Over the last half century, Japan has become an economic and technological mega center in Asia, transforming from a once homogeneous nation to a one that diverse cultures and ethnicities call home.
This transition has not been without its challenges.
Japan treasures its rich culture and heritage that make the small island nation distinct, and many gaijins, or foreigners, have a hard time finding a place to fit.
The Global Peace Foundation (GPF), with its perspective that all humanity is connected as one family under God, beyond nationality, ethnicity, race and religion has become a natural player in cultivating relationships between native and immigrant communities in Japan.
Most recently, Global Peace Foundation joined with partners to host the first Multicultural One Family Festival in Tokyo’s Hibiya Park on August 15-16, 2015. International communities from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Philippines, Korea, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Uzbekistan, Turkey and many others joined to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the human race.
Locals came out to taste international food, watch traditional performances and visit booths to interact with unique cultural displays. The process of meeting neighbors from other cultures and exchanging stories brought the community closer together and elevated a mutual understanding of the multi-faceted rich culture Japan now hosts.
It also showcased the newly commissioned “One Dream One Korea” song, which was featured at festivals around the world to commemorate the end of World War II, the subsequent liberation and division of Korea, and highlight the national desire for re-unification.
One participant reflected on the emotionally significant moment, “The One Korea song had me bawling. It’s great and has the power to move people. Even my sister, who doesn’t understand the lyrics, felt the transformative effect.”
At the conclusion of the celebration the public sang together “Colors of the Human Race” by Kirari, a J-Pop artist known for her song "Last Piece."
Global Peace Foundation and its partners are addressing the growing need for social cohesion in Japan by promoting shared values that tie together native Japanese and international communities.
One person, one step and one heart at a time, the cultural tapestry of Japan is evolving into something deeper and richer. It is being enhanced with the integration of the many cultures of the human family. From a homogenous island nation to a nation with a rich diversity,