A group of Hai Phong female trainees working in OTARU SUMIYOSHI, Japan, made a good impression on the local residents for practicing taiso radio with neighbors every day. This article tells a story recently published on Hokkaido Shimbun newspaper. Follow the content in the translation below.
Since that day when the Vietnamese female trainees, 20 -30 years old, living around the area of Otaru Shrine, Sumiyoshi, Osaka, participates in group exercises with the elders here, this area seemed to have a fresher, more beautiful life.
The residents and trainees exchanged hand-made confectionery and travel gifts. These cultural exchanges helped strengthen their relationships. Mr. Sawada Katsumi (75 years old), sportswear business owner and organizer of RADIO work out, happily shared: “From the day when these Vietnamese trainees came here, it was like a priceless gift from a dream.”
Strong interaction with people around Otaru Shrine, Sumiyoshi
Trainee Le Thi Thanh Phuong, 25, from Hue, and three other friends came to Japan since June 2018 under a three-year internship program. After studying Japanese in Chiba Prefecture, since July 2018, Phuong moved to OTARU SUMIYOSHI area and worked in a suburban company speacialized in hospitality. Four Vietnamese trainees knew about the group exercise activities at SUMIYOSHI on June 1. While running before work, Phuong heard the music and dropped in to watch, then everyone invited. “Please, please. Every morning, you guys come here to work out with us.”
Since the four Vietnamese trainees came here, they have been always fun and full of life. Endo Sayoko, 77, had to leave her beloved husband because he died of a brain haemorrhage. In the winter, she also tried to work out even when it was snowing. She considered the four Vietnamese trainees as her beloved children.
Everyday, Endou would wait for Thanh Phuong’s group to come. If there is a cake or beverage, she would bring to them. In return, Phuong and her friends would also bring Bango cake, a homemade corn tortilla, and give it to Ms. Endou.
Working out for children at SUMIYOSHI Temple started in 1977 on summer vacation. Since 1985, this activity is held daily.
Every day, when the No. 1 exercise (10 minutes long) on NHK is broadcasted at 6:30, 20-25 people will participate in the exercise together. Most of them are from 70-80 years old.
They understood each other’s feelings of regret and sadness when their partner passed away, as well as their loneliness. People often visit each other. Mr. Sawada said: “Being here to interact with Vietnamese people is really a wonderful thing. At the moment, OTARU is facing a decline and aging in population so if there are many people moving to live here, it is really great for us”.
The Vietnamese trainees interacting with residents here is also a great thing. Phuong shared: “The people in OTARU are very kind.” Ha Thi Tham, 25, laughed and said, “Exercise is really fun because it helps the body relax.”
(*) This has been retitled by Hai Phong., Jsc.