My first encounter with Japan was in 1986, when I was living and working in South Korea. I decided to work and live in Japan in 1989 for five years. My first assignment was in fashion, distributing fabrics for the Japanese apparel and fashion industry. This first experience helped me to develop my two key passions and interests, fashion and Japan.
Keep learning. Life is a learning experience and you need to be open to new things. The reason I have chosen to live and work overseas (30 years in Asia) was to have an opportunity to learn, discover and experience new things every day. Working in a different culture and environment has allowed me to realize this motto, providing me with learning experiences and challenges along the way.
Throughout my career I have been able to build connections between different countries, cultures and customs. My proudest achievement has been my role as somebody who can help brands and businesses reach out to Japan and help bridge the gap that organizations can sometimes face when establishing themselves in Japan.
While making sure to visit my home country from time to time, I continue to try to fully immerse myself into Japanese culture and take advantage of the great opportunities found here in this country. Whether visiting different regions of Japan, tasting the varied cuisine, or exploring my local neighborhood, I try to make sure that I don’t miss out on any aspect of Japanese life.
One of my key pieces of advice relates much to my motto in life, keep learning. For people living and working in Japan, there are a multitude of opportunities and chances to keep learning and improving. By already living in Japan, it is a great learning experience, having to deal with adapting to a new life and the possible culture shock people can experience when initially moving here. I would say that the most important thing is to be open to all learning opportunities you might find here in Tokyo.