Personal History__


―Could you tell us about your family?
There's three of us-- My wife and I, plus our two year old son.

―When did you move to Koganecho?
In May 2006. We moved from Yokohama's Sakae Ward to an apartment building along the main road in Koganecho and commute to Kawasaki for work.

―So, you've been living in Koganecho for going on 5 years. Do you often participate in the neighborhood events and activities, like today's Mochitsuki Party?
Yes, I guess I do. For example, I'm part of the neighborhood association, and take part in events like the Sanma Fish Fry, the vegetable market, and the Cherry Blossom Festival.

―Would you say it was fairly easy to begin participating in the neighborhood association activities?
Yes, definitely.

Community Farmer's Market

―It's often difficult for newcomers to become part of that kind of community network in their new neighborhood... did you experience any trouble with that?
Not really. Some of the other people I knew in my apartment building were already members and I also meet people by going to the festivals and such. As long as you get out and participate in the events and activities like that, it's pretty easy to get to know people around the same age in the community.

Festival of Neighbors, September 26, 2010. Main dish of the day was fresh sanma.

―And who are the woman sitting next to you eating mochi?
Oh, they live in the same apartment building as me.
―When you moved to Koganecho in 2006, did you take into consideration the news about the prostitution clean-up efforts?
Yes, I did somewhat, but Koganecho was extremely convenient area for commuting and getting around. On top of that, shopping is really easy to do in Isezakicho's shopping street and I can drive to Honmoku and Totsuka if I want without a problem.

―So, Koganecho's history and the problems of this area didn't have a major influence on your decision when you were looking to move?
I mean, I was definitely a little surprised at first. For example, in the beginning when I wanted to go out and get a drink nearby, there were times when I felt uneasy walking around at night. But, I've gotten used to it and now don't even think twice about it. There are certainly still some of those suspicious people around, but I think the situation has gotten way better compared to before.

―More people like yourself, young couples with little kids, have been coming into the area... Do you ever go out and do things with other families like yours?
Hmm, not really at this moment. There aren't any places for kids play around here, so it's a little hard to do that.

―What kind of town do you want Koganecho to become in the future?
My wish is that the town will be a safe and sound place to live. There are still a few rough areas left in Koganecho. Also, I want to see more parks in the area; there needs to be places where kids can play. The other kids from our apartment building, you know, they have to go out and play in the street because there's no other place. If they do want to go to a proper area to play, they have to make the trek up the hill in Nogeyama. That's the one thing that's especially lacking in the neighborhood, so I would really like to see some parks get built.

Data: 17.01.2011
Interview with Mr.Suzuki
Interviewed by Takahiro Masuzaki, Marina Hiratsuka

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