別れの季節に抱いた、”界隈性"を創出する決意 ~ Creating accessible communities in a variety of places. ~
Photo by Ema Shido
We had a party for our close friend Masa a few days ago at Waya.
(Photo by Ema Shido)
As soon as he graduated from university, he joined a company in Tokyo, and he was transferred to Sapporo a few months later. That was 2 and a half years ago.
He heard about Waya from a mutual friend, and came to visit us. Fast forward to a couple of days ago, and we (the entire community involved with Waya) found ourselves having developed a close friendship with him, having created so many memories, hanging out and throwing events together over those 2 years.
When he moved to Tokyo, he took a piece of each of our hearts with him.
As the fateful day approached, I wondered to myself, what have we done for him over this span of time? After the party, I thought of it.
During that train of thought, I got the picture that is used in this blog.
When I got this picture, I realized that what we gave him was a new place where he could meet new people and where he can come back anytime he wants.
He originally met most of the people in this picture at Waya. They all have spent so much time together as part of this community that they naturally get along really well.
Seeing this picture makes me so happy.
I believe that having a place like this, with a community always waiting with open arms to welcome you back anytime, is vital to happiness. In realizing that we managed to make such a place, I feel proud to be able to say I’m part of the company that built Waya and Yuyu.
It is a bit of an abstract concept, referred to as “Kaiwai-sei” in Japanese. I refer to it as an “accessible community.” Essentially, I feel happy to have created a place where anyone can come and go without any pressure - there is a measure of freedom that comes with access to such a place that provides a feeling of unmatched purity.
A simple example of an “Accessible Community” goes like so:
You are invited to a place, perhaps by a friend. They tell you, “I’m drinking here, so come join!”
When you get to that place, there are many people you know, and many people you do not know, and it doesn’t really matter either way.
Everyone drinks and talks together - there are no private booths and the like. You end up talking to people you’d previously never met. Perhaps you find that you have similar interests, or you just get along well. You end up setting up meetings with some of these people, and eventually are close enough to be considered friends. If you really enjoy yourself, you might even invite other friends who have never been to this place.
This process continues, albeit at a slow pace, and the community gradually grows.
People who are part of this community don’t necessarily hang out at the original spot - it is more like a base from which to make various moves from.
Finally, you have a place in this specific town where you can go at anytime without notice and meet many people, growing your community bit by bit.
This can be considered an accessible community. My hope is that such a concept spreads to the point that it is a common phrase, much like it already is in Japan.
We are of the belief that if we make such accessible communities in a variety of places, we could further enrich the lives of many people. Ideally, all these communities are connected in such a way that you can go to any other place that contains one, and simply partake as a member of that community at your own pace - in other words, they are accessible. Our image is one in which we have so many of these small communities, which we manage to create by making a base space where people can originally gather (a beating heart of sorts), to the extent that people can simply go from place to place with the ease of mind that there is a large family waiting for them. I’ve always appreciated Waya as one such place, but when Masa left to Tokyo, I resolved to strive for the creation of such places everywhere.
I eagerly await the day my friend comes back to visit, so that I, along with the rest of our community, can welcome him home.