Insights and success stories from foreigners who built a life and career in Japan! Discover interviews of expatriates sharing their origin stories, experiences and answering the following question: "How can I start a life in Japan?"
Episodes recorded in 2019 and 2020. Archives and transcripts have been moved to https://japanlifestories.netlify.app/
#11 - Connecting cultures through business innovation with Fariza Abidova
Fariza Abidova shares a great story, from moving to Japan from her home country in Uzbekistan to bootstrapping 50 businesses in 3 years, being a panelist alongside Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, and writing for the Nikkei, one of Japan's biggest newspapers. Fariza speaks 7 languages, is an expert in cross-cultural communication and her background is an inspiration for entrepreneurship and self-empowerment.
#10 - Becoming a Tea Ceremony Master in Japan with Tyas Sosen
Tyas Sosen is a Belgium Tea Ceremony Master from Kyoto. Tyas trained in an impressive number of traditional arts like calligraphy, kendo or flower arrangement before eventually joining a famous lineage of tea masters. During the next hour, we'll discuss tea, of course, but also Buddhism, Taoism, mindfulness, martial arts and the underlying principles of the tea ceremony.
#09 - Recreating Kyoto in VR with Alessandro de Bellegarde
Alessandro de Bellegarde is an American videographer living in beautiful Kyoto. After a first career as a chef and directing his first movie, he created his own production company with a key mission: to archive Kyoto's cultural landmarks through virtual reality and high definition 3D videos. He has since been able to cover events such as the Gion Matsuri and be an ambassador for Kyoto at the famous Grammy Awards ceremony.
In this interview, Alessandro discusses his love for Kyoto, his challenges working with its most traditional institutions, temples and shrines as well as the responsibility of being a foreign resident in a city as impacted by mass tourism as Kyoto can be.
#08 - Photographer @ AGK42 & UX designer with Alex Knight
Alex Knight is Australian and has been living in Tokyo for 5 years, currently working as a UX designer at bitcoin.com. While living in Tokyo, Alex rediscovered his passion for photography. He now spends his nights exploring Tokyo's hidden streets, creating stunning images in a style defined as cyberpunk. If you like Blade Runner and Stranger things, you'll love rediscovering Tokyo through his camera.
#07 - Head of Design at Kyoto Journal with Hirisha Mehta
Hirisha Mehta came from India 10 years ago to study design in Tokyo. She is now the Head of Design at the Kyoto Journal, an award-winning magazine sharing artistic and cultural insights all across Asia.
Hirisha's background includes experiences designing for the Harry Potter or the Minions franchises at Universal Studios Japan, a very popular attraction park located in Osaka.
Fun fact, she also created her own Japanese typeface, called Indo-Wa, mixing Japanese and Indian characters. If you know a bit about font design, creating a full typeface is a massive amount of work and is really really impressive.
In this very rich episode, we discuss typography, scripts, Japanese design, the city of Kyoto as a creative & cultural hub, architecture and local dialects like Osaka-ben.
#06 - Running a design & marketing agency in Tokyo with Nathan Hoernig
Nathan Hoernig is the founder of Humble Bunny, a design and marketing agency based in Tokyo now collaborating with famous international companies such as Bose or Ralph Lauren. Expatriate in Japan since 2007, Nate explains how failing the JET program exams and creating a simple logo for a music band kickstarted his entrepreneurial adventure. He also shares his views on the marketing industry in Japan, how valuable networking is and his challenges in building a great corporate culture while finding good talents (hint: he is actively hiring!)
Entertaining and informative
Paul is a great host. He keeps the conversation moving and ensures that the stories lead to thought starter for listeners. The stories are entertaining and informative. I love how the podcast introduces "Japan" through the life stories of expats. As an expat working in Tokyo myself, I found these stories relatable but also refreshing at times. You learn about why the guests on the show decided to be in Japan, and how they got to where they are, such as becoming a master in tea ceremony! Or if you are someone looking to live in Japan, it's a great resource for you to gain some insights in the "how"! Highly recommend it! To the host: looking forward to more authentic original stories : )