FOOD FOR THOUGHT BLOG | How I Met Heart & Parcel, by Aya Yoshitomi

Nov 3, 2021

FOOD FOR THOUGHT BLOG | How I Met Heart & Parcel, by Aya Yoshitomi


How I met Heart & Parcel

I’d like to tell you how I met with Heart & Parcel at first… You know, there are many street papers selling in the world. In Japan, the Big Issue Japan started their work in 2003. The company was established by people who were inspired by the Big Issue in England.

I’ve been reading the Big Issue Japan for over 10 years. Now my family has moved to our present small town in Shikoku island in western Japan and there isn’t anyone who sells it. So I subscribed to the Big Issue Japan and I receive it by post.

At the beginning of this year, I opened the magazine… and found the article translated from the Big Issue UK. It introduced the activity of the Heart & Parcel and it showed me their cookbook. I love cooking especially ethnic dishes and studying English, so I checked the website and often visit there.

One day, I found the notice of the online event on International Women’s Day. My English was not very good and I hesitated to participate at first. I might not catch what other participants say… what should I do?  But my curiosity made me take a stab! It was a big try for me.

And the event was very fun and interesting. I didn’t understand all of them, but the presenters prepared many pictures and figures to help us understand histories and cultures and they helped me to understand. It was very exciting to take part in the event with people from many different countries especially the Middle East.

There are very few people from abroad in my town. But my experience had influenced my 11-year-old daughter and she checked out a children’s book and comic books about Muslims. Thanks to the internet techniques and Heart & Parcel, I reopened my eyes and my daughter knew the variety of the world.

After that, I sometimes join the classes of Heart & Parcel and have been learning English. And I have become a stockist of Heart & Parcel’s cookbook and sell it at my small bookstore. I have submitted this experience to the Big Issue Japan and had it published! And I gave one cookbook to my favorite and popular culinary creator Nahomi Edamoto who is the joint representative of the Big Issue Japan Fund. She thought highly of the book.

I feel the wonder of encounters and the importance of stepping out of one’s comfort zone.

By Aya Yoshitomi, Japan

The Big Issue Japan,

Heart & Parcel