(Antologi Cerita Pendek Pekerja Migran Indonesia di Jepang “Morotomo” – Dikompilasi oleh Anastasya W. Hasyim, BEBESEA Story Fellow)
“Morotomo” (もろとも), an anthology of short stories by Indonesian migrant workers in Japan has been launched. Anastasya Wulandari Hasyim, BEBESEA Story Fellow conducted a Short Story Contest for Indonesian Migrant Workers on a platform established by her called Iza Migrant Rights (@izamigrantrights), and compiled selected 15 best stories into this anthology book as a part of the fellowship program.
During her work supporting Indonesian migrant workers in Japan, she had a chance to accompany some workers as a translator while they were interviewed by a well-known Japanese newspaper regarding their dispute with their receiving company. However, after the news article was published, there were too many stories that remained untold. Anastasya realized that, “If it is not YOU – yourself – who writes your own story, no one will be able to perfectly describe and depict your experiences and struggles.” This is when she remembered a quote of her favorite author, Andrea Hirata in his book Sirkus Pohon (The Tree Circus) – “Fiksi, cara terbaik menceritakan fakta,” which means “Fiction, is the best way to convey the truths.” These have motivated her to start the project – the Short Stories Anthology Book by Indonesian Migrant Workers in Japan.
Anastasya commented that her experience of participating at BEBESEA’s previous workshop has given her many insights, such as “Always to include migrant workers in discussions about them.” She believes that the readers can enjoy the raw emotions depicted in the stories as they are written by migrant workers based on their own experiences. Iza Migrant Rights only served as a facilitator to empower them to share their stories through the power of literature.
Anastasya Wulandari Hasyim, a doctoral student of Kobe University, Japan. She is the founder of Iza Migrant Rights, a non-profit organization to support Indonesian migrants in Japan. Iza Migrant Rights provides information, translation and interpretation support for Indonesian migrant workers, in various occasions including seeking legal assistance.
About もろとも (Morotomo)
The title “Morotomo”（もろとも・諸共） means “To each other”. The title was picked from one of the poems in Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (Anthology of 100 Classical Japanese Poems):
“もろともに あはれと思へ 山桜
“Please, let us be nostalgic towards each other, oh Mountain Cherry Blossoms.
There is no one else who knows me as cherry blossoms do.”
―Saki no Daisojo Gyoson
This anthology of short stories intends to be one of the “Cherry Blossoms” who recognizes and validates the struggles of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Japan.
The book is also going to be printed and published in Indonesia March 2022.
Iza Migrant Rights Team for Morotomo publication
Editors: Anastasya Wulandari Hasyim, Adi Ariffianto and Muhammad Reza Rustam
Illustrator: Fakhmi Wahyudi
Authors: Asep Wijaya, Lina Bolay, Rajib Rivaldi, Spiritful Drizzle, Thyichan, Jaelani, Muhammad Rofi’i, AJ Mahardika, Ryla, Jae, Taichou Kun, Anonim, Abigail, Alvaretta Lirania, Farida Darwis