Describing itself as “a compendium of stories, snapshots of foreigners and mixed-race people in Japan,” Tokyo Interlopers focuses on immigrant workers, trainees, international students, expats, visitors and others who live in Japan's capital city.
Founded by Isaac “Tac” Aquino, Tokyo Interlopers regular publishes short profiles and interviews of people from a variety of backgrounds are regularly published on the Tokyo Interlopers website, and are then shared with over 10,000 followers on Facebook, and on Instagram and Twitter. Shorter, self-contained profiles are also shared on social media as well:
“I work the night shift at a convenience store. I show up for work at 10 pm then clock out in the morning at 6 am. But because they can't hire young Japanese people, lately there are more foreigners like myself doing this kind of job in Japan. Not gonna lie, it's tough.“ pic.twitter.com/gwJ7iUKxfu
— Tokyo Interlopers (@tokyointerloper) June 9, 2019
Foreign residents continue to transform Tokyo into a multicultural, multi-ethnic city. It's estimated that people from more than 180 countries reside in the Tokyo metropolitan region, and that one in eight residents of Shinjuku, large ward in central Tokyo, are foreign nationals. Some of their stories are happy, while other interviewees share some of the challenges they experience as they reside in Japan.
“I'm a refugee from Sri Lanka. I can't tell you why I'm here but I've been in Japan for more than two years now. 私はスリランカから来たの難民です。詳しい事は言えないが、日本には2年以上住んでいます。 pic.twitter.com/lu3FZfIHCr
— Tokyo Interlopers (@tokyointerloper) August 5, 2019
Tokyo Interlopers also pays special attention to the stories of Japanese women who must deal with challenging working environments or grueling commutes.
“…in Japan, a lot of people work until almost midnight every day. That’s just the culture, especially in a male-dominated workplace with mostly engineers. And this is why a lot of Japanese women quit their jobs after giving birth.” https://t.co/BtaWEFsm57 pic.twitter.com/VNf1GhYr2x
— Tokyo Interlopers (@tokyointerloper) August 9, 2019
The full archive of Tokyo Interlopers profiles provides a fascinating glimpse of life in the Japanese metropolis from a foreign perspective. If you live in Tokyo, you can also share your own story via the Tokyo Interlopers contact page.