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Mika Noguchi

by Judit Kawaguchi

Peach John has been providing women with sexy and cute lingerie via its catalog and retail business since 1994. Leading this company, which had sales of 16 billion yen last year, is President Mika Noguchi, a woman who is not afraid to bare her true feelings.

First and foremost, I am a mother. I’m in my element as everyone’s mom, not only to my four kids of 18, 17, 8 and 2 but also to my mom, to my 300 employees, and to my friends. They all lean on me, but I don’t feel any weight or pressure from them. I love giving them a lot of attention, presents and whatever they need. This is what I was born for.

I wanted to avoid commuting on crowded trains so I started my company. I figured that was the only way I could sleep in and still make money: I had to be the president! On the other hand, all my poor employees have to suffer on those trains so I really appreciate them. Gosh, I should pay them more as soon as possible!

My life is more exciting than any fiction so I don’t read novels or watch movies.

I want to be a human-breeding machine. I see myself as the equivalent of a dog breeder experimenting and having fun in the process. I already have four wonderful children with two men and now I want to have more kids with a few different guys because I believe in mixing as many people’s DNA as possible.

There is no way to get everything from one man. Now I have men for different purposes: some to talk to, others to have dinner with or go drinking with. I only have sex with one man, though.

There’s no need to love everything about a man. One good quality is enough to make him attractive and I just enjoy that part of him and don’t even notice the rest.

My marriage failed because of lighting design. I like floor lamps and he wanted ceiling lights. It seems to me that marital success depends on good design. I guess we just didn’t see the light.

Beautiful lingerie is not about pleasing men. It is for the woman to enjoy and feel good wearing it.

There is a huge disparity between what men and women consider attractive in a woman. To understand this, all you have to do is buy a few men’s magazines and a few women’s magazines and see the difference in the photos. What are those weird poses and giant boobs all about?

I am very good at one thing: producing talent. I’m always able to find geniuses anywhere, and I employ them. Once I do, I love them, I hug them, I buy them anything so they’re happy and I try to read their minds and help them realize their dreams. I create an ideal work environment so that they love coming in to the office. That is my role as president: help them so they can help me. It’s 100 percent give-and-take.

Women don’t need data or manuals to know right from wrong. We look at each other and shout: Ah! I see! and we all get it. We don’t need key words. Guys just never get it unless they have something written to support an idea. Do I have time for that? No! That’s why 95 percent of our 300 employees are women.

The trouble with most women is that they hate change, even minor changes, and I am just the opposite: I seek out new ideas all the time. This does create friction in the company, though. Men get excited at the idea of business growth and say “ganbarimasu”* but women just roll their eyes and come up with reasons why things are better the way they already are. Not me, though!

MBAs are overrated. They are good for salaried workers but not for company owners. I learned everything I know on the job so I don’t really think you need to go to a university to be a successful entrepreneur.

I know how to make money and I want to show others how to do it. My dream is to go to countries that are less economically developed and teach people how to get rich.

My mission is pretty much accomplished: I created wonderful lingerie for stressed-out women to feel happier in and I made a lot of money in the process. My children must give that all back to society in another form so they are all studying hard to find the best way to do it.

I never want to be alone except in the bath. That is my only private time to relax, so I take one or two hours to soak up as much energy as I can.

I am only reliable in the business world, where I never cancel appointments, but in private I do it all the time. That is my weak point and most likely I am not going to improve in this area.

Being successful means I don’t have to put up with anything. I hate gaman!**

Notes: *Ganbarimasu translates into I’ll do my best! I’ll give it my best shot!
**Gaman means to endure hardship, pain or uncomfortable situations and persevere without complaints.

Judit Kawaguchi loves to listen. She is a volunteer counselor and a TV reporter on NHK’s “Weekend Japanology” www.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/japanology_e.html