When I felt that my experiences as a returnee were useful in my work

When I was a teacher at a high school in Japan, I had the opportunity to be the homeroom teacher of a returnee student. Because I understand the struggle of not being able to express myself with words, I wanted to help ease as much stress as I could from those who were in similar situations. I feel that people in Japan often approach those who don’t speak Japanese with a, “What’s wrong with them?” kind of attitude.

For example, sometimes the media picks up stories about the struggles of foreign employees working in convenience stores. When I personally approach them, I intentionally try not to give off the same kind of judgmental vibes. I’d had to struggle with not understanding Japanese as well, so when I was the homeroom teacher of the returnee student, I’d add the hiragana or Romanized readings to kanji, or try to explain in simpler words.