The Story of the Japanese JIGSAW PUZZLE

The Story of the Japanese JIGSAW PUZZLE

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In July 1990, our oldtimer Yoshi attended AA’s 55th Anniversary World Convention in Seattle, WA, USA. He was in Seattle for a week, but as the convention was for three days, he thought about how to use the remaining days. Since he was a social worker working at a children’s center at the time, he wanted to visit a local children’s home.

When shown around one such facility, his eye was caught by a poster on the wall. It was a poster for an international conference on child abuse held in Australia. The picture was a jigsaw puzzle depicting a father and daughter koala. The puzzle was still in the process of completion, but if all the pieces were fitted together, the parent-child relationship would be
restored.

Four years later, on March 5,1994 an SA Japanese-language group was born. They wondered how to carry the message to hospitals and other facilities like AA and NA, in order to reach potential future fellows.

They decided to write their stories on a single sheet of paper and make it into a newsletter to send to hospitals and other facilities. When it came to choosing a title for the newsletter, Yoshi recalled the jigsaw puzzle poster he had seen at a facility in Seattle. We sexaholics can’t live our lives the way we want to because of their broken sexuality. Therefore we need to collect the pieces of our lives and fit them together.

In July 1997, Yoshi attended the SA World Congress in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, with some other Japanese fellows. At the convention, upon being asked to introduce the development of SA in Japan, he told them about the JIGSAW PUZZLE newsletter issued to relevant organizations. JIGSAW PUZZLE was eventually edited into a pamphlet, but the content became more about “problems” than “solutions,” and it drifted away from the original message, so it was discontinued.

On the way back from a meeting, I was talking to my sponsor about what we could do for SA in Japan. The next day, he contacted me and said, “About yesterday’s conversation, I’d love a Japanese version of ESSAY.” I could not for a moment imagine how we could make something that cool. But I knew that if we could make it happen, the oldtimers would be very happy.

Then I looked for newsletters produced by AA and NA in Japan. I forwarded the links to those newsletters to my sponsor as well. I didn’t think I had the ability to make it, but I was willing to try. I decided to find fellows to make them with me. I remembered there was a fellow that was making flyers for SA events as well as another fellow who was in the business of publishing books. I asked the two fellows if they would be willing to help us create a kind of Japanese version of ESSAY. They both immediately responded positively.

Thus began our project to restart the JIGSAW PUZZLE newsletter. This time, we focus on creating something that is more focused on “solutions” than “problems.” In addition to that, we are trying to create something interesting and attractive. For our future fellows who are still struggling now, a cool newsletter may be more likely to motivate them to pick it up and read it. And most importantly, we feel that we, ourselves, enjoy the service activity of creating a positive newsletter. And I believe that our enjoyment of this wonderful service adds to the attractiveness of our newsletter.

We completed the first issue of our new JIGSAW PUZZLE, in December 2022, and are working on the second one. It is my great pleasure to be in contact with the ESSAY team and to make our magazine known to my SA colleagues around the world.

Anonymous editor, JIGSAW PUZZLE magazine, Japan

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