As long as I remember, I have lived as an outsider. It was not my want or hope. When I moved to Osaka at four years old, I was picked on a lot because of my accent. I could not speak the Kansai dialect.

After a few years, I came back near Tokyo. I was not ostracized there but I also was not accepted. I felt that I was like a plastic bag fluttering on a tree in strong wind. Then I moved to Tokyo where my great-grandfather moved to four generations ago. For my father, Tokyo is his hometown, because he lived with my great-grandfather for a long time. But I could not feel that Tokyo was my hometown.

I always felt restless living in Tokyo. I was envious of other children who lived in their ancestral lands. I was like a balloon without a string. For me, Tokyo has no space for excluding and accepting. I mainly grew up in Tokyo. But for me, something exists but nobody exists in Tokyo as if it were a virtual or imaginary city.

I moved to Kyoto, and I behaved as an outsider to protect myself. People in Kyoto distinguish very clearly and preceisely where people come from. At least, this city has exclusion. Since I have moved to Mie, I have felt that I was not part of a social system, because it is a city-centered idea. It looks like the concept of the outsider cannot exist in Mie. Maybe it is because of the local ninja culture. The absence of the idea of an outsider makes me feel at ease.

But when I went to Himi which are my family roots, finally I became an insider. In fact, I am an outsider in Himi, but I felt that I was an insider. This is the first time I have felt this way. And it gave me a lot more than I imagined. I felt like I belonged.