“Learn for yourself”: Interview with Ms. Mikiko Morisaki, Representative of “Kushiro Mocha Women’s Project”

By Haruka Nakajima

 At Voice Up Japan, we interviewed Ms. Mikiko Morisaki, the representative and career counselor of “MOKA. (Kushiro Mocha Women’s Project)”. Mr. Morisaki established the “Kushiro Mocha Women’s Project” in 2011 and “MOKA. Co., Ltd.” in 2017, which includes the project. Based in Kushiro City, Hokkaido, we provide career support for women. Mr. Morisaki’s thoughts are spelled out on the homepage, “I want to create a place where you can participate in any position, discover yourself while talking with your friends, come up with some ideas, and take steps to work.” There is. There are a wide variety of activities, such as running the “Moka’s school” course to think about one’s personality and connect it to a career, and creating employment with the towel and scrubbing brush “Kushiro fishing net series” using fishing nets. This time, we interviewed about the background of the establishment of the group, the contents of activities and the efforts unique to Kushiro City.

The beginning of “Kushiro Mocha Women’s Project”

 The Kushiro Mocha Women’s Project, which was triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake, celebrated its 10th anniversary in May. Mr. Morisaki was on an individual consultation at Hello Work at that time.

“If anything, I had been doing individual consultations for women for a long time. There was the Great East Japan Earthquake on the way, and after the earthquake, I felt that everyone was looking down. In a so-called depressed state. People who came were also conspicuous. I felt that it would not affect children very much. At the same time, 10 years ago, it was difficult for companies to hire women with small children, or in their 20s. When it’s about halfway through, it’s hard to hire because I don’t know when to get married and have children.

Under such circumstances, he started the “Kushiro Mocha Women’s Project”.

“I often work with women who are raising children and those who are wondering what to do to go one step further. Handicrafts, sweets, and children’s clothing that they make. We hold events such as selling, and we invite university teachers to learn about gender equality, gender, SDGs, and LGBT. We are working on the theme of “learning.”

About Moka’s school

“Originally, it started in 2014 as a business of Kushiro City and has been coming for the past 7 years. It is not a so-called seminar once or twice, but a school format. It is a premise. About two to two and a half months, at first, take responsibility for your own words such as self-introduction and self-introduction, listen to people’s words properly, and with your own mind I am training to think. By all means, women = childcare and nursing care are still involved. That is another problem, but even so, I think that I should look at myself properly and live as “I”. I am learning with the theme. While learning the importance of disseminating information, I also try to experience the instructor in the school and have more and more ideas “I want to hear the story of such a person”. , It is a course that we make ourselves. (Content) I will decide for the time being, but after that, I will ask the students to say “I want to do this kind of thing” and have them manage it independently as much as possible. Eventually, we will hold a presentation tournament and announce in front of everyone that “I am like this” and “I will do this in the future”. At first, I can not talk in front of people There are many people, but in the end, most of them talk openly. “

What is important is “to send as me”. Currently, more and more companies and municipalities are making efforts to “gender balance” and “close the gender gap”, but what is hindering gender balance? Mr. Morisaki raises the issue of consciousness.

“The country is making big companies make various efforts to close the gender gap. However, women’s feelings cannot catch up with it. It may be even more so because it is a local city, but so-called” I don’t mind sitting down. I felt that there were so many feelings. I feel that the number of people who think that “women should also work in society” is increasing. However, it seems that (women) are being tied up by themselves at home. I think that’s the way of thinking that I learned from my parents’ generation and the previous generation in home education without knowing it. Another thing I’m focusing on is career education. School is not the only place for career education, and I think it is very important to have career education at home until about 3 years old. For that purpose, I really feel that it is necessary to revise the mother’s way of thinking little by little. So I train myself to speak. You have to be very responsible for speaking in your own words. I’ve always told the theme that people who think and live in that way are probably not happy.
 Japanese people are still not good at expressing themselves. I feel that being far behind the world is linked to the Gender Gap Index. Such training has not been done at home. Isn’t it impossible to say that you should suddenly go to school and then do it, or that you should look at your back and remember after becoming a member of society? Hobbies and interests, gathering together and having fun conversations. Under such circumstances, I wish there was a shape that I could wear without knowing it. I think it will be passed on to the children. “

Events and activities at Moka’s school also make use of their respective interests and experiences. We also asked about the contents of the events so far and the students.

“Some of the school students were doing” stroller dance, “where mothers danced while carrying their children in strollers. While doing that (in other prefectures), they were transferred to Kushiro. At Moka’s school, I always do career counseling more than three times, but when (stroller dance) came out, I said, “Let’s do it in Kushiro.” First, tell everyone in the school. I got it and started a class by renting a hall. There was a
nutritionist who hadn’t done it for a while but wanted to do something specializing in allergies, so I decided to do it at Moka’s school. In a city of just the right size like Kushiro, you can connect with a long-established cake shop, so you can serve cakes that you can eat even if you are allergic. “

Connecting people who came by transfer with local people

Even after graduating from Moka’s school, participants continue to work freely through SNS and other media.

“At the beginning of the establishment, I was running by collecting membership fees, but I couldn’t help but be tied up. If so, I could go in and out freely. It ’s a relationship that you can do. ”

“For the past few years, many people have been transferred by their husbands. Since Hokkaido is large, there are many transfers within Hokkaido, and there are quite a few people who are transferred all over Japan. Then, in two to three years, my husband will be transferred. Sometimes I’m transferred, but now I don’t feel like I’m so far away even if I go far away, such as connecting with SNS. I also support women’s entrepreneurship, but for example, to start a business However, I would like you to input into yourself that it started in Hokkaido while being stimulated by the people I met in Hokkaido. Phases 5 and 6 of what started from scratch in Hokkaido If you bring it to a different land, you can start from about 1 or 2 instead of starting from scratch. For
 fishing net towels, tourists can bring them back as souvenirs all over Japan. I hope that it will be disseminated to people who will be transferred to Hokkaido, so I will create an opportunity to get to know Kushiro. I always say that I want to do it as a collaborative work, a part that can be used well by each other. “

People who visited due to such transfers are said to have influenced the city’s efforts.

“People who come by relocation are looking at various areas, and they say,’Kushiro is late here.’ (Tell me).
For example, when you move to Kushiro, the address alone is not enough. I have no idea where or what is there. I tried to see it on the Kushiro City website, but a person who said that I couldn’t get any information happened to come as a Moka’s school student. It was a place for an elementary school or kindergarten. I don’t know where the supermarket is from the outside, so they started sending it about three years ago. I still send it on Twitter and Instagram. This time, it’s an information magazine for raising children. As I can publish it at a local newspaper company. I am a local, so I have a connection with a local company for a long time, but a transfer person has no connection in that sense. My role is to connect it well. With the
publication of the child-rearing information magazine, the group has also received attention from the city. For example, it is called by the city’s liaison conference from the perspective of women raising children, young women, and those who have moved. With that kind of feeling, the voice has become quite strong, and the city side has often listened to it. For example, making a children’s omelet exchange table in the shared toilet in the city, for people who have nothing to do with it It may be a very small thing, but the city is starting to respond to something very big for the parties. “

How it will be done in the future

Finally, we asked about future efforts.

“It’s an opportunity to learn. I’m so busy with my daily life that I don’t realize that I’m learning. It’s okay to learn something for my child or study cooking for my family. However, I will tell you that “as a person, I will learn what I want to do”. I am telling you that my life is my own and I want to take good care of my life. “

Through the activities of the “Kushiro Mocha Women’s Project,” Morisaki conveys “valuing one’s life and way of thinking.”

Depopulation and gender gaps are often addressed as “local” issues. However, the “Kushiro Mocha Women’s Project” takes advantage of the characteristics of Kushiro City and connects people who have been transferred and locals to create opportunities for each to take on the challenge.

MOKA. Co., Ltd. (Kushiro Mocha Women’s Project) Homepage

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