Nonohana-no-ie Children’s Home – Kisarazu City, Japan
Sunday 14 May by Neil Macdonald
All though the early part of 2006 there was the rumour that Scotland were going to be taking part in the Kirin Cup in Japan. Although I eventually decided there was enough strength in the rumour to justify booking up the trip which involved a return home via Australia.
Anyway, eventually Japan was confirmed, however by this stage with the Japanese based Tambers plus through one of them I had made contact with the British Embassy in Nagoya.
There were several choices of Charities I had in Japan including charities which gave holidays for terminally ill children.
However one had come out to me as very worthwhile cause, at the Nonohana-no-ie Children’s Home located in the outskirts of Kisarazu-City in Chiba which is near Tokyo. So I send an e-mail and another one but eventually ended up phoning them where I eventually made contact with Frank Ocampos.
Founded in 1984, Nonohana-no-ie Children’s Home is a government-supported children’s home and has provided a secure, home-like environment for hundreds of Japanese and non-Japanese children who are the victims of child abuse, neglect and other inhumane treatment. This is also considered to be a subject which is often swept under the carpet in Japan.
I was hoping to do the presentation on the Monday after the Japan v Scotland game, however Frank explained it would be a lot better if I came on the Sunday as the children would all be at School. So I made all the arrangements and off I went to Japan!!!!
On arrival at Japan disaster struck, I managed to lose the giant cheque and despite my best efforts to find it, it was gone. However, thanks to the helpful staff at a youth hostel in Kyoto I was able to make up another cheque on A4 paper. The second disaster, I had not realised how big Japanese railway stations were, so it was going to be awkward to meet up with anyone. At the end of the day it took me 30 minutes to find my bus stop. The third disaster was the night before Scotland had won the Kirin cup – I had to go to bed early whilst the rest of the fans were probably still celebrating while I was getting up. For me making the kids day was more important.
Anyway I made my way out to Kisarazu City after making my way through the maze known as the main train station in Tokyo and thanks to Hearts winning the Scottish cup, the only other people that were interested in going were still in bed. Don’t blame them being honest. I was greeted by Frank at the pick point and he took me to the home.
The presentation itself went very well, the Children made a special effort drawing various posters and getting a Scottish theme going out there. So I was shown round the home where I met a lot of the children then I was taken to the other building which house abused woman normally people who were non-Japanese who had married Japanese men and ended up being the victims of abuse.
Then I was guest of honour at a Scottish party they had held in my honour and gave me some posters they had drawn for me. Soon it was time to head back to Kisarazu City and Frank took me to a traditional fish market plus a little tour of Kisarazu City before saying my goodbyes to return to Tokyo.
name Nonohana-no-ie Children’s Home
location Kisarazu City, Japan
REPORT Neil McDonald