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Date of publication: Jun 24, 2019

Michael Kaplan

Founder/CEO
The American Guitar Academy
https://www.theamericanguitaracademy.com/
Founder/CEO
TAGA Publishing
https://tagapublishing.com/

Date of birth: Sept. 27, 1973

Hometown: New York

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 7.5 (as of June 2019)

Michael Kaplan
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

As a young boy growing up in New York I had a few Japanese friends. I recall being intrigued with the culture even then. That was my first main encounter with Japanese culture until I came to Japan for the first time in 2006 as a tourist.

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

I don’t have a motto per se. However, I live my life with no fear. What I mean is that life is short and there is no time for regrets. Therefore, follow your dreams, do whatever you want as long as you don’t hurt anyone, and don’t let people tell you that you can’t do anything.

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

I do not think that anything I have done is special. Having said that, sometimes it is hard to believe that I came to a country where I did not speak the language with absolutely no business experience whatsoever and started a business, or that I wrote two books for the esteemed Berklee College of Music. However, if I had to choose, I am proudest of my family and children.

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

My goals are to continue to provide very high-quality music education in Japan and throughout expansion across Asia. I also look forward to opening more businesses in Japan, Asia and abroad. It is exciting to open businesses, make mistakes, learn from them and watch those businesses grow.

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

Living and working in a “foreign” country can be challenging and for me it is a love-hate relationship. There are many things that I love about this country as well as many things that I dislike. I would say that someone must be able to not judge other cultures that might be different than the one that they were born into. Living abroad will certainly change you in many ways.

Last updated: Jun 24, 2019