Tsuyoshi Nishioka is our meeting facilitator, and is also responsible for organizing the food booths that participate in our festival. He owns “YumeWoKatare”, a ramen shop that serves gargantuan servings with lots of noodles and lots of toppings. He is a literal ball of sunshine, a natural born leader, and makes our meetings enjoyable and productive. In the spirit of Yume, we would like to share his “dreams” surrounding Japan Festival with everyone.
For Tsuyoshi, Boston is a city full of unfufilled dreams and passions. “Boston is the city where I want to be able to make friends and colleagues that can all speak their minds and dreams freely in all 195 countries by the year of 2030 on this planet. I started my shop in the middle of a student-populated area, specifically Porter Square. I specifically wanted to give students, which are literal balloons filled with passion and dreams a space to have good food and share their dreams and their goals. The age of 21 is when most people start to experience hardships of being an actual adult, see reality for what it is and lose hope in the world. It’s when people start to break from those passions and look for financial stability. I want to break that negative cycle of losing passion and hope. I want to support and keep the flames of that passion burning. This is why “YumeWoKatare” is called so – it literally means to speak of one’s dreams. I provide a space for good food and dreams to be shared, and to keep the cycle of positivity going.”
Japan Festival for Tsuyoshi is THE place for sharing Japanese culture. “I see Japan Festival and the people that make it happen are constantly evolving. I barely spoke English, knew no one, and I came to this city because I wanted to open a restaurant. Without the help of the surrounding Japanese community, there would be no place for dreams and good food and positivity to be shared amongst complete strangers. The festival is my way of saying thank you and showing gratitude to the incredibly warm and welcoming Boston community as a whole. I want the festival to be a catalyst in bringing the Japanese community together further, not just between the people, but through various organizations and working closely with the Consulate General of Japan in Boston, as well as students, the Japanese STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) community, people involved in finances or are local business owners; all in order to create the strongest possible sense of community. I want to be able to embrace my Japanese roots while still feeling at home here in Boston. With that strong community, I want to make Japan Festival Boston happen for the next century-becoming a deep rooted tradition for not only our generation to enjoy, but also for our children and grand children to enjoy. We want to bring a bigger, better festival every year, and I believe that in order to be able to have a festival tradition that continues for a century needs team members that are having fun throughout the whole process. We are a group with one goal: to bring to Boston the Japanese festival culture, and the subtle nuances including modesty and mannerly conduct, as well as discipline will only help that experience be more real for our audience. My goal as facilitator is to bring positive energy to the planning stages, and push the team to our limits to bring the best experience to you.”
Tsuyoshi is also the food booth manager. He is responsible for completing, collecting, and submitting paperwork for licenses, and is also curates vendors from outside Boston to bring more Japanese food culture to you. He’s also working to find a solution to the super long lines that have been a persisting issue through out the years.
I love Japan. I want to share my love for Japan with you. Japan is my home and I am now living here in your home, Boston. I want to share with you all as many aspects of Japanese culture as I can!
As I translated this interview from Japanese, the passion and the positivity that comes from Tsuyoshi’s writing is overwhelming – and definitely appreciate having someone so positive on a day to day basis as our meeting facilitator, it gives me hope that the festival will be successful and we’ll be able to share more dreams, passion, and great food and culture. – Kei