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Jon Anderson

Media Sales Director
Twitch Japan

Hometown: Seattle

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 9 (as of March 2019)

Jon Anderson
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I was exposed to Japan from an early age. Several friends in elementary school had moved from Japan and I would visit their homes. My first visit was the summer after high school as part of an exchange program. Our sister school was in a small town in the hills in Hiroshima. I spoke no Japanese then, but I quickly learned how to say “mushi atsui” (hot and humid) in the hot summer.

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

“Follow your bliss.” I studied some comparative religion in college, and the late Joseph Campbell’s message from his interview with Bill Moyers stuck with me.
When you do what you love, others see your genuine enthusiasm, and doors will open for you. Following our own bliss is also a reminder to not always compare oneself to others. There will always be someone better or smarter than you out there.

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

At Microsoft, I was lucky to be part of two very creative and groundbreaking advertising teams at MSN and Xbox. We launched numerous award-winning, branded entertainment campaigns for our clients that I am proud to have been a part of. As a gamer though, producing several games and seeing my name in the credits was certainly the highlight.

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

Just juggling my work, family and personal goals! At Twitch, I have an amazing opportunity to help Japanese gamers pursuing their passions as we grow Twitch in Japan. Our media sales are one of the ways content creators can monetize their work. Moving back to Tokyo after 15 years also gave me the opportunity to ensure my children, who are Japanese-American, experience this side of their heritage.

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

I do not think my work advice is anything specific to Japan, but listen at first and learn why things are done the way they are. Also, be flexible and adapt yourself to local customs. Additionally, if you are only here temporarily, what can you learn and bring back with you?
While the energy and hustle of Tokyo is intoxicating, make sure you have a hobby or sport to manage the stress. For me, that is continuing to learn nagauta (long song) shamisen with the Kine-ie School, and cycling on the weekends. With its wide boulevards and a culture used to seeing bicycles on the street, Tokyo can be very bike-friendly.

Last updated: Mar 18, 2019