Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Feeding the homeless in Asakusa.

Yesterday was an unexpectedly long day. I had class from 9am and didn't get back home till 11:30pm, plus the night before I only had 3 hours of sleep lol.

I went to my final class and I ended up going to the field trip to Asakusa to field the homeless.

I swear, my Buddism and Social Suffering class is probably the only class I got the most out of when it comes to learning. And that is out of all the classes I've taken at Keio. This teacher really took an effort to make the most of his connects and really have his students experience things first hand.

I didn't have to go on this field trip since I already went to the one in Kamakura but I thought this would be a good experience, and I was peer pressured by my friends and the teacher lol.

The people at the temple were really nice though. We made onigiri to give to the homeless. It was lots of fun, and I got to sample it when the rice was nice and warm.

We introduced ourselves and talked to the other people who were volunteering. They do this twice a month, on Mondays. They usually chant before they head out. Unfortunately, I forgot what sect of Buddhism they are part of.

I headed out with my friend Tim, another classmate, and 3 Japanese people that do this regularly. We went along the Sumida river. There were many houses that the homeless built.

What these people are called are ひとさじの会 (hitosaji no kai) and they usually knock on the houses and give them food, tea, and ask them if there is any medicine they need and give it to them.

Unfortunately, quite a few of the houses were empty because they had been cleared out by the cops already. But some where still there. We did this for a few hours or so.

The homeless people were really kind, and nice to talk to. One of them gave us a omiyage from Chiba, he was one of the ones who had a job but it still was not going well.

I really enjoyed this experience. Homelessness is definitely something people overlook in Japan, they just don't bother with it. To be honest, I don't think about it much either but after this, I definitely want to look more into it.

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