Happy New Year! As usual, I’m wearing Japanese kimono for the annual New Year cosplay.

Last year, we held a general meeting in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Its theme was “Making Society Starting from Private Things.” The idea to hold this symposium started from It’s Time to Talk about Social Activism, a book written and edited by Ms. Yuko Tanaka, president of Hosei University. The symposium discussed how we take the first step, instead of just complaining about the world. The committee was comprised of young people in their 20s, and we also had many young participants. So, the event turned out to be a vibrant gathering.

But Hokkaido is far and some people couldn’t attend, so we also had some large events in Tokyo. One such event was titled “Finance and the Old-Age of Single People.” We invited professionals such as certified accountants, tax accountants, and financial planners who provided advice on how to live in old-age at ease.

Things are more serious for the second baby boom generation than the baby boom generation themselves. Ms. Karin Amamiya and I co-authored a book, and we were able to hold another symposium based on the book, which was titled “Finance and the Old-Age of Baby Boomers” with help by Toyo Gakuen University.

You probably know WAN has an archive for mini publications. We thought it would be a waste to have it sit unused, and that they should be shared and read by people. So we held another event called “Women in the Home Front of War Met by Grandchildren” where people in their 40s, 30s, and 20s were encouraged to read mini publications of the past. In this event, I was truly impressed with the following comment by Mr. Mikio Kano: “War does not come looking like it.” This event served as a wonderful place where the different generational cultures of grandchildren and grandparents could communicate with each other.

Professor Sudo’s new lecture series started in Nagoya. Both my lecture series (in Tokyo) and Professor Sudo’s series are lively and going very well.

As you might have noticed, videos are frequently uploaded in our website these days. WAN now has talented people who move around taking videos and editing them. WAN is well supported by these volunteers.

When I went outside of Japan several times last year, I handed people copies of our brochure in English. To my surprise, an increasing number of people told me they knew and looked at our website. I heard that the increase of views of our website comes from abroad, which means that WAN is increasingly recognized internationally.

I am also truly happy that WAN, WAN Fund, and other various projects worked together to support various activities.

The next WAN general meeting will be held at Yokohama Prefectural Center for Gender Equality in Totsuka Ward of Yokohama. The theme is “Women’s Activities Have Changed Society: NPO Responds to Citizen’s Urgent Needs.” Yokohama is an advanced area in terms of NPOs. Women who are very accomplished and have sparked change in the area will come to the event. This year, WAN is more energetic than ever. Let’s meet in Yokohama on May 19.

The original video in Japanese can be seen here