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Individual Humanity (個人の人間性)


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This was written as homework by one of my Saturday students, Akane. I was very moved by this story. It shows how much a smile and a small act of kindness can have a big effect. What a lovely story, thank you Akane!

"Individual Humanity"

My North Korean friend "Mrs Kim" runs a yakiniku restaurant in my neighborhood. I want to talk about her son, "Chance”.

My 2nd son, "Sho”, played soccer when he was in junior high school, in a local soccer league. One year there was no keeper for the soccer team one year above him, so Sho decided to play keeper with a team where players were one year older than him.

Unfortunately he had trouble fitting in. He always spent break time alone. He looked lonely, and I was watching it from a distance, unable to help.

One day, "Chance" joined the team. There was no soccer team for the North Korean school he attended, so he wanted to play in a local league.

He really wanted to play soccer in Japan, and had been trying to get into a league for a whole year already, but he was refused because of his nationality. Finally, he was able to join Sho’s team.

He experienced discrimination and bullying, and I was guilty of that too. I didn't want to have relations with North Koreans, because I was hearing negative news about North Korea everyday.

Chance changed my feelings.

Chance was always smiling and friendly to Sho, who was alone during break time. He had a very kind smile. One day during break time, I saw Chance give Sho some Korean seaweed rolls.

"Chance is a really kind person", I thought. So I’m ashamed of myself and I felt like an idiot for being prejudiced. We shouldn’t discriminate against people. The most important thing is individual humanity.

Anyway, I instantly became a fan of Chance. His parents were busy on weekends, and couldn't come to watch the matches. So I decided to film all of their games, and send photos to Chance's parents.

Also, at the end of the season, Sho and I made a slide show and gave it to them.

Since then, we have been very close with the Kim family.




Summer 2020


Shin Minsup
Shin Minsup
Jul 05, 2020

I’ve never met North Koreans.

I think there are more opportunities to meet North Koreans in Japan than in Korea. If we meet in person, it will be a very rare and valuable experience as a Korean.


I was really touched and I got more motivated to study English.

Thanks Akane-さん🤗

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