Independent Living for People with Disabilities began today at Hachioji Human Care Association. The three of us, Siew Chin, Harry and me have learnt the basics during the Independent Living Workshop in September. Today our knowledge about the origin and philosophy of Independent Living grew deeper with detailed explanation by Ms. Nakahara, Mr. Tsukada and Ms. Akiyama.
Ms. Nakahara introduced us to the History of Welfare for PWD in Japan. Mr. Tsukada shared with us the Concept of Independence, History of Human Care Association. Ms. Akiyama related the History of Independent Living Movement in US and Japan. Those early days of Independent Living movements in USA and Japan will be the model that will be used to build a similar movement in Malaysia.
At the end of the day, we were treated to a welcoming party by the Human Care Association. Among those who attended were Ms. Nakahara, Secretary-General of Human Care Association; Ms. Hiroko Akiyama, Director of Hino Independent Living Centre, Ms. Aiko Tsutsumi, Vice-President of Machida Human Network; Mr. Yoshiaki Tsukada, Peer Counsellor, Ms. Yuki Maejima and Mr. Hiroaki Furihata. We were given a choice of sukiyaki or shabu shabu.
I had wanted to try sukiyaki but the soup base smelt strongly of soy sauce and opted for shabu shabu. The thinly sliced beef fascinated me but red meat is taboo food. Instead, I ate vegetables and more vegetables. That was my first taste of authentic Japanese food other than supermarket sushis. It was a very interesting evening sharing with Mr. Tsukada and Mr. Furihata about Malaysia and the concept of Independent Living that is to be applied in Penang.