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Ruth Marie Jarman

CEO & Founder
Jarman International K.K.

Hometown: Mililani, Hawaii

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 30 (as of January 2019)

Ruth Marie Jarman
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

My first time in Japan was an eight-month homestay as an exchange student when I was 21. Before arriving, my host mother sent me a letter using the most beautiful paper and delicate calligraphy. She only used hiragana, which I could hardly read, but I tried hard and thought her heart was so beautiful since she took the time to think about me and write the whole letter in hiragana.

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

My current motto is “Bring back the love.” I feel that a lot of us have lost touch with the love part, especially in the U.S. The world is becoming more multicultural and fundamentally, you need love to have compassion and empathy.
My forever motto is, “If you are gonna do something you have to do it right.” Be very dedicated and committed, devote yourself and give your best.

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

Achieving the Japanese real estate license was a huge milestone. It took me five years and I consider it more important than an MBA because few non-Japanese get it.
Moreover, recently I was able to successfully gather 27 international professionals and a huge Japanese company to discuss a new service.
I’m also very proud of my latest book in Japanese, “39 reasons to be proud that we should never forget,” which came out in November.

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

I might eventually go back to the U.S., but I would like to stay until 2023 for sure and I plan to be here riding the wave of the inbound tourism that both the Rugby World Cup and the Olympics will have a great influence on. Later on, if I do get back to the U.S., I would like to get involved in politics to try to “bring back the love.”

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

Always give the benefit of the doubt. I have found so many times when I have jumped to a conclusion about Japan or Japanese people that it was always wrong. Always give the benefit of the doubt and always think that there must be some good reason for that to be happening because Japanese society really thinks about everything and you might have a whole concept that ends up being completely wrong.

Last updated: Jan 28, 2019