In September 2018, Ohanasi Kagawa was born with the fundamental vitality of Aki’s frustration, despair, and discouragement as the representative of Ohanasi Kagawa, but
a major turning point came in June 2020. It was June 2020 when COVID-19 began to spread in the United States, where I was living at the time, and many people were forced to be under house arrest.
I wondered, “What can I do now that everyone is stuck in their homes and the mood is so gloomy?”
As I was thinking about it, an idea came to my mind:
“Yes, let’s start Ohanasi Kagawa online!”
And so, with five Japanese friends and English speakers, we held our first Ohanasi Kagawa online event via Zoom.
After that, when we announced the event in the U.S., many American learners of Japanese said, “I want to participate, too!” I realized that so many people in the U.S. were eager to talk with Japanese people.
And one question remained in my mind.
While many people in Japan, like myself, strongly desire to speak English with people from all over the world, many people in the world also desire to speak Japanese with people from Japan.
“Why is there no place where people from Japan and the rest of the world, who are seeking each other out, can connect with each other in a safe and easy environment?”
People who have been seeking each other but have been unable to meet can now meet online, transcending national borders!
With this conviction, we have continued to hold events, and in less than a year, more than 2,000 participants from over 50 countries have joined Ohanasi Kagawa’s events.
I saw great potential in Ohanasi Kagawa as a platform to connect people who love Japan and Japan-loving people around the world.