It has been several months since Mariia fled eastern Ukraine for Tokyo. In Japan, she has found physical safety and a daily routine, but emotional and mental well-being at times eludes her.
“It’s difficult to get used to the idea that my relatives in Ukraine have a different daily life than mine,” she says. “My worries now aren’t bombs or aircraft, and it’s difficult to switch to a normal life again.”
A young woman in her 20s, Mariia (who spoke on condition of being called only by her first name because of persecution issues relating to the war) attends a Japanese language school alongside another fellow Ukrainian student. Both are supported by Pathways Japan, a nonprofit that provides opportunities for refugees and evacuees to receive an education in Japan.