Ephrem Haile is a accustomed name and face in Tokyo and Japan as a whole. Featured on a cardinal of television shows and documentary programs in Japan, Ephrem has absolutely been the face of Ethiopian association in Japan for over a decade.
His latest assignment is the better yet with a accepted Japanese television actor Kazuyoshi Morita aka Mr. Tamori featuring Ephrem and his comfortable Ethiopian restaurant in Tokyo on the former’s late-night array actualization the “Tamori Club”. Apparently, the actualization is actual accepted and one of the longest active in Japan.
Before that, Ephrem’s claimed activity was additionally a focus of addition widely-circulated TV documentary apropos clearing issues: Proof of Life. This 28 minute documentary which aired on the Japanese accessible anchorperson NHK basically did an exposé on the Japanese clearing arrangement through the trials of African migrants like Ephrem and added Ethiopians active in Tokyo.
Making the move to the far eastern nation in 2004, Ephrem has lived and formed in Japan for over 15 years. Today, he is affiliated to Tibebe and is a further of a boy and girl, whom he is adopting in his new home. Nevertheless, his adventure has never been accessible to say the least.
According to the documentary, Ephrem’s clearing process, which is aimed at accepting his refugee cachet in Japan and a abiding residency, has abundantly remained in limbo for over a decade. Apparently, Ephrem has accepted to The Reporter aftermost anniversary that he is still in the action of accepting a refugee cachet in Japan afterwards all these years.
Currently, his clearing action has been ashore in so alleged Designated Activities affording him alone six-month renewable visa. Ephrem as able-bodied is alive and active in Japan on this six-month renewable accepting documentation. “In the past12 years, I was abiding to break in Japan alone for a aeon of six months at a time; this agency I can be beatific aback any time and that is actual demanding bearings to live,” he told The Reporter.
In fact, the Japanese clearing arrangement is one of the strictest in the world; and Ephrem is a active attestant to that. In this regard, the documentary sites the actuality that, in 2017, 1 out of 22 awaiting refugee cases involving Ethiopians has managed to get acceptance. Whereas in the aforementioned year, 20 out of 19000 refugee cases got accepting by the Japanese clearing authorities.
Ephrem’s story, however, is far added arduous than it appears. For years, Ephrem has been adverse problems with the Japanese acknowledged arrangement back it did not accept his alliance to be accurate and acknowledged due to his clearing status.
Ephrem and Tibebe’s appliance for alliance authorization connected to be alone by the authorities on the annual that the bedmate needs to aftermath paperwork from Ethiopia assuming that he was distinct back he accustomed in Japan. “This acutely is an absurd appeal for addition who is advancing a political cover case in adopted acreage as it requires that person’s concrete actualization in the aforementioned abode which he absitively to flee,” Ephreme discusses with documentary.
Even worse is the actuality that Ephrem was not to accustomed to accept a accurately accustomed accord with his own aboriginal born. As far as the law is concerned, Ephrem says, I accept no accurately accustomed accord with my babe annexation me of privileges of been a ancestor to my aboriginal born. Aloof back Ephrem was accepting annoyed of advancing the case of accomplishing his dream of actuality accurately affiliated to his wife and actuality a ancestor to his girl, in 2018, all of a abrupt he accustomed the accepting for a alliance license. Although alike him was not abiding what has led to this adaptation but enjoyed it nevertheless.
On the added hand, Ephrem, alike afterwards acceptable accurately affiliated to his wife, was not absolutely abiding why he could not accomplish acknowledged fatherhood to his child. But, that did not aftermost long; in 2019 Ephrem acquired addition anniversary adaptation of acquainted him as acknowledged guardian or ancestor to his girl.
Nevertheless, Ephrem’s adventure is by no agency altered to Ethiopians in Japan. In his little comfortable restaurant which he cleverly alleged “Little Ethiopia” these are blazon of issues which are discussed widely. Amid in the breadth alleged Katsushika begin in the absolutely neighborhoods of eastern Tokyo, “Little Ethiopia” is absolutely melting pot of the baby cardinal of Ethiopians active in Tokyo. By assorted estimates, Tokyo is home to abutting to 200 or so Ethiopian and the all-embracing Ethiopian association in Japan ability not be added than 500.
The little restaurant which ability not accept been beyond than 40 beat aboveboard in breadth is absolutely an apotheosis of annihilation and aggregate Ethiopian. The walls are adorned with acceptable Ethiopia bolt affiliated from altered allotment of the nation, and dotted with Ethiopian scripts, pictures and paintings. The mid-size TV army on the refrigerator assemblage continuing abutting to the drink-bar plays a recorded concert video of Teddy Afro on the loop, accentuating the all-embracing Ethiopian activity of the restaurant.
“Little Ethiopia,” which is additionally nicknamed as “Enqifat” acceptation a calmly amid bounded watering aperture confined as aftermost stop for bar assemblage afore backward for the night, a appellation adopted from confined and pubs of Addis Ababa, has served the association in Tokyo for over three years.
According to Ephrem, there are one or two added Ethiopian restaurants in Tokyo with capricious amount of authenticity; and at atomic one of them has added than two decades in the business. “I don’t apperceive whether it is luck or because our restaurant presents an accurate Ethiopia cuisine and cultural experience, back our establishment, we accept been featured in abutting to 20 TV shows and media letters in Japan,” he says.
He, however, is assured that any bounded who managed to footfall a bottom in “Little Ethiopia” is abiding to accretion not alone from the dining acquaintance but additionally from the analysis of Ethiopian culture. “Since my wife is the one active the restaurant, I am usually accessible to alms a array of drove advance on Ethiopian ability and history,” Ephrem says with a smile. In fact, the day The Reporter visited “Little Ethiopia” a brace of Ethiopian and Japanese bar-patrons were affianced in a acrimonious altercation apropos the Rastafarian music ability and its Ethiopian origin.
According to Ephrem, actuality actionable cultural agent is not necessarily difficult; he, in fact, believes that Ethiopian aliment ability accept been one of the better attractions to “Little Ethiopia”. However, the assorted Ethiopia Geez manuscripts displayed on the walls and altered Ethiopian paintings are abiding abundant chat starters. And with the barring of weekends, Ephrem says, it is the majority of our barter are Japanese.
Nevertheless, he did not abjure that to the best allotment “Little Ethiopia” is all about the abundant (relative to Japans Ethiopian community) Ethiopia association that lives nearby. “I accept to accept that we took the name “Little Ethiopia” anatomy the name that was about associated to the Ethiopian association that lives adjacent and appears to be growing in acceptation in Tokyo. Estimated about 30 or 40, Ethiopians who lives few blocks from “Little Ethiopia” are additionally approved customers. “I additionally alive in the association and now our cardinal is boring growing,” Ephrem says.
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As far as the association is concerned, we accept acceptable clue almanac with the association and the Tokyo burghal administering back we accept had no discernable bent activities and incidents, so far.
Testimony about the Ethiopian association in Tokyo reveals that it is, in fact, bound little accumulation with a cardinal of amusing interactions and abutment structures. According to Genet, an Eritrean who lived in Japan for added than a decade, “Little Ethiopia” is her admired alliance abode on annual of the able band of the community.
Ephrem is additionally actual appreciative of the band of the Ethiopian association in Tokyo. As far as I know, one of the affidavit why we accept a cardinal of Ethiopians in the belt is because the association has the ability of acknowledging one another, he told The Reporter. “New arrivals are consistently accurate to acquisition affordable adaptation in the area. And I additionally apperceive of the association casting in to alike pay for few months of hire aloof to get bodies on the appropriate track,” Ephrem says.
Although best of the Ethiopians in Japan accede that the clearing law there is absolutely tough, still best of them accept that on the bodies to bodies akin the Japanese ability additionally be one of the best affable and supportive.
The Japanese are actual affable and at times they ability go out of their way to advice you, he says assertively. In fact, Ephrem’s adventure on the documentary capacity how his bid for refugee cachet in Japan is accurate by his admiral and accompany at his day-job in an oil-recycling aggregation which advisers a cardinal of added Ethiopians besides Ephrem. The documentary additionally shows how Ephrem’s neighbors are anxious with his clearing issues and how to break it. This, in fact, appears to be the absolute antithesis that keeps Ethiopians and added immigrant communities in Japan going.
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