As evacuees from Ukraine try to carve out a niche in their adopted home of Japan, a Tokyo restaurant offering dishes from the Eastern European country is also hoping to serve up a little slice of home to its mainly Ukrainian staff.
Nataliia Glygalo, 44, came to Japan in April last year, shortly after Russia launched its invasion of her homeland the previous February. She wanted to work in an environment where she could be with her compatriots and speak her own language, and found the restaurant through a Ukrainian community network on Facebook.
The restaurant was opened last September in Tokyo’s Shimbashi business district by artist Takane Ezoe, who had been looking for ways to help fleeing Ukrainians by providing them with jobs after reading about their plight.
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