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Davide Fantoni

General Manager
Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan

Date of birth: July 19, 1970

Hometown: Florence, Italy

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 20 (as of March 2020)

Davide Fantoni
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

Far from manga or cherry blossoms, my first encounter with Japan was at university in Florence, where I took on a research on discrimination and identity in Japanese society. I later came to work for one year in the city of Sendai, and after that kept on researching for a couple of years on the hisabetsu buraku (person from a discriminated community) as a Monbusho scholarship student. 

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

“Love yourself first. Then love the rest.” It’s the basics of respect and evolution within humankind. Living in Japan has given me the opportunity to get to know myself better and, in a way, to come in good terms with myself. 

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

Any achievement that involved following an intuition or a passion that to some degree inspired others along the way, and proved wrong those who in the beginning tried to persuade you from pursuing it. This can be challenging in a country like Japan where differentiating yourself from others is not perceived positively.

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

Try to live my life as meaningfully as possible here in Japan as well as if I was living back at home or in any other place. I don’t want Japan to be an excuse nor an opportunity. It’s the geographical frame of me being myself, now.

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

Stop thinking that your way of looking at the world is the right one or the only one. Try to understand other’s points of view if you can. Accept them even if you don’t understand them. And take advantage of every opportunity.

Last updated: Mar 24, 2020