Newspaper Cafe opens

Newspaper Cafe opens

On December 4, at community cafe Ji & Ba in Asato district of Naha, participants enjoyed the conversation through news articles.

December 11, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

The non-profit organization Okinawa Senior Association has started a community cafe called Ji & Ba in Asato district of Naha in which the participants promote exchange activities in the local community through their own projects. On December 4, the association opened the Newspaper Cafe as its first project. Thirteen participants ranging in age from 30s to 70s enjoyed discussing news articles and finding unexpected common ground through intergenerational exchange.

Aiming to create workplaces for the elderly, the association launched Minna no Chikara LLC and has been working on production and distribution of a lunch bag product. The association started a community cafe by leasing its kitchen and conference room to provide opportunities for the elderly and people of different generations to achieve what they want to do.

The association intends to sell handcrafted accessories and hold various workshops or events such as One-Day Chief, in which participants can become the cafe manager for a day.

In the Newspaper Cafe, Yukiyo Zaha, a reporter of the Ryukyu Shimpo who promotes the Newspapers in Education program, explained newspaper design, and the participants attempted to put together headlines. The participants divided themselves into groups, creating their own newspapers made up of articles they liked, and gave presentations about them. The participants enjoyed the company of other people creating their own newspapers.

Sixty-nine year-old Naha resident, Tamiko Higa, said, “This was the first time since I was at elementary school that I have cut out newspaper clippings and put articles together like this. I really enjoyed myself because the participants in a wide age range made me feel that the atmosphere in the cafe was open.” Thirty-seven year-old Naha resident, Shinpei Fukaya, said, “It was a great experience which made me realize that there are various viewpoints on things.”

The Newspaper Cafe is scheduled to be held every Tuesday. The executive director of the association, Tomoko Imaki said, “I was again amazed that the newspaper could make men and women of diverse occupations and ages, read articles and exchange opinions.”

For further details, call the Okinawa Senior Association at 098 (868) 7237, or access its blog at

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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