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Jerome Chouchan

President, Japan, South Korea, South East Asia, India, Australia and New Zealand
Godiva Japan, Inc.

Date of birth: April 13, 1961

Hometown: Paris

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 28 (as of October 2018)

Jerome Chouchan
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

In the summer of 1983, I came to Japan for the first time. I was a college student then. Driven by my passion to see the unknown, I traveled through Southeast Asian countries, finally reaching Japan. I had a strong intuition that, in this Far East country, there was something very different from European culture. I was also interested in the world of Zen.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

“Right shooting always results in a hit.” This means that you shouldn’t worry about hitting the target — instead, you should calmly focus your energy on proper mindset and form. “Right-minded shooting” will naturally result in a hit.
In business, we are all under pressure. This philosophy taught me that profit is not a goal. It is a reward for doing the right things.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

Godiva Japan doubled it’s revenue in five years within a flat chocolate market and a stagnating economy. I have been very happy to be able to share how the teaching of kyudo (Japanese archery) inspired me for my business in the book, “Target: Business Wisdom from the Ancient Japanese Martial Art of Kyudo” published in April.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

In the fast-moving, globalized world, inspiration from ancient wisdoms and arts has relevance to business now more than ever. This is a journey that each of us can embark upon with sincerity and determination. I would like to continue building a career in both kyudo and business to share the unicity of Japan to the world.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

One of the wonderful aspects of Japanese culture is the focus on the “why and how” things are done rather than thinking about instant gratification or short-term results.
When you work and live in Japan, you will be able to naturally develop in your character the virtues of patience, humility and determination.

Last updated: Oct 1, 2018