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16 October 2014

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Moshi Moshi Mitchell

By Lowri Mitchell
September 2002, Aberystwyth
A digital story from Capture Wales

The challenge in Japan

Listen to Lowri's story as she faces the challenge of working in a different culture and becomes best friends with two middle aged men.

"Moshi, moshi, Mitchell. My first memory of spending time with Mr Condo, Mr Hotcake and Cathy was in a karaoke bar in Katoka. I remember the time clearly - two married and middle aged men from Japan and two young girls, one from Wales and one from England singing a selection of Japanese and English songs in one of the many small rooms in the building. The opening song was "Green, Green Grass of Home" which was sung by Mr Hotcake. The second was "Dancing Queen" and I offered to sing. Without a word of Japanese with us two and only a little English from them, who would have thought we would have been able to communicate in anyway but we did.

Once every fortnight I felt like a queen as we both got escorted in a black limousine to the restaurant and then on to the karaoke centre. Japanese life is quite unique. A totally different culture and behaviour. There working as a group is important and to ensure harmony within that group. At home I feel that this isn't important to us but to be individual and open. When I finished my year in Japan, I had a present from Mr Hotcake and Mr Condo - a small black cat, but not a real one. I often look at the cat today and I think back to the four of us together in the karaoke bar. Even though I am home, there is still part of me out there. Jane, Mr Condo, Matanea, Mr Hotcake."

Lowri Mitchell

What's your background Lowri?
I am originally from Aberystwyth, but I am currently studying a post-graduate course in Cardiff University to be a social worker. I enjoy travelling and I have a keen interest in different cultures across the world, especially in the Middle East.

What's your story about?
My story is about my friendship with Mr. Kondo, Mr. Hotcake and Cathy. The main part of the story is situated in a karaoke bar in Kottoka, a small town in the north west of Japan.

Why did you choose to tell this particular story?
I wanted people to see how unique and important this friendship was between the four of us. It was a very odd friendship - but we soon realised that, through basic communication, we were the best of friends.

What was it like creating your own digital story?
A good and valuable experience. I learnt a lot about the software and how to create my own mini-movie. It was a very enjoyable experience.

Your comments

"Communicating these days should be easy - we have everything we need- the internet, mobile phones etc. But without a common language, we had to get back to the basics - all we shared was the common desire to understand and learn from each other. It was a unique, and fantastic experience. I am proud to have shared it with Lowri. Love you Lowri always. Cathyxxx " Catherine Phillips, Kotooka town, Japan.

"I really enjoyed listening to Lowri's story. It is a shame that there are so few people prepared to embrace a diversity of cultures. Very interesting indeed!" Betsy, Cardiff.

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