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Daren Afshar

Winery Productions
One Young World Japan

Date of birth: Jan. 12, 1971

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 24 (as of June 2019)

Daren Afshar
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

Funnily enough, it was my inability to grasp Mandarin Chinese. I gave up on it in high school to find out that Japanese not only had Chinese characters, but also two backup syllabaries called hiragana and katakana. I know they’re not backups, but they surely felt like it after trying Mandarin.

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

“Know when you’re right and don’t compromise.” Many of the changes over the last 20 years here in Japan have been thanks to extremely driven people with vision and determination. Things aren’t born overnight. Some of my projects have taken years to realize. Stick to your guns.

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

My network is outstanding and incredibly rewarding now. When I need things to move quickly, they move quickly now. The entertainment industry has given me the opportunity to get to know an amazing array of people, from Hollywood celebrities to Japanese politicians and business titans.

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

Entertainment is immune to economic downturns for the most part. Work is steady and growing in both quality and quantity. But, with my current network, it’s time to take on bigger, more meaningful projects that help Japan focus on its future.
Currently, that means helping the next generation of leaders realize their goals as well as help them to mold Japan’s future through our One Young World Japan Committee.

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

Japan has its problems like any other country. Rather than complain about them, help identify and fix them with teams of incredible, trustworthy people.
My Japanese friends and colleagues love to have purpose. They are constantly in search of it and will fight hard for what they believe in. There is nothing they cannot accomplish with proper leadership.

Last updated: Jan 14, 2020