Grounded Futures Show

9. Entangled Thriving - Maya Motoi

We sat down with Maya Motoi, an unschooled half “Japanese” half Dutch “Canadian” person who is queer, an anarchist, and a feminist who currently lives in Japan. We heard their story about moving solo from Japan to Vancouver at age 13, nerded out about Japanese culture, specifically animation, and the radical alternatives in Japan. The importance of  listening to your gut, being present with all the beauty, and picking the right “fruit!” We dove into  the intersections of work, social justice, sitting in the discomfort, and finding ways to thrive together in a capitalist world. 


I’ve always been a really big fan of listening to other peoples stories.

-Maya Motoi

Black and white photo of Maya, close up of their face, with heavy shadows.


Maya is an unschooled half “Japanese” half Dutch “Canadian” person who is queer, an anarchist and a feminist. (Impartial to pronouns.) Maya grew up in “Japan”, spending their teen years in “Vancouver, BC, Canada”, located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish, and has been living in “Japan”(read: Yamato) since 2013. When in “Vancouver” Maya was involved at the Purple Thistle Centre. These days Maya spends most of her time entangling their time with others’, in what might be known as “care” or “support” in a few different forms. Basically, all of this is about cultivating relationships in all the clumsy messy ways that we do. These things are framed within and are a part of the threads woven together by people and movements that fought for disability justice and women’s rights. When there is time and energy left over, Maya attempts to draw and make hand made animations, dye textiles with plant dyes, and perhaps work on a translation project or two. When they are overwhelmed or tired what they do to feel at home in themselves is knit socks while listening to metal.

Some of Maya’s animations: Purple Thistle Animation and 月 Moon


  • Demon Slayer (Kimetsu no Yaiba)
  • Attack on Titan(Shingeki no Kyojin)
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service (Majo no Takkyūbin)
  • My Neighbour Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender (Avatar: The Legend of Aang)
  • K-On!
  • The Quote from Kaneko Fumiko:



  • “Even if we cannot have ideals for society, I think that there can be such a thing as that which is true work to ourselves. Whether that work comes to fruition or not is nothing to do with us. All we need to do, is just to do what we feel is our true work. Doing that, doing that kind of work, is the act of our true living.

    That is what I want to do. By doing this our lives come together with us immediately. Not placing ideal goals in a place so insurmountably far away.”


About the Grounded Futures Show:

Our team works alongside youth to co-produce episodes on topics ranging from climate change to identity to how youth can gain new skills to engage meaningfully with current world events. The show will take a deep dive on these issues, and be in conversations with incredible guests! The hosts are Liam Joy, Joey, Jamie-Leigh Gonzales, and carla bergman.

More episodes