Get in Touch with Chizuru Azuma’s Life Long Quest for Mazekoze

Actress and activist Chizuru Azuma founded Get in Touch in 2011 to make a difference in Japan’s society. Get in Touch works toward creating a “Mazekoze Society” or diverse society where no one is excluded no matter their situation or condition ー A society where we can support each other and where every one of us are treated equally. Chizuru is leading countless projects and events to raise awareness for minority and disability groups including the LBGT and autism community.  Read on for Chizuru Azuma’s full interview in both English and Japanese for more on her career as an actress and activist and what kind of projects she’s leading at the moment.

Get in Touch Foundation by Azuma Chizuru

How did your career as an actress begin?

After leaving the company I worked at for 4 years, and while contemplating to start anew as an instructor for ski, tennis, windsurfing or such, I spontaneously entered a talent audition. From that, I started my career in the entertainment industry, starting out on news programs, then moving on to entertainment programs ー then onto becoming an actress. Even as I think about it now, it was an odd and funny process. 

Chizuru Azuma at Get in touch event
Chizuru Azuma at Get in touch event

Which aspects of your career do you enjoy most? Why?

I may not have many enjoyable moments. If I do, it’s only a brief moment. Especially for dramas, movies and theatre stage, I put in all that I have to express to build toward the climax, so when its all finished, I have an indescribable sense of freedom and accomplishment. 

What are some memorable moments of your career, that you feel most proud of?

Hmmm… That’s a difficult question. I haven’t been through enough to say.

To have been a part of a program introducing “Peacevillage International”, an organization that aids children from war-torn regions and crisis areas world wide, was life changing work for me. 

Can you tell us about Get in touch? How did this organization begin, and what are some of the goals you’re working to achieve?

Get in touch aims to create a “Mazekoze (Mixed) Society” where no one is excluded no matter what the situation or condition they find themselves in. By using entertainment such as art, music, movies and videos as tools, we take an active part in visualizing and creating awareness ー that we are already living among people of various backgrounds in a diverse society. And by continuously giving support (to those who need it), we are making room for individuals to receive support, and (the givers and receivers) are jointly taking action as equals to change society.  

Our goal is for this organization to disband.

What does the “Mazekoze” world mean to you? Can you explain a little of your thinking behind this exhibit?

Words like “diversity”, “diverse society”, “inclusiveness”, “normalization” sound good but those concepts may be a bit difficult to grasp.  So to make it more relatable, we call it “Mazekoze (Mixed) Society”. A place, time and relationship where we’re able to easily overcome that invisible wall, where we will not differentiate on the basis of nationality, race, religion, ideology, sexuality, gender, disable or non-disabled person and so forth ー I believe this is a Mazekoze Society.

Chizuru Azuma at Get in touch event
Chizuru Azuma and participants in “Warm Blue” at Get in touch event

How did the April 2nd event at Tokyo Tower go? Where did the idea for this event come from?

On World Autism Awareness Day designated by the United Nations, locations all around the world are illuminated in the color blue for the “Light it up blue” campaign. 

At Get in touch, we call that color “Warm Blue”.  Alongside those who live with autism, people with various backgrounds came together to raise public awareness of autism. We brought our voices together and chanted “Warm Blue Day!”, “Let’s MAZEKOZE!” and “Get in touch!” We lit up the city in blue as we harmonized with corporations and the government administration.

Painting Shibuya, Tokyo in "Warm Blue" on World Autism Awareness Day (April, 2)
Painting Shibuya, Tokyo in “Warm Blue” on World Autism Awareness Day (April, 2)
Chizuru Azuma in blue at Get in touch event

What kinds of projects have you worked on recently? Do you have any collaborations with artists/organizations coming up in the future that you’d like to share?

At this moment, I’m running around working on the distribution and screening of “Watashi wa Watashi ~over the rainbow~”, an educational movie about the LGBT society, and making LGBT educational videos to use at schools. We’re also eagerly planning a re-run of Heisei MAZEKOZE Ichiza’s spectacular entertainment “Getsuya no Karakuri House”… (Chuckles) 

Chizuru Azuma in rainbow colors at Get in touch! Let's Mazekoze event
Chizuru Azuma in rainbow colors at Get in touch! Let’s Mazekoze event

We all experience challenges throughout our career.  With your work with Get in touch, how did you overcome these challenges?

I have founded this organization having prepared for trial and error, so I am ready to face mistakes and failures. Our modern society is full of challenges and issues. Rather than understanding with your head and taking in theories, it’s about taking action. Mistakes and failures will birth awareness and become learning and growth.  With that said though, I can’t but help feel blue when I face them.

What are you inspired by? Who do you look up to and why?

I gain a lot of inspiration and hints from my daily life that I can relate back to project activities.  So I don’t really go looking about. When I lose my curious and inquisitiveness, I think it’ll come to an end.

What are some of your favorite beauty tips? Anything you’ve been trying lately that you’d like to share with our readers?

Magma pilates. Fermented food. Hydrogen water. Silicon.  Only do what you want to do!

How important is technology to you? Do you think it plays an important role in your career?

Technology births connections in all ways possible, let’s us share in all ways possible, and enables planning to become actualization.  Because of that, analog can seem interesting as well.

Where do you see yourself professionally and personally in 10 years? How does this differ from where you see yourself today?

10 years from now… I will be  lucky to be alive.  I will be thankful.  I will be happy.  My goal is to be happy.  I hope that I can continue to be as happy as I am today. 

Thank you so much!









Get in touch」の代表者でもあります。 Get in touch について教えて頂けますか。活動のきっかけ、団体を通しての ゴール (目標、想い、発信したいメッセージ)などはありますか?

どんな状況でも、どんな状態でも、誰も排除しない、排除されない「まぜこぜの社会」をめざす一般社団法人「Get in touch」は、アートや音楽、舞台、映画、映像などのエンタメをツールに、私たちはすでに色とりどりの人たちと生きているということを可視化、体験できる活動をしています。支援し続けるということは、支援される人をつくり続けるので、対等に一緒に社会を変えようという活動です。




国連が定めた「世界自閉症啓発デー」は世界中が「Light it up blue 」の呼びかけでブルーに染まります。

Get in touchでは「Warm Blue」と表現し、自閉症のみならず、様々な特性の人たちと一緒に活動しています。「Warm Blue Day!」「Let’s MAZEKOZE!」「Get in touch!」の掛け声で、企業や行政とつながりながら街中をブルーに染めています。

Get in touch 

今現在はLGBTsの啓発映画「私はワタシ over the rainbow~」の配給や上映、学校でのLGBT教育の教材作りにてんやわんやです。平成MAZEKOZE 一座の最高の見世物エンターテイメント「月夜のからくりハウス」の再演も虎視眈々と目論んでいますがw


トライ & エラーを繰り返す覚悟で団体を立ち上げましたから、間違い、失敗はウエルカムです。課題難題山積の今の社会です。頭での理解や知識より、アクションあるのみ。間違い、失敗が気づきを与え、学びになります。とは言え、その度に思いっきり凹んでいますが。










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