Kazumi, why did you come to live in Dunkirk? Do you feel at home here?
“I’m Japanese and originally from a town located 100 kilometres north of Tokyo. After finishing my studies, I worked for a Japanese company specialising in building and public works and I was sent to the Pacific Islands (Tonga, Vanuatu, etc.) to co-ordinate and run building sites. That’s how I ended up on holiday in New Caledonia where I met my future husband, a resident of Lille, who was about to start a new job in Dunkirk. In 2002, I joined him in Dunkirk. It was the first French city I’d been in, even before Paris. Right away, I felt at home! I didn’t feel like a foreigner even though my French was still poor. I became a self-employed Japanese tutor and a translator and interpreter. That’s how I came across the directors of Kubota when they were setting up a factory in Bierne. I was their interpreter before landing a job with them. I’m in charge of preparing the production launch for new tractor models. I’m really happy in Dunkirk. I love the North Sea and I often go for a walk in the Dunes with my family. I also really appreciate the cultural life in Dunkirk.I never miss an exhibition at the LAAC Modern Art Museum or FRAC Museum of Contemporary Art and I sometimes take the opportunity to go to a show at the Kursaal Centre or the Bateau Feu Theatre. I also go to Studio 43 which regularly shows Japanese films. I’ve learnt to cook French cuisine, particularly potatoes, which you eat a lot of here!”