Born and raised in Sanagouchi, a tight-knit farm village in Tokushima Prefecture, Masafumi Kurisaka, 50, spent seven years at a major Japanese industrial and engineering corporation in Osaka. He left to carry on the family strawberry business. Now, 25 years later, he is the owner of Japan’s first luxury line of strawberries, a brand called Sakura Momo Ichigo, and head of the Strawberry Division at Tokushima City’s Japan Agricultural Cooperative.

1. Can you describe yourself in three words? “Cheerful” is the first one. The second is “red,” as in I’m burning with passion for my strawberries. Lastly, “strawberry,” because I need to think as though I am one of my strawberries to know if they are thirsty or too cold.

2. What made you quit your corporate job and switch to farming? I had begun to doubt the way the corporation operated. At the same time, my father’s strawberries, called Momo Ichigo, were taking off. I thought the timing was right to carry on the family business.