• Tokyo


the Jan. 30 article “Indonesian caregivers start work at nursing homes”: I am a caregiver myself, having taken the “level 2” lessons. I have two grown boys, live with my husband, and have lived in Japan for more than 20 years. I have never learned the language, but can read hiragana and write all my notes in romaji. My main job is zaitaku enjo (at-home care).

I have been lucky these six years in that I’ve met graceful families and care managers who have accepted my failures to read and write kanji. Caregiving comes from the heart. What’s important is that I make my client smile and give her hope and love. Caregiving is not about having to receive high pay; it’s a job more from the heart. No one can do a care job if he or she doesn’t have the feeling of love and sympathy and advocacy.

I’ve learned the culture and the conservatism of the Japanese mind, have encountered lots of delicate situations and dealt with them skillfully because of my long experience in dealing with Japanese friends and people around me. I prepare meals, and sometimes my own menu is appreciated. I’m so lucky to have been accepted for what I do — not because I know kanji, etc. We all have to help one another and be treated equally. There are always solutions to problems.

maria fujisawa

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