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March Communities and people

This is an abridged version of “Koho Yokohama Naka-ku Ban,” Naka Ward Office’s public relations magazine.Click here for the multilingual website of “Koho Yokohama City Edition”

Last updated date:2021/3/4

March Communities and people

Inquiries : Chiiki Katsudo-tanto (Community Activities Subdivision), Naka Ward Office Tel: 224-8131 Fax: 224-8215

Korei Shogai-kakari (Elderly and Disabled Support Section), Naka Ward Office Tel: 224-8161 Fax: 224-8159

Local communities, such as neighborhood associations and senior citizens’ clubs, are the gentle and warm bonds that bring people together. This month, we consider the importance of these bonds.

My local community and I

We spoke with two people who are active in their communities

Mr. Hideo Matsuzawa,
Chairman of Naka Ward Federation of Neighborhood Associations
Chairman of the Liaison Committee
Mr. Matsuzawa has been active in the community in many ways, serving as the former Chairman of the Naka Ward Senior Citizens’ Club and as Chairman of the District 2 Neighborhood Association. His hobby is growing wildflowers.

Mr. Hirotoshi Niwa,
Chairman of the Naka Ward Federation of Senior Citizens’ Clubs
Mr. Niwa has also served as Chairman of the Honmoku/Negishi District Neighborhood Association. He enjoys standing along school routes every morning and hearing children greeting him cheerfully.

The importance of building face-to-face relationships

Matsuzawa: In neighborhood associations, local residents deepen exchanges through activities that include watching out for one another and disaster prevention drills, as well as events such as festivals and rice cake pounding. I believe that the building of face-to-face relationships through interactions of this kind is an important role of neighborhood associations, so that people can help each other out in times of disaster or other emergencies.
Niwa: With the increasing number of elderly people in society, we hear more in the news about people who live alone and die at home without anyone knowing. Senior citizens’ clubs support the community through a range of activities, such as by talking to and providing counseling to elderly people living alone, as well as cleaning activities and watching over children.

Join in an event and have fun together!

Matsuzawa: I'm glad to see younger people participating in our events, as there aren’t so many opportunities for people from different generations to come together and meet one another.
Niwa: We try to make summer festivals into events that can be enjoyed by people from all generations by having children’s associations set up booths among other things. Unlike summer festivals, however, we are concerned at how not so many young people take part in disaster prevention drills. Some neighborhood associations also run a soup kitchen for participants, so I hope this encourages people to get involved.
Matsuzawa: If you are not sure about getting involved in community activities, I think it is a good idea to participate in community events first. It will give you a chance to get to know people in your neighborhood!
Niwa: That’s right. I think that participating in events will help you foster a fondness for your community. I am very happy when children who I have got to know through our activities greet me in the street.

Join a neighborhood association!

Neighborhood associations carry out a variety of activities to deepen friendships between people living in the same neighborhood, and to create a safe and secure community in which people can live comfortably. So why not join a neighborhood association and work together with the community?

What kind of activities are neighborhood associations involved in?

- Preparing for disasters
In order to be prepared for emergencies, neighborhood associations cooperate with the government to prepare for disasters, such as by conducting regular disaster drills and managing emergency stockpiles.

- Creating familiar places in the community where people can go and spend time
Neighborhood associations hold recreational activities such as festivals and club activities to provide opportunities for local people to get to know each other and spend time together.

- Support for raising children and watching over the elderly
Neighborhood associations provide support for child-rearing, work to promote good health, and watch over the elderly by holding child-rearing salons, meal gatherings for senior citizens who live alone, and other events.

- Community beautification activities
Neighborhood associations work to create a clean and livable community for all, such as by maintaining and managing garbage collection points, carrying out cleanup activities, and organizing community recycling groups.

- Crime prevention and traffic safety activities
Neighborhood associations work to ensure safety and security in the community, which includes running neighborhood crime prevention patrols, watching over children on their way to and from school, and other activities.

My neighborhood association and I

Growing to love your community more in the hope of handing it down to the next generation

Mr. Koichi Sato,
Chairman of Ishikawacho 2-chome Neighborhood Association
Mr. Sato also serves as Chairman of Hiragana Shotengai in Ishikawacho, and is working hard to connect neighborhood associations with shopping districts and bring back vitality to the community. He runs “Okonomiyaki Suzuya.”

- Young people also participate to help create a thriving community
Having held an event in the town’s shopping district, our neighborhood association and the shopping district began to work together, and formed a youth division. This youth division holds events such as rice cake pounding and Halloween lantern workshops for local children to enjoy. This has made it possible for people to build face-to-face relationships.
- A wish for children to have fond memories of their hometown
When I was a child, I had the opportunity to help with local events every year. I hope that the children will have many happy memories in this town. I believe that if you have such memories and a strong relationship with the community, you will still want to contribute to the community when you grow up, even if you move somewhere else. I hope that children will make many happy memories in this town, too.

Inquiries about neighborhood associations

Inquiries : Chiiki Katsudo-tanto (Community Activities Subdivision), Naka Ward Office Tel: 224-8131 Fax: 224-8215
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how to join a neighborhood association, if you are unsure where your neighborhood association is, or anything else related to neighborhood associations.
⇒ You can access a website to sign up for neighborhood associations here(外部サイト).

Join a senior citizens’ club!

Why not take up a hobby and enjoy making friends and improving your health?

My senior citizens’ club and I

A desire to create a place where people leave with a smile on their face and want to come back

Ms. Keiko Yagishi,
Shinsei Club
A member of the Shinsei Club, which is active in Kominatocho 2-chome and 3-chome, Ms. Yagishi has also served as the chairman of a neighborhood association and a welfare commissioner. With a desire to create a place where elderly people can go and spend time freely, she makes use of her own hobbies by teaching handicrafts to her fellow club members.

-Worried about elderly people who live alone
In my experience as a welfare commissioner, I felt that elderly people living alone needed someone to talk to, so I decided to create a place where they could come and spend time freely. Currently, I hold handicraft activities twice a month at the neighborhood association building. Please feel free to come and join in.
- Happy to see everyone’s smiling faces
When you are at home alone, you have no one to talk to and it can get you down. But everyone seems to be happy and cheerful when participating in these gatherings, which provide them with a chance to chat with their friends and share their daily worries and information.
- Just give it a try
There are many people who do not know how to make use of their interests and special skills. If so, please try joining a gathering such as a senior citizens’ club. Volunteering to teach is a great way to benefit yourself as well.

How do I join a senior citizens’ club?

Inquiries : Naka Ward Federation of Senior Citizens’ Clubs Office Tel/fax: 681-8480
There are 53 senior citizens’ clubs active in Naka Ward. The Naka Ward Federation of Senior Citizens’ Clubs will introduce you to clubs in your area, so please feel free to contact us.
⇒ You can find more information on senior citizens’ clubs on the Naka Ward website.

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