and this area is not safe now.

Many of Japanese-American cannot speak Japanese, they cannot read and write Japanese.  Because of world war Ⅱ, Japanese-Americans were really segregated, and American government put them into custody.  Japanese-Americans tried to be “American”, and they wanted to express that they are not hostile foreigners.  Under the adverse condition like I told before, they tried to fit in the U.S society, and Japanese-Americans are called as Model minority.

I think it is because most Japanese who emigrated to the U.S tried to assimilate to the U.S’s society, so they don’t keep in touch with Japanese society.

On the other hand, Chinese or Korean towns are bustling till now.  San Francisco and Los Angeles have large Chinatown.  In Los Angeles, there are large Koreatown.  They have strong identity till now.

To get back to that I told, do you think which is better to have identity in emigrated country or assimilate to emigrated country?

I think you should not make “your home country’s town” because if you live in there, you always speak your own language, you always eat your cultural food, you always watch your country’s TV, and you have no relationship with emigrated country’s people.  In order to live comfortable life in emigrated country, I think you should be kind of emigrated country’s person.  I don’t mean “You must forget who you are!!”  But I think you need a certain level of assimilation as long as you live in foreign country.  How do you think about it?

by Konomi Yamamoto

Why Don’t You Choose Fair Trade Products?

Immigration of 190 million or more people is in the world, and it is divided into economical and the large reason for political and cultural although the reason is various.  In inside, in order to live for war or poverty, people who become the “refugee” who cannot but emigrate are also.  And 90 percent of refugees are in a developing country, and they tend to have forced labor extremely hard as the cheap labor force.  The poverty which poses a problem ranging over the border is unsolvable only in the country in which the problem has taken place.  A problem induces the following problem.  Poverty is everybody’s problem among the world.  I suggest the way which could help solving the problem.

Have you heard the word of fair trade? Fair trade is giving the producer of a developing country the remuneration corresponding to labor, and is a form of trade of aiding independence of their life continuously.  It is also called “the alternative trade” to the free trade system in use.  This movement that is said to have started in Europe in the 70s, From the 80s, spread quickly and Fairtrade Label Organization (FLO), The international organization could do it and it became possible to attach a label to the goods which passed the screening criterion, and the Fairtrade was adopted also as the major company by birth of this label, and was expanded by it.  Moreover, the aids for improvement in a producer’s life are contained in the prices of fair trade goods as a Fairtrade Premium.

Fair trade is realized to be new business, it is not as a charity and the case where it fights by the merit of quality and the beauty of a design on a fashion community is also seen in recent years.  A typical example is a brand “People tree” of Fairtrade-goods speciality.  The People tree is what British Safia Minney started in Japan, and deals with clothing, miscellaneous goods, food, and various fair trade goods.

It adheres to the height of fashionability, a news hook is given by making Emma Watson into an image model, and it is not that of “buying it, because it is a fair trade”, The stance of “because it was good, I choose it, was fair trade” was taken, and although fair trade goods were expensive, the conventional image that quality was not quite satisfactory was changed.

Although “we can cooperate internationaly only do shopping” and a catch copy are used well as for fair trade, the side which a maker certainly is and buys loads a thing also with the meaning of gratitude, and I think that it stands to reason originally that pays money.

I regard what as it becoming important whether value is considered.  Should not we the consumers think, more and should not do satisfactory shopping through the time of mass consumption?  I thought that it might become clue to poverty solution including immigration.

by Yuri Takayanagi

A regional treatment for foreign people

There are outbreaks of the trouble between the foreign workers and Japanese all over Japan. That means, these troubles are derived from an anxiety about the employment of foreign workers and are related to the labor problem. It is a matter of Japanese labor law included the set of minimum wage system and compulsory work. It is important that for foreign workers, employers should prepare the system same as the Japanese workers, which can applied to the foreign workers. Also, there are more and more action against the company by foreign workers. In the face of these problems, to constructing the place or system where foreign workers and Japanese can discuss these problems is very important. One of the treatments of setting the place is a meeting for the city where many foreign people are living in,  “外国人集住都市会議” in Japanese. This meeting is made by Hamamatsu local government and associations that support cultural exchange between the countries.

It is established 10 years ago and its purposes are to get along with each other (foreign workers and Japanese) and to get the solutions for these regional problems by tackling positively. In 2009, this organization demanded an agency for foreign people in terms of the need to take a policy that regards foreign people as “living people”, because there are a lot of foreign people who are out of work. Besides, the organization is asking to the government for financial assistance and compulsory education for foreign children to enrich the educational environment for the foreign children. In the 28 cities forming the organization, the rate of foreign people who are registered is 4,5 percent. Among them, Brazilians account for 55 percent. The cities where foreign peoples are living together are particularly, related to the company for the auto industry. That means they are one of the regions that faced the drastic cuts in personnel because of the recession in Japan. Especially, the rate of unemployed people is over the 30 percents in some cities among the 28 cities. It is clear that such a situation is disadvantage for foreign workers. Disadvantages for foreign people are from the aspect of culture, like the hardness of subtle communication by language.

In short, the problem is still around us despite of the organization. However, as you know, foreign people have the rights to live and make their livings. Therefore, a new system or reform of conciseness for foreign people is needed not to deprive them of their rights to live. Moreover, a countermeasure for foreign people who lives in out of 28 cities should be prepared. After this, it is necessarily to focus on the rights to live for foreign people because we tend to pay no attention to the minority. It is the problem that we cannot ignore in the globalization.

by Sayaka Kurata

Problems of undocumented immigrants

If your friend is an undocumented immigrant, what do you do? When you realize the fact, do you leave him or her? Can you oblivious of it? Do you hide or tell the police about that? If you tell the police, your friend takes punishment. Then, do you keep secret? When you tell everyone nothing about your friend, undocumented immigrant, he or she is not caught. However your friend goes on having a difficult time living in Japan.

Undocumented immigrants cannot contact with police, because it means they take a risk that they are caught. I will tell you about some complex case. First one is a car and a motorbike crashed on a street in Japan, and a man was watching. Both drivers were injured seriously and there is no person without two drivers and a man around there. In usual way, a man should call 119 and 110, and report the accident to police. However, the man was an undocumented immigrant. If you are the man, what can you do? Can you contact with police and help two drivers? If I am an undocumented immigrant, I cannot call 110. I fear that I am arrested. In another case, a woman was swindled a lot of money by swindler. She noticed that was a criminal act, butshe only accepted it with resignationbecause she was an undocumented immigrants. Of course, she could not consult police.

Like the first example, undocumented immigrants cannot notify accidents. It is not good in emergency. Two injured drivers may pass away. Because of undocumented immigrants, crimes may increase in Japan like the second example. She cannot report to police whatever she suffer, so people can bully her, steal her things, and use violence on her. Crimes whose targets are undocumented immigrants cannot stop and it will spread. We have to think how protect immigrants and the system that undocumented immigrants become formal immigrants as many as possible.

by Ayako Ueda