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Made in Japan-- Conversations with Meljo Catalan

Made in Japan-- Conversations with Meljo Catalan

By Meljo Catalan
This is not your run-of-the-mill "Cool Japan" podcast. I want to explore the side of Japan outside of sushi & sumo ; anime & video games. People from all walks of life living in Japan sharing their stories, their trials and tribulations and their successes. People who are hungry for making it and People who have made it. This podcast is about my conversations with them.
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Ep.60– Eli T’Amo, Bolivian-Japanese Fashion Designer
Charisma and tenacity goes a long way in any profession and it’s crucial in the world of fashion. Meet Eli, a Bolivian-Japanese Fashion Designer who’s just graduated from one of Japan’s prestigious fashion schools, Bunka Fashion College. Just on the wake of finishing her graduation runway collection, Eli sat down and had a chat with me about her story as a Latino Nikkei (日系人) representing her roots with Japanese technique through her love of fashion. Whether on the runway or on the streets of Tokyo, Eli’s pieces will surely add some “oshare-picante”. You can contact and find more of Eli’s clothing designs and artwork on Instagram: @_elitamo_ For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: https://ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
39:25
August 11, 2022
Ep. 59– Ken Tanaka aka Kenfrog, Japanese Artist
On this episode, I’m thrilled to introduce a rising artist in the Tokyo art community. Meet Ken, aka Kenfrog, an artist that specializes in intricate floral drawings which in my eye resembles a juxtaposition of a Japanese washi paper backdrop with exquisite, controlled sketches that closely resembles Inca tattoo designs. Ken was gracious enough to take time from his hectic schedule to sit down with me and chat about his family background as well as his creative process. He encompasses that persistent adage of “art is life”. However Ken’s values and art are much more in depth than being encapsulated in a three word slogan. Check out Ken’ s work here: www.kenfrog.com If you’re in Japan this summer, you can see Ken’s pieces here at Harry’s Sandwich Co. , Harajuku/Omotesando, Tokyo from June 11-July 2 here: https://linktr.ee/harryssandwichco Ken will also have an exhibit at INCredible Coffee in Koenji, Tokyo from July 11-July 18th. For more info check out on Instagram: @inccoffee2020
57:11
June 23, 2022
Ep. 58– Mina Shimizu, Japanese Film & TV Actor
Welcome back, dear listeners. This was a longer than usual MIJ episode because I was excited share a relaxing catch-up with my friend, Mina. She’s been in the Japanese film/TV industry since the pre-digital film days of the early 2000’s. This was actually the first time for me to sit down and talk about her career in the (at-times) constricting Japanese entertainment industry. From reflection on her early years to her transition to the stage, Mina truly shows her versatility in her craft and her unapologetic sincerity. Kick back and share a drink with us. You can check out Mina’s performances here: IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1659615/ Asian Wiki: https://asianwiki.com/Mina_Shimizu For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: https://ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
01:15:39
June 02, 2022
Ep. 57– Ace of Shaq, British YouTuber: New Beginnings, New Homeland
One love, One heart. I’d like to introduce you to a man that has grit determination to plant new roots in Japan. A determination shaped from overcoming depression, grief and classism in the midst of a pandemic. Meet Shaq, aka Ace of Shaq, a UK YouTuber who unexpectedly found solace in Japanese culture and the language. After his study abroad program was cut short due to Covid-19, he started a YouTube channel dedicated to practicing Japanese while reacting to Japanese music. He managed to return back to Japan after graduating in hopes to pursue his dreams. I hope his story can be a beacon of light for those who are afraid or for those who need that spark to believe in themselves. 🤘🏼🐼🤘🏼 Ace of Shaq YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/AceofShaq2 For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: https://ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
01:02:02
April 28, 2022
Ep-56 Swazönd, Crusted Black Metal band from Tokyo
This was an episode that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Brace yourselves as we dive head first into the underground Japanese Black Metal scene. I’ve been waiting because I was looking for a band that has that “it” factor when it comes to living and breathing within the Japan underground metal scene and has the chops to make an impressionable debut album. Meet Swazönd, a new band comprised of members who’ve made their mark within the scene and decided it was their “destiny” to get together, jam and make an album that makes you wanna groove and headbang at the same time. In my opinion, the true metal heads I’ve encountered are some of the nicest and most genuine people I know and Swazönd reaffirms this. To learn more and check out their latest album, visit: https://swazond.bandcamp.com All song clips used are from Kanako’s former band, FID: https://open.spotify.com/track/1451us8cSrTWDZV4xiwiv4?si=hCwfdjDGSWucR0-EklZjDA&context=spotify%3Aartist%3A2yEApW7JfjtoukJhohpLOp And Swazond’s 1st album, “Cursed Inheritance”. Special thanks to Senna Min for sharing her voice for the English overdubs. For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: https://ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
01:07:19
March 31, 2022
Ep. 55– Miko Hayashi, Embroidery Artist of Mimi Hana Threads
Spring is upon us! How fitting it would be to have an episode showcasing my friend Miko, who is a self taught embroidery artist handcrafting unique and customizable 3D embroidered accessories and jewelry. When I learned that she will be having her first gallery exhibition this month at the Design Festa Gallery in Harajuku, I knew I had to whip up an episode to not only promote her craft but also to share her story as a 4th generation Japanese American exploring her roots and literally flourishing. Say hello to Miko if you are living in Japan and want to stop by Design Festa Gallery this month or if you’d like to see Miko’s embroideries, check out https://www.mimihanathreads.com For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: https://ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
45:43
March 17, 2022
Ep. 54– Kei Katsuno, MD, MPH, Senior Director at the GHIT Fund
Hi! Made in Japan Podcast year four kicks off with the smartest and the most insightful person I know in Japan. Meet my old friend Kei. He’s the Senior Director of Investment Strategy & Business Development at the GHIT Fund. The Japan-based GHIT ( Global Health Innovative Technology ) Fund is an international public-private partnership fund for global health R&D that mobilizes Japanese industry, academia, and research institutes to create new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases, in collaboration with global partners. This episode was incredibly fun to make as I haven’t seen or talked to Kei since pre-Covid times. I was very grateful that he took some time off on a Saturday to share about what he and his organization does for developing countries, life adjusting in these pandemic times and how the Japanese family structure has changed. But more importantly, it gave us a peace of mind catching up and laughing together. To learn more about the GHIT fund please visit: https://www.ghitfund.org For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: https://ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
44:54
February 24, 2022
Season 3 Wrap Up!
To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
01:50
December 23, 2021
Episode 53– Sach, radio DJ at LoveFM Fukuoka
Let’s take a trip to southwest Japan to a city with a name that could literally be translated to “blessed hill”. Fukuoka City is the second largest port city that’s probably not on your to-go visit list but it ought to be. Meet Sach, a Fukuoka native, established radio DJ and vocal coach. She’s graced her presence to come on the mic with me to share her thoughts and stories. I had a blast diving real deep on her studying abroad in the U.S., Fukuoka women, music, motherhood and radio still being relevant in our lives. You can listen to Sach’s show, “Departure Lounge” every Friday from 11:00am-14:00pm on Love FM 76.1 : https://lovefm.co.jp. Check out what Sach and her son are up to on YouTube/IG/FB: @thisissach If you live in Fukuoka and are interested to get some voice lessons from Sach: https://expg.jp/instructor/detail.php?instructor_id=411 For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: https://ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
01:11:50
December 02, 2021
Episode 52 — Rachel Ferguson, co-founder of Ryozan Park, writer, singer & voice artist
Community is Everything. Meet Rachel, a mother of many talents. Along with her husband, they’ve built and grew a share house project called RYOZAN PARK which empowers families in Tokyo to build a community with workspaces, accommodation and childcare. It is one of Tokyo’s first ever integrated urban communities of this decade. However, this concept is nothing new to the Japanese society; just easily forgotten. Rachel also came on my podcast to announce her new children’s book/sleep aid, “Gugu and Penfin Sleep”. A perfect (and super cute!) book for parents in need to get themselves and their kids some well deserved rest. You can check out Rachel here: rachelferguson.net If you are interested and want to find out more about Ryozan Park, visit: ryozanpark.com To get a copy of “Gugu and Penfin Sleep”, visit: guguandpenfin.com For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
47:03
October 14, 2021
Episode 51 — Brandon & Mari Wash, Rising Shutterbugs in Japan
Japan is one of the most sought after places in the world to snap a photo or capture a video. This episode focuses on two individuals from completely different paths merging in pursuit for that perfect shot. I highly recommend to check out and if you’re re looking for a collaboration with Brandon (@smallworldphotovideo) and Mari (@mari.wash) on Instagram. For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
56:20
September 24, 2021
Episode 50– Two Emails and the Best 3
I’ve been waiting to tell this story of a man that has truly Made it in Japan. He was also my mentor when it came to the unglamorous yet self-sacrificing job; an ESL teacher in Japan. I dedicate this 50th episode to him, Douglas Forrester. If you are interested in becoming an English Language teacher, check out this website: https://esllibrary.com You can also find the novel, “Tokyo Nights” by Jim Douglas on paperback or as an e-book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33399637-tokyo-nights#other_reviews. **** For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
52:07
August 10, 2021
Episode 49– Mayowa, The next Black J-POP singer
Here’s a story of a person riding a tornado on a road less travelled. Not only does he have one of the coolest names, but brings a voice that will make waves in the J-Pop scene. Meet Mayowa. If you haven’t yet, you’ll surely will. Ariana Grande might have something to do with it. You can check out Mayowa here: Instagram: @mayowasensei YouTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCxxHEXzvR2c9TmoZJqi1p3w Listen to Mayowa’s album, “The things they said to me” here: Apple: https://music.apple.com/jp/album/the-things-they-said-to-me/1561922599?l=en Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/15Kf2TkZAqLUW4FIMDIYIl?si=VNeMss9WTzuUq0aFaJyAnw&dl_branch=1 For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
01:01:18
July 15, 2021
Episode 48– Hiro Umetani, Kyomai Japanese Traditional Dancer
On this episode we’re gonna examine a notable Japanese traditional dance that is often peformed by the Geisha and Maiko. Meet Hiro, (or her stage name, “Zuiou Shinozuka”). She is a traditional Japanese dancer/instructor trained from the oldest Kyomai dance school in Kyoto. She is currently an ambassador to promote her art form as well as collaborating with musicians abroad in hopes to preserve the cultural importance of traditional Japanese dance. For more information please check out her website: zuioushinozuka.com For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
56:07
June 24, 2021
Episode 47– Tim Bunting, The Kiwi Yamabushi
To quote J.R.R. Tolkien, “He loved mountains, or he had loved the thought of them marching on the edge of stories brought from far away…” Meet Tim, a Yamabushi; a Shinto ascetic mountain monk who aims to share the values of what the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture offers. I want to help him open up an ancient custom that he has dedicated his life to. Here is his story and I hope it can be a worthwhile pause from our daily hustle to reflect on. You can find more info on the Yamabushi here: http://yamabushido.jp To learn more about the three mountains of Dewa: http://dewasanzan.com You can find Tim on IG ( @kiwiyamabushi ) or YouTube : https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLq4-v2UFSt9ybDDpFIddim4Jljm6CCN9F For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
46:49
June 09, 2021
Episode 46– Divafresh Yuri, Japanese Songwriter/Artist/Singer
Yuri caught my attention not only by her flawless control in her singing but also her tasteful approach in crafting songs through respecting musicianship. Although our paths crossed in an unexpected way, the power of strong music appreciation will overcome any genre, label and culture. You can listen, follow or contact Yuri here: YouTube: https://youtube.com/user/divafreshyuri FB/IG/Twitter: @divafreshyuri Listen to Yuri’s gospel arrangement in Sekai no Owari’s song “バードマン” here: https://youtu.be/4GavZcdf9Ls 『YURI PRESENTS "R&B NIGHT" LIVE ONLINE STREAMING!』 day: 2020.5.28(fri) time: 20:00 streaming live start streaming live ticket:¥1,500 ¥2,500(RnBFriends) ¥3,500(RnBLovers) ¥4,500(RnBSUPREME) https://eplus.jp/sf/detail/3347310002-P0030002?P6=001&P1=0402&P59=1 For more info on the Nakameguro Taproom and other Baird Beer taprooms, please visit: http://Bairdbeer.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
48:59
May 26, 2021
Episode 45– Allie Sakakibara, Professional Weirdo, Digital Content Creator
What do you get when you genetically mutate a wedding MC, Bill Nye, Bear Gryllis and a model together? You’ll soon learn that the person’s name is Allie. From Google Japan, Discovery Channel Japan and her own YouTube Channel, Allie has carved out her own piece of the Social Media Pie. However, I didn’t bring her on this podcast to solely focus on her success in Japan. I brought her on the podcast to know what it means to maintain integrity in the digital content realm and help me find my favorite brand of microwaveable popcorn. You can find Allie on various platforms here: www.alliesakakibara.com You can watch the Wild Allie & Dbox episodes here at Discovery Channel Japan: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgMKK0HeoFAVw2LK6l4c6B67SEbmbPTkJ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
52:20
May 12, 2021
Episode 44– Akil, Ki, Walter: A catch-up with an OG Tokyo Trifecta
On this episode, I thought it’d be a nice switch up to reconnect and reunite three former guests of my podcast. Ki (ep. 5 & 6), Akil (ep. 12) and Walter (ep.20) graced the mics and indulged me on what was going on in their lives during this pandemic. Albeit, it was my excuse to have them on again because I enjoy their company. We discuss what have we been doing as well as our thoughts of how Japan has held up during these times. But more importantly, we like sharing good memories and smile. You can find more about them and their passions here: Ki— https://www.masterdrawingjapan.com & http://www.traditionalwingchuntokyo.com Akil— check out “Japan according to Akil” on wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts as well as his YouTube here: https://youtube.com/channel/UCD2bB4Mf2CyZnjFF2xt0Veg Walter— https://www.3broskitchen.com/ To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
01:08:15
April 29, 2021
Episode 42– Eto, Reggaeton Rapper, Singer & Producer
I am back with another musical guest that hails from the island of Puerto Rico yet is making a big splash here in Japan within the past year. Eto has been involved in many musical ensembles in Japan for the past decade. However, the pandemic has constricted him to start a solo project that showcases his cultural heritage of Reggaeton; a Latin Urban music genre that actually is beloved here in the Japanese underground scene. Since July 2020, he has surprised the local music scene with the release his debut ep, “Island Hopping’, two music videos and several singles. His unabashed, sincere energy is clearly shining through his songs and I’m sure will rejuvenate the identity of Reggaeton for the unaware and the curious. You can find Eto here: https://linktr.ee/boricuaenjapon Music Videos: La Mentira : https://youtu.be/hIXIBRq9FPE Komodo: https://youtu.be/evBBIhY0TDM Rosalita: https://open.spotify.com/track/6ksezO9uNhw7kX5mhqcAM9?si=4N8IwVpURUSmFCRcf8p57w La Mentira: https://open.spotify.com/track/1q6iRzwosQtYhqoOGCKStq?si=iululSAqRn6JL910ZiQcIQ Komodo: https://open.spotify.com/track/5QnvDOZeinKjJfpjV3YmLy?si=4_ODMi53TCS1Ijuzsf9zJg To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
57:09
March 30, 2021
Episode 41– Flavio Parisi, Italian language trainer for Opera and Italian Translator.
At some point with this podcast, I’ve wanted to sit down and talk shop with another language instructor that doesn’t teach English in Japan. How fortunate I was to network with Flavio whom not only teaches Italian but specifically to Japanese opera singers! Very Rad. Anyways, for those of you who haven’t been immersed in the passion of Italian Opera, this episode is a good chance to expand your musical horizons. Visit Flavio’s website here: https://flavioparisi.com Check out his new podcast, “pesceriso un podcast da Tokyo” anywhere you get your podcast fix. You can also listen to the Opera pieces used in this episode here: Handel Giulio Cesare in Egitto HWV 17 https://open.spotify.com/track/1D3kKdI2t3zkqWmUz8jAx3?si=wpgpI-4sSHWZr5a5mFhAZg And here: Vivaldi La verita in cimento RV739. https://open.spotify.com/track/0tcjkvpHfuFkf6xawiMmMJ?si=N7HeLmcHSr-CkszSyE1LFg To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
48:38
March 16, 2021
Episode 40– Katheryn Gronauer, Founder of Thrive Tokyo, Executive Trainer & Coach
For foreigners working in Japan, sometimes we need a bit of help with “adulting”, as Katheryn puts it. Starting out as a health coach, her passion to help others smoothly adjust into a company providing culture programs in the Japanese business setting or daily necessities. However, what’s more impressive than her career accomplishments is her compassion to others feeling the anxiety we’ve all faced when we first arrived in this country. For more information visit : thrivetokyo.com To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
58:59
March 02, 2021
Episode 39– Liam Ramshaw & Nick Narigon of Tokyo Weekender
Japan’s oldest English publication has weathered many storms over the years and prevailed. 2020 was Tokyo Weekender’s 50th anniversary and the magazine has now adapted to the new era in Japan. Recently, TW has done a rebranding; an upgrade yet keeping to its roots in building and informing the foreign community in Japan. I sat down with Liam, the creative director and Nick, the editor-in-chief to congratulate them on the impeccable job that they’re doing in keeping their readers (both new and seasoned veteran residents) informed in the happenings of Tokyo and throughout Japan. Find out more and subscribe to Tokyo Weekender magazine here: www.tokyoweekender.com To donate and buy drinks for the guests of my podcast: ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast IG & FB: @madeinjapanpodcast Email: japanmademepodcast@gmail.com
45:43
February 16, 2021
Episode 38 — Welcome Home, Ayako!
The final episode this year. How fitting it ends with a former student of mine just returning to Japan a month ago. Ayako Tanaka was one of my students who’s always yearned for a life outside Japan. Most often I’d teach students who need to prepare for their overseas position, pursuing their MBA or university degree abroad. I’d put Ayako in the group of students that are just full on ready to take that leap and live abroad with the hopes of being completely immersed in that specific region in the world. I knew she had that drive so I was a little surprised she’s returned back in Japan but as we all know, harsh realities do exist. Spending years working abroad in Denmark and England as a freelance translator, with the last 2 years living and working in London with a Marketing firm. With her English visa possibly up for renewal, 2020 came around bringing along Novel Covid-19 to the UK. This November, she’s come back to Japan with a promise she was going to meet me and talk a bit about her life abroad. This episode is pretty much raw , uncut audio of our catch-up. To donate for this podcast: https://ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast
01:04:18
December 23, 2020
Episode 37– Ben & Burke, Co-hosts of Voices in Japan Podcast
On the sixth and finale in my series of talks with Japan-based podcasters, I virtually travelled to Hokkaido and had a chat with two Jujitsu-schooled, snowboarding crazed fellas that created a Sapporo-based podcast showcasing the locals on the “Ezo” frontlines. Aside from these charming hosts expressing their love of the Northern lands of Japan they inhabit, you’re missing out if you don’t put Hokkaido and Voices in Japan podcast on your itinerary and playlist . Subscribe and listen to Voices in Japan wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Check out more info here : https://www.voicesinjapan.com
01:04:11
December 09, 2020
Episode 36– David and Matt of Japan 2.0 Podcast
On the fifth installment of my chats with Japan-based podcasters, we...barely talk about Japan! But don’t skip this episode dear listeners. Japan 2.0 is a Kansai based-podcast that paints another shade of Japanese underground culture that David & Matt cherishes dearly and shares to all of you Japanophiles that hasn’t grasp the lowdown on the streets. You can listen to Japan 2.0 Podcast on ITunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. https://japan2point0.wordpress.com Donate for my show here: https://ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast
56:35
November 26, 2020
Episode 35 – Terrence Holden aka Cliff, Host of Tokyo Speaks
In the fourth installment of my chat with Japan based Podcasters brings us back to what I would say is “essential” podcast listening when we talk about the foreigner community in the Tokyo area of Japan. Cliff showcases the honest and real international voices that have integrated in the international community here in Tokyo. If it’s one podcast in this series that highlights diversity of Tokyo based residents and the experiences that they share, Tokyo Speaks does exactly that and Cliff ( the curator) knows how to make each episode worthwhile to listen to. You can find out more at: Tokyospeaks.com
51:53
November 11, 2020
Ep. 34– Thersa Matsuura, host of Uncanny Japan Podcast
On the third installment of my chats with other Japan-based podcasters, I step into Japanese myths and fables that are explained by Thersa, a fiction writer and long time Japan resident, who created Uncanny Japan Podcast. While doing research for her own publications, she has stumbled upon many cultural oddities and folklore that displays the rich, voluminous tales within Japanese culture that continuously retains some influence in contemporary society. This podcast is a must for any Japanophile with an appetite for legends, myths and superstitions. https://www.uncannyjapan.com You can order Inaka: Portraits of Life in Rural Japan through Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Inaka-Portraits-Life-Rural-Japan-ebook/dp/B08FRFTNDH If you’d like to donate to my podcast, please visit: https://ko-fi.com/madeinjapanpodcast
39:03
October 14, 2020
Episode 33- Alicia Clow, co-host of +81 Podcast
Continuing with my series of chatting with other Japan-based podcasters, I want to push an up and coming podcast that cuts deep into Japanese politics and social commentary. Alicia, along with her co-host Mizuki have started +81 podcast with the drive to investigate what is going down with the state of affairs in current Japanese politics. They also probe what is happening and reacting to contemporary issues that permeate within the Japanese society. This podcast was like a breath of fresh air for me in the Japan-based podcast community as politics is seldom being examined thoroughly and explained relatively with ease. Chatting with Alicia clearly gave me assurance the future voices of Japanese will not go silent and complacent into the night. Their voices will be heard and I hope this episode can help amplify it. You can listen to +81 podcast on wherever you get your podcasts. IG : @plus81.pod Twitter: @plus81__pod Labor NGO Posse: [https://foreignworkersupport.wixsite.com/mysite/english](https://foreignworkersupport.wixsite.com/mysite/english)
45:50
September 18, 2020
Episode 32– Tim Romero, Disrupting Japan Podcast & Head of Google for Startups Japan
Here’s the first of my series of conversations with other Japan-based podcasters. Tim Romero needs no introduction: when it comes to one of the most reputable and popular Japan based podcasts dealing with entrepreneurs and innovation in Japan, Disrupting Japan is at the forefront in telling those stories. Having founded several startups in Japan for over two decades, He recently became the Head of Google for Startups Japan. For those of you with the entrepreneurial itch to scratch in side these lands, Tim and his podcast are essential listening. HOME: www.disruptingjapan.com
37:28
September 03, 2020
Programming Announcement!
Hi folks. Here’s what I’m cooking up for my next few episodes.
05:02
September 01, 2020
Episode 31– Yuji Kawaguchi aka STDRUMS
You’re never too old to pick up and learn a musical instrument. All it takes is practice. But if I could turn back time, I’d like to pick up drumsticks and start wailing on a drum kit as a toddler. I think it’s one of the most difficult instruments that can take decades to master. Here’s a man that’s used his time wisely to fulfill his dream. Yuji has played in a notable punk band, toured and did studio time for some prominent “anime bands”. A few years back, he’d gone solo and started expanding his creativity. He’s opened for various overseas bands including the U.S. rock supergroup, Battles. Besides jamming around the Tokyo streets, you can often find him basking in the London Underground. During this chat, I’ve found Yuji to be the embodiment of why we fall in love with music and how it shapes our livelihood; connecting us humans no matter where we come from. Check out his music and videos here: Website: http://stdrums.rerure.com IG & FB : @stdrums #STDRUMS
50:30
May 20, 2020
Episode 30-- Coco Yano, Founder of CALN-online
Usually the things we take for granted are the things we can't live without during alarming moments in our lives. All over the world, education is being tested to halt.  Meet Coco who has built her company around these kind of moments.  She also happens to be in the same field of work that I've ended up being in (and thoroughly enjoy doing) over my years as an educator.   However this episode, she will school me in what I don't know and what will be the future of education.  For the traditionalists, we may gripe or assess with scrutiny but companies like Coco's are here to stay.  What she and others like her are building are undoubtedly the education of these times. CALN online :  https://www.caln-online.net Instagram & Facebook :  @caln_online
48:34
April 08, 2020
Episode 29-- Rieko Aiba, Activation Coach
In Western Culture, compliments are often given to one's characteristics or possessions through speech while inversely  the Japanese give "subtle" compliments based on one's ability or work ethic.  Rarely do the younger Japanese receive vocal praise or appreciation from their seniors in the workplace.  However it's slowly changing as the future generations have to be  culturally open-minded and seeing the worth in taking risks in their careers.  Meet Rieko who is an Activation Coach.  Knowing and living through a variety of different societies (in many US regions, Japan and trekking through South and Central America), she finally manifested her potential into a possible career.  This is a story that helps others struggle through dire times. You can contact Rieko for a chat/consultation here:  https://youmoveyou.life
01:09:45
March 25, 2020
Episode 28-- Junko Takashima & Eiko Ishikawa: JJ Kitchen in Tokyo
Japanese cuisine is no doubt one of the attractive lures to visit this country. For every Japanophile, there will always be a glorification for one’s favorite ramen bowl, sushi bite or okonomiyaki plate. We all hold these experiences so dearly. However most visitors and foreign residents often miss out on the chance to cook and eat home cooked “Washoku” until recently. Here’s Junko and Eiko running JJ Kitchen in Tokyo ( @jj.kitchen.tokyo ) . They’ve just opened their kitchen studio and  have been quietly gaining street rep for providing laid back cooking lessons to the local foreigners and visitors who are curious in attempting what most Japanese families often serve at home.  For those of you here or soon to be inbound in Japan and want to cook the real deal Japanese family-style cooking, these ladies are legit going to teach you while making you feel at home. JJ Kitchen in Tokyo--  www.jj-kitchen.tokyo For info, inquiry and reservations email Junko:  junko@jj-kitchen.tokyo
44:48
March 11, 2020
Episode 27 -- Kou Ebisawa, Sales Manager of Sanyo Corp. of America
"Kikokushijo" is a Japanese word referring to a child born outside the country but returns back to Japan.  It also coincides with the child of a Japanese expatriate who receives a part of their education outside Japan.  The latter term is often held in high esteem within the Japanese society however the child undoubtedly attracts the weight of jealousy and alienation among one's peers.  I'm going to switch it up on this episode as I present you Kou's story ( @ebikou ) .  A Japanese man who was born and with a twist of fate, eventually made in America.  This is an individual that is still figuring out his own journey yet  I consider one of the lucky ones that was produced by Corporate Japan and has never given into complacency. Sanyo Corporation of America --  https://sanyocorp.com
49:34
February 19, 2020
Episode 26 -- Matthew Waldman, Artist, Designer, Technoprogressivist and creator of Nooka.com
I was fortunate to share a cup of tea high above the fashion hub district of Shibuya with an insightful individual.  Matthew ( @thinglove ) is the founder of  NOOKA but recently is one of the forefront professors at Keio University Graduate School of Media Design.  This chat was lengthy compared to my average episode yet the unhindered conversation was very vital in understanding (if only the surface) the attractive field in design and what Matthew stresses the importance of Universal Language and Branding.  At times I may have felt like one of his students mentally taking bullet points but his story can otherwise be utilizable to innovators of all fields.  Personally, this has been one of the most edifying episodes I've produced so far.  Honestly, this is for you faithful listeners wanting to study or pursue the field of product design and branding.   matthewwaldman.com Keio University Graduate School of Design--  https://www.kmd.keio.ac.jp
01:02:49
February 04, 2020
Episode 25 -- DJ Sarasa & Brooklyn Terry Founders of SPEAKEASY TYO
Happy New Year!  Thank you listeners for keeping this party train cruising through to a new decade.  Speaking of which, here we have two likeminded and complimentary music enthusiasts.  A professional dance instructor and DJ teamed up to grow  one of the most popular  parties Tokyo has to offer.  In barely its five years of existence, they've managed to bring in notable guest DJs that gained traction with both foreigners and Japanese.  They strive to be the "unofficial official party for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics" this year.   It's a conversation of their struggles reaching to where they are now and as I surmised, their dreams to make an event where everyone feels safe, comfortable and inclusive.   For upcoming events, visit    https://speakeasytyo.splashthat.com      Just RSVP and you'll have free entry. IG and FB:  @speakeasytyo.official
46:59
January 22, 2020
Episode 24 -- Who is Meljo Catalan?
It's officially my first anniversary of this podcast.   My outlook has changed and fortunately the mission has stayed the same.  Thank you for being here and riding this journey with me; for better or worse.  As a bonus episode to cap this "first season" of Made in Japan podcast, here's an interview I gave early this year for my friend, Akil doing his thing at @japanaccordingtoakil .    I hope my anecodotes and my  mantra-esque advice about my first experiences in Japan can be of use.   Japan according to Akil:   https://anchor.fm/japan-according-to-akil
28:19
December 10, 2019
Episode 23 -- Haim Cifuentes, Chef & Owner of La Cabina Tokyo
Honestly, who doesn't like tacos? For me, it's one of those comfort foods that makes me smile with every bite.  If I've gone out and eaten tacos with you, you're either a relative or one of my closest friends.  For the Tokyoites, you may have noticed a sudden boom of Tex/Mex joints sprouting throughout the city and even the outskirts.  I'm not complaining but I'm here to proclaim I discovered a gem that will outshine amongst the wanna-bees.  Tucked modestly outside a hip Scandinavian craft bar called ( @oltokyo ) is a food truck serving the most authentic Mexican Taquiera joint Tokyo has to offer.  It's run by a modest, stylish yet approachable  Tapatio chef that is determined to make his mark telling his story to the locals through his memorable food.  These are tacos that will make any Mexican proud.   Instagram & Facebook:  @lacabinatokyo
39:07
November 27, 2019
Episode 22 -- The Breakdown Crew : A Retro (&Pro)spective of a Japanese Underground Hip Hop Scene
Last month, a well known Shibuya "gaijin bar" closed its doors to the public in a foreseeable rebranding.   This venue's longevity was mostly successful due to  a monthly event of a Hip-Hop basement party vibe called "The Breakdown".  I had the opportunity to visit their very last farewell and convinced the DJs who've kept the scene alive for over a decade to chat with me.   A nostalgic banter & hour-long praise disguised as an interview.  This is a story of three DJs who originally wanted to spin tracks for themselves but later turned out to be hosts of a scene that grew into a collective; a family that shared the love and community to connect foreigners with locals unintentionally.   Check out their Facebook page for what the future holds for the Breakdown:  https://www.facebook.com/thebreakdownshibuya/
01:09:53
November 13, 2019
Episode 21 -- Kilara Sen, Japanese Bilingual Stand-up Comedian
Have you ever wanted to be bilingual or trilingual?  On top of that, try putting yourself on a stage and get your audience's attention with telling jokes outside of your native tongue.  Here we have Kilara Sen  ( @kilaracomedy ) who does this for a living and rocking out in a spotlight where very few Japanese dare to step in.  I was delighted to hear her become a Conan O`Brien stalker as well as traversing the globe testing her English comic routine.  I'm envious of her bravery.  Yet, I hope you all enjoy her charisma and wit as much I did.  Youtube:   https://www.youtube.com/user/kaoricomedy Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kilaracomedy Twitter & Instagram:  @kilaracomedy
41:09
October 21, 2019
Episode 20 -- Walter Edwards, Project Manager Guru in Japan
What’s it like to be “Living the Dream” in Japan? I often receive this hypothetical question (as with many of my foreigner peers who have weathered many cherry blossoms on these shores) and there is never an accurate answer. Some say it’s living a life of self reliance among the communal pressure or others can argue its to be fully assimilated in that same community.  What I do know is that those that  live this life in Japan successfully maintain a healthy balance in between both ends of this spectrum.  But how does one do this while working in Japan’s highly oiled and over intricate corporate machine?  For this question I had a chat with my man, Walter. For those of you wondering what’s it like for a foreigner working deep in the corporate scene, his story gives some clarity. And if you are curious in taking this path in your career, his valuable advice should be considered when you’re searching for your own dreams. 🤘🏻🐼🤘🏻
43:03
October 06, 2019
Episode 19 -- Martin Kirby, British Pro-Wrestler (Dragon Gate)
Japanese Professional Wrestling.  I can't think of another hobby  that blurs the lines of its fan base between otaku game nerds, martial arts enthusiasts and just old fashioned wrestling fanatics...I love it!  Here's Martin Kirby  ( @MKirbyProEgo   : IG & Twitter)  who is a prominent fighter in the  UK wrestling scene and now making a big splash in one of Japan's premier wrestling company, Dragon Gate.  He just landed in Japan a little over a month ago and went straight to work; joining the traveling caravan with other Japanese & foreigner luchadors high flying from ring corners all over Japan.  I was lucky to find some free time and talk about his life and passion of pro wrestling in the UK & Japan.  Even for the uninterested, Martin's hard training and drive is a valuable testament to achieving your hopes and dreams internationally.  It's hard to top that.  For those of you who are slightly keen,  suspend your beliefs and check out a Dragon Gate event.  Why not? Dragon Gate Official Site  @dragongate_pro English Twitter : @DragonGateEN Dragon Gate English on Facebook Martin Kirby has many highlights on Youtube
37:26
September 15, 2019
Episode 18 -- Mel McIvor, Editor-in-Chief of GLOBIS Insights
Sooner or later I was bound to run into another “Mel-Sensei” in Tokyo. And she is a grammarian badass! Meet Mel, a once veteran English teacher/ translator who decided to take that leap from academia into well...academia!  She works at GLOBIS University, Japan’s top MBA program, but she's the editorial director of its online newsletter, GLOBIS Insights which provides professors and writers an outlet into some in-depth global & domestic analysis of the business realm. We talk about some mutual corporate teaching experiences in Japan as well as some cultural issues that we all can relate to and may even hit close to home. GLOBIS Insights:  https://e.globis.jp GLOBIS University :  www.globis.ac.jp
38:27
August 27, 2019
Episode 17 -- Donny Kimball, Digital Marketing PR Maverick / Local Japan Explorer & Influencer
Growth Hacking. I’m sure most people outside of digital marketing have never heard the term including myself.  I’ve only learned about it this year and fortunately I happen to know one individual in Tokyo who belongs in this new field of business growth; a ghost in the social media machine. And he also happens to be prominent with his off-the-beaten path travel blog. Here’s Donny, dropping some relevant insights of the digital world and the Japanese behavior on social media . I also picked his brain for what drives him to travel all of over Japan; interacting and promoting the locals and a plethora of countryside treasures that most foreigner tourist don’t know about. This episode is somewhat of a clamor for all of you visiting Japan to hear and read Donny’s travels if you haven’t yet. The future of Japan’s tourism needs to alleviate the overwhelming traffic of Japan’s typical sightseeing spots and this country has so much more to offer to its ever increasing visitors. It’s good to see Donny is helping lead that charge.  Donnykimball.com  IG and FB: @donnyjkimball  Visit Japan promo video:     https://youtu.be/WLIv7HnZ_fE https://gilesbowkett.com
54:51
August 05, 2019
Episode 16 -- Gizem Sakamaki, Tokyo Foodie & founder of FOODIE ADVENTURE JAPAN
Real Talk: The Japanese food culture is one of the strongest in the world.  5 years ago, Washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) has been recognized by UNESCO (as well as most of anything Japan-related which may as well be an entire episode to reflect on) as an intangible cultural heritage.  In lay terms and if you don't know by now, most of Japanese society LOVE food.  And not just by consumption but of the time, care and respect they give in preparing meals whether its classic or modern.   Therefore, this country inherently attracts all types of food lovers, chefs and culinary artisans abroad thirsty to soak in whatever morsel Japan has to offer.  In this episode, meet Gizem, a foodie and  entrepreneur who has molded her passion for the perfect bite into a Tokyo food tour guide.  Unlike most Tokyo guides, she has managed to be one of the first to invite all kinds of people with special dietary needs to be able enjoy the Japanese cuisine experience yet stay true to their diet.  Foreseeing the future of Tokyo and the rest of Japan, she knows that more and more foreigners wanting to visit Japan can find frustration when looking for their own perfect bite while immersing in the "Japanese Culture".   This episode is the perfect resource for those of you who feel that anxiety.  If you ever want to visit Tokyo and are interested, Gizem is the perfect hostess with the mostess. www.FoodieJapan.com IG & Facebook:   @foodieadventurejapan
34:43
July 29, 2019
Episode 15 -- Manami : Okinawa Jpop Singer
I've never been starstruck with musicians or singers (well...except seeing Neutral Milk Hotel or Mineral or The Roots live). Although I AM awestruck meeting people with intense passion, integrity and sincerity.  Here we have Manami who is a Japanese singer that embodies all three characteristics in her life.  We haven't met in at least a decade but I'm proud to have her as a student and as a friend.   Her career rocketed when she won a singing contest organized by @nigo and @pharrell which resulted in two tracks produced by the N.E.R.D. legend himself.  This paved her way to a career spanning seven years in Okinawa with all sorts of local sponsors and collaborations.  She then had the chance to perform at various  overseas venues.  Meanwhile, I would happen glance at her promotional videos that blanketed from the big LED screens of Shibuya to the local television sets in Okinawa homes and to the Japanese youth grasping their smartphones and gawking at her dance routines in her youtube channel.  After all this, she returned to Tokyo this year with renewed vigor and purpose; poised to bring her fans a new sound that I'm sure they will embrace.  I was excited to see her and catch up again but I'm thrilled to watch her talent mature on a new level.  That's just how she rolls. You can listen and watch Manami perform on iTunes , Spotify, Youtube and follow her on her IG:   @manami_sorafune Official Website:  https://www.manami-sorafune.com
35:45
June 30, 2019
Episode 14 -- Kaz Namba: Sogetsu Ikebana Teacher
I wanted to do an episode of something traditionally Japanese; something I honestly had no knowledge or experience about it.  Ikebana was the first thing that came to my mind (It might have to do with recently watching "Lost in Translation" again and that scene with Scarlett Johansson appeared).  I couldn't even finish the film because I knew who my next guest was going to be.  I called Kaz, whom I know through the Shibuya hip hop scene because I needed some enlightenment.  Besides being an old school hip hop DJ, He happens to be a certified Ikebana Teacher from the Sogetsu school.  As you can see from his instagram  @somyaku   , his beautiful ikebana installations made me realized that this was probably not gonna be a something traditional at all!  And that is what made the episode much better!  If you are interested in learning Sogetsu Ikebana and you're planning to visit Tokyo, Kaz is your man to meet. I'm sure he can really give much insight as well as a unique experience from this art form.   You can contact Kaz on his Instagram and on his website,  www.somyaku.com  Sogetsu Ikebana https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sōgetsu-ryū
47:46
June 10, 2019
Episode 13 — Isaac “Tac” Aquino, creator of Tokyo Interlopers
Episode 13— Isaac “Tac” Aquino, creator of Tokyo Interlopers Sooner or later I was bound to encounter a guest that runs parallel with me. Someone with a similar vision but on a different medium. Here’s Tac, who had gone through the cogs of the Japanese higher education system and the draconian rule-based corporate world. Three years ago, he’s created a website, @Tokyointerlopers which mirrors “Humans of New York” but with an emphasis on photos and stories of foreigners, mixed race Japanese, and 2nd & 3rd generation Japanese living in Japan. His vision of an inclusive and diverse Japanese society runs the same fuel for this podcast. That other parallel of being him being Filipino and I being Filipino-American is also a delightful coincidence to chat about. This was a very special episode for me reflecting on my roots of my birth land. I highly recommend all of you to check out and follow Tokyo Interlopers to truly see the diversity that’s laced through Tokyo life. TokyoInterlopers.com You can follow and see many Tokyo stories he’s interviewed on Facebook and Instagram as well. https://www.facebook.com/tokyointerlopers/
47:28
May 27, 2019
Episode 12-- Akil Watson, Real Change Master E-Course Online & Japan According to Akil Podcast
For the first time (and definitely not the last), I’m going to bring you in my field of work which is one of the most common entry jobs in Japan; English teaching.  Most foreigners have often used the occupation as a steppingstone to vault their way into pursuing their interests in what Japan has to offer. However there are still a handful of us educators in Japan that found this career as our calling. Take for example my guest Akil Watson. He is one of the few English teachers I know that takes pride in English teaching and embraces his occupation in creating his own venture. Recently launching his own startup e-course online, he harnessed all the knowledge and experiences he learned in the classrooms and packaged it into a resourceful product for the Japanese community. In Japan, the market for English language learning is saturated with regurgitated textbooks, private English schools, freelance tutors, English speaking cafes, Skype online chats, etc. This clearly creates unnecessary anxiety for Japanese wanting to practice speaking English yet not sure where to start or what kind of curriculum fits their purpose to study.  Akil is one of the few teachers I know that realizes the way forward for Japanese adult English education is a “specialized learning environment”. He also has his own podcast called “Japan according to Akil” which gives various tips alongside for incoming foreigners. We also exacerbate our experiences of Japanese life and where does it go from here. There’s a bit of digression but I think this conversation of two old timers give a tip or two will benefit the future English teachers planning to live here and thrive in this industry. 🤘🏻🐼🤘🏻 WARNING SPOILER ALERT: This episode contains some unrelated(well... possibly related) banter of AVENGERS: End Game. If you haven’t seen the movie, please feel free to skip from the 50 minute mark.   You can find Akil's online course here 【Real Change Master オンライン】接客・サービス英会話編 飲食店 (初級)):   https://www.udemy.com/real-change-master-online-insyokuten-syokyuu/ "Japan According to Akil Podcast" can be found on Facebook, Instagram and wherever you listen to your podcasts: https://soundcloud.com/akil-watson
01:01:47
May 14, 2019
Episode 11 -- Phil Huey aka DJ Phil So Good (co-founder of The Hangout Tokyo)
Closing out April with another music related guest,  join me in chatting with an old buddy I met through the Tokyo club nightlife.  Phil (or as he's known by his witty nom de guerre, DJ Phil So Good) and I talk about the our own heyday experiences of the Tokyo club scene and his rising as a regular DJ spinning "House Party" at some of the major venues in the city.   Along with his partner, Mark they've gone the DIY route and organized a multi-genre international party with live bands called, The Hangout  .    Unsurprisingly within a few short years of its existence, the event has been quite a success among the night prowling Tokyo party-goers especially for foreigners craving for a good time and not having to pay a fortune to get it.  I'm sure the scene has changed since the last time Ive attended such kind of parties however Phil and Mark are paving the way in creating a new type of scene to let loose for foreigners and Japanese alike.    For those living or are in Japan in the beginning of May, The Hangout will be held on Saturday, May 11 at Studio Mugic:  https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/nightlife/the-hang-out You can check Phil on IG:  @phil_soo_good You can search "The Hangout Tokyo" on IG and Facebook:  https://m.facebook.com/tokyouhangout/   
39:19
April 30, 2019
Episode 10 -- Indie Rocker Kento Sugiyama
On this episode, join me as we scratch the surface of the Tokyo indie rock scene.  I sat down with Kento for a blitzkrieg-paced bop of an episode.  I dove deep into his musical inspirations, his experience living and  bringing anarchy in the uk and finally coming full circle back to the Tokyo Indie underground.   Kento's come-as-you-are demeanor reflects his musical journey which is still growing.  Although the Tokyo scene has a clear and present division within their community, it undoubtedly shares the same unknown pleasures for rock and roll.   Case in point, Kento and I try to figure out two highly influential neighborhoods of Koenji and Shimokitazawa:  great outlets for starving artists yet they have completely different music vibes.   Kento’s story can be very familiar or just new noise but it’s definitely not the path of the norm in Japan.  Hope you enjoy!   PS. Can you name all these punk band references of my youth? You can check out Kento's band by searching  on Youtube and Soundcloud:   https://www.youtube.com/user/kentiemod https://soundcloud.com/kentie_funk Also check out these clubs and see for yourself about  local Tokyo underground indie rock scene: Club UFO (Koenji) :  https://www.ufoclub.jp Club Ichibee (Kichijoji) :  http://www.ichibee.com
37:38
April 09, 2019
Episode 9 -- Huy Nguyen, NA Stock Company Co-founder, Shopify Retail Launch Engineer
It's time to get personal.  Huy was one of my first roommates and oldest friends in Japan.  Even though he doesn't live in Japan, this country is still his home away from home.  His story is no less different with people I know entering an international marriage with a Japanese partner yet he brings a wealth of knowledge for those who are getting ready to take that leap.  As a husband, father and entrepreneur, he brings  perseverance and a remarkable sense of cross cultural understanding that should be revered.  We talk about our early days of city life in coming to Japan, his path towards joining Apple and now Shopify.com as well as his new startup, Nastockcompany.com  This interview was filled with nostalgia but it exemplifies true friendships that you can make and cherish when living in Japan.   For those of you filled with the entrepreneurial spirit, check out Shopify.com Along with their website, Huy's company for travel tags can also be found on IG:  @nastockcompany and Facebook:  www.facebook.com/nastockcompany
53:49
March 19, 2019
Episode 8 -- Bryan Baird of Baird Brewing
On a rainy day, I sloshed my way through the sidewalk puddles up to the Nakameguro Taproom to share a pint with Bryan yet I had no intentions about learning the intricacies of how to brew a good batch of beer.  If you are a beer lover, live in Japan and never drunk Baird Beer, now's the time to catch up with the rest of us.  Bryan along with his wife, Sayuri have been spearheading the Japan craft beer movement and community since the mid-Nineties.  And he's doing it the right way.  You can see the passion and work ethic in his team which is spread through 6 taprooms and brewery in Japan as well as a taproom in LA.  But at the core of all this is the message that Bryan brings which is simple:  providing delicious beer.  We talk about how he came about  being a brewer in Japan, the college days, as well giving New Haven pizza the props it deserves (shout out to my CT brethren).  Also we touch on being a quality  owner/brewer in Japan is essential for the new up and comers.  To my listeners and friends who enjoy a good pint of craft beer, this round is for you! Baird Brewing Facebook --  https://www.facebook.com/BairdBrewing Instagram  -- @bairdbrewing Twitter  -- @bairdbeer
38:54
March 11, 2019
Episode 7– Avelio Systems: Founder Asa Eagle Yoshii & Sales Director Ryuhei Hasegawa
In the southwestern part of metropolitan Tokyo lies an area considered the Japanese version of Silicon Valley. “Gotanda valley”, as it’s called within the local tech community, is the home of Avelio Systems as well as many other startups working with AI, apps, and the latest type of computer tech. Here you can see a map of the valley and Avelio Systems office is near the bottom: https://prtimes.jp/a/?f=d31052-20190221-8290.pdf I paid a visit and talked with the company founder Asa and Sales Director, Ryuhei who’ve explained into how their company was born and how it continues to thrive. These two have been surviving this game for decades and they graciously gave their time to indulge me; what are they doing these days as well expressing Japan’s urgency for more Systems and Software Engineers. For any of you interested in working as an engineer in Japan, I’d be happy to connect you to Asa or Ryuhei. You can peruse Avelio Systems English website here: https://www.avelio.co.jp/en/ They also have a Facebook page (Japanese only) which you can access here: https://www.facebook.com/AvelioSystems/
29:49
March 04, 2019
Episode 6— Sifu Ki Innis, Wing Chun Specialist (part 2)
Continuing my interview with Ki from episode 5, we head straight towards his other passion; Wing Chun martial arts. And we cannot discuss the discipline and philosophy that is Wing Chun unless we give praise to the legendary Bruce Lee, his writings and his contributions to the film industry and its celebrities. As I warned in the previous episode, there's a lot of talk of The Dragon and also a bit of respect given to his successor, Jackie Chan. This is all surrounding how teen angst Ki got into martial arts. However, the guilt of never following through led him "to finding his center" only after his university years. Eventually, he became a disciple of Master Victor Parlati under the lineage of Grandmaster William Cheung. We'd come full circle as we again acknowledge a big shoutout to our mutual Japan friend that helped him build his Wing Chung school in Japan as well as his drawing workshops. And finally, Ki's comments about deciding to live in Japan are quite appropriate for people wondering if this country is right for them. If you are in Tokyo and interested in Wing Chun, Ki is more than happy to let you visit and watch his classes. Search @sifu_ki_innis on Instagram and "Sifu Ki Innis" on Facebook. Ki's Illustration blog and Master Drawing Japan workshops can be found here: kicreativestudio.blogspot.com IG and FB: @ki_innis and @master_drawing_japan
50:44
February 04, 2019
Episode 5 -- Ki Innis, The Illustrator (part 1)
For my next guest we dive into the life of Ki Innis whom I consider a polymath; a modern day warrior poet.  His larger-than-life personality and story is what attracted me to interview him (as well as  him being what I consider to be part of "the old guard" in Tokyo).  We'd dived so deep into his childhood from growing up in New York to sharing our love and appreciation for Bruce Lee.  Sidenote:  All of you Bruce Lee and martial arts fans and practitioners would love these next two episodes.  We learn what sparked his interest to live in Japan as well as catching that lucky break to make a living as an illustrator and animator surviving in Tokyo.  Finally in the first half of our conversation, we hear how Ki gets in contact with two giants in the animation/illustration field, Glenn Vilppu and Ron Husband, which leads him to be the event director of Master Drawing Japan.   Stay tuned for part 2 of this conversation where we dive deep into Wing Chun and how he unexpectedly came upon it.   You can contact and follow Ki on his illustrations and drawing classes through Instagram and Facebook with his handles, @master_drawing_Japan and ki_innis .  Also check out his blog,  kicreativestudio.blogspot.com for updates and events that he organizes.   
55:26
January 27, 2019
Episode 4-- Travel Bloggers Jessica Korteman & Hai Huynh (Notes of Nomads)
To kickoff 2019, I invited the lovely and adventurous duo of Jessica Korteman and Hai Huynh for coffee and a chat. They are freelance travel bloggers now based in Tokyo. You can read and see their captivating photos of their trips to over 50 countries and 6 continents on their travel blog,  Notesofnomads.com Alongside, they work with Instagram Japan ( @instagramjapan ) as Instameet managers for Japan. Organizing meetups on a monthly basis, it gives shutterbugs a chance to meet and share their passion while visiting local spots that most foreigners don’t know about. I think it’s a wonderful chance to use a social media platform to bridge a foreign and Japanese community together instead of inducing users to be habitually self conscious.   Jess has also recently started a new blog, Travelsoloanyway.com , a unique concept geared to people who are interested to solo travel even if they are in a relationship or just downright nervous about the idea.   Join us as I ask them about what made them come to Japan and what’s their experience like living in Japan. Although my path coming to this country is different from theirs, I quickly discover that we share very similar experiences.  Also we share visions of Japan’s seemingly endless travel destinations to future visitors and new inhabitants. You can reach Jess and Hai on all major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube) by searching @notesofnomads and @travelsoloanyway
47:08
January 14, 2019
Episode 3 -- Power Yoga instructor Kuna Yun
Streamlining towards 2019, Japanese people usually celebrate the New Year with a sense of calmness and reflection.  The intentions of starting anew with vigor and individual improvement; like hitting the reset button within their souls.  I figured Kuna would be the logical choice to chat with.  She is a Yoga instructor as well as the studio director of the Gold's Gym in the Minamiaoyama branch ( www.goldsgym.jp/shop/13170 ) as well as Mellow Flow Studio ( www.mellowflow.jp ) which is on the 8th floor the upscale TAKASHIMAYA Department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo.  Kuna has also published articles on Yoga in Japanese health and fitness magazines such as "Woman's  SHAPE & Sports".  We talk about her story of becoming a yoga instructor, the style of yoga she teaches and most importantly how can it be beneficial for everyone.  Kuna would be a great person to contact for any foreigner yoga instructor wishing to work and live in Tokyo but she's also just a great person to hang around as she emits more positive and cheerful vibes than anyone I know in this city.   If anyone is interested in the 2019 New Year Yoga Party please check out Minamiaoyama Branch website for more information.  If you're interested to take her yoga class, you can follow Kuna on Facebook and Instagram : @Kunita  and both her studios as well @goldsgym_minamiaoyama   @mellowflow.studio                                              
33:24
December 27, 2018
Episode 2 -- Japan Airlines Pilot Motohiro Kishi
Today I had a quality chat with Motohiro Kishi, a US-born Japanese commercial airline pilot for Japan Airlines. I invited him on to my show because truly how often have you ever heard of a podcast episode with a Boeing 777 pilot?! It’s not every day that we get a chance to hear what life’s like as a commercial airline pilot as well as someone who works in one of the most arduous and controversial airline companies in Japan. We walk along his path from a trading house worker's son growing up in Los Angeles to challenging himself in the strict and exhausting process of becoming a Japanese airline pilot. Buckle your safety belts and adjust your seats to the upright position because he'll take you for a spin!
55:41
December 02, 2018
Episode 1 -- Entrepreneur Natsuki Yasuda
Welcome to my first episode of my podcast! My first guest is Natsuki Yasuda, a young entrepreneur who's worked at Rakuten, a global Japanese e-commerce rival to Amazon, but then he went rogue to co-found his own consulting firm and build his own travel guide/tour package website of his homeland, Hokkaido prefecture in Northern Japan, treasurefurano.com Activities such as dogsledding with Siberian huskies make me want to sign up! It was a trip down nostalgia lane catching up with one of my former students that I've witnessed grow from a teenager to a member of the new generation of Japanese young adults that have ambition break out of the social norm yet do something worthwhile to help others.
43:12
November 16, 2018