Sunday, March 04, 2007

Meeting of Neighborhood

Sunday, March fourth, two thousand and seven

I have to attend a meeting tonight, that's going to be held for discussing local topics with my neighbors. A long time ago, maybe before World War 2, the Japanese government recommended citizens to make small local communities to help each other. The communities are called "Tonari-gumi(隣組)" in Japanese. If I translate the Japanese word into English, I would say "neighborhood communities or associations" At the time, many Japanese people tend to be very poor to prepare the World War. That's why they needed to help each other and the government recommended them to make the communities, I guess.
Anyway, the tradition is still existing, even though most Japanese people aren't as poor as they used to be, though. Basically, a neighborhood community consists of about 20 family units(households), so I have to be the leader of the group every 20 years. Next month I'm going to be the new leader, so I have to take over some chores from the current leader in the meeting held tonight. The leaders are called "Kumicyo(組長)" in Japanese, actually. Sounds kind of dangerous! Because the leaders of "Yakuza(やくざ) - Japanese Mafia" are also called "Kumicyo(組長)" as most Japanese people know. I'll be called "Kumicyo" from my neighbors for a while, even though I'm definitely a serious person, not a Yakuza as you know! Because it's my first time to be the leader, let me try and do it somehow or other, anyhow.

family unit(household): 世帯
take over: 引き継ぐ
somehow or other: 何とか

No comments: