Name: Masaki Matsunaga
Likes: Spending time with people who are important to me
Dislikes: Being around people who say nasty things about others
1. Where do you go to escape? I enjoy taking in the beauty of oceans and mountains with the people I love. Nature has taught me that oceans are oceans, mountains are mountains and I am myself. I should stay true to myself and shouldn’t become somebody I’m not.
2. What do you miss most about Japan when you are overseas? My family and friends.
3. What’s your favorite Japanese word or phrase? Hōgen (dialects). You really need to pay attention when listening to the different dialects used in different cities. I love that feeling.
4. What’s your favorite word or phrase in any language? “Take care of someone who is important to you.”
5. What’s the most exciting thing you have ever done? The time (my wife) Yuki, Yuki’s friends and I finished our wedding video. Everyone cried watching it.
6. If you could give a presentation anywhere in the world, where would you choose? If possible, I’d like to give a presentation on one of Saturn’s rings.
7. What’s the strangest request you’ve ever been asked in your line of work? I was asked to make people float in the air with balloons. We were able to make people fly with the help of 4,000 balloons.
8. What song best describes your work ethic? Rickie-G’s song “Life is Wonderful,” which emphasizes how beautiful life truly is. Whenever I am producing an event, I use this song to draw inspiration from his words.
9. What do you think about while standing on the train? Sometimes I think about how sore my feet are.
10. How do you spend your days off? I don’t distinguish work from my days off, but I do enjoy spending time with my significant other. We’ll drink beer from the morning, enjoy snacks and watch movies.
11. You quit your job and created your own company. Why? I initially wanted to be independent by becoming a salaryman. After two years, however, I realized I couldn’t do this successfully and so I started my own company to make the best use of my skills.
12. Why did you call your company Globe? I want my company to be similar to a globe — a company that is globally active but also pays attention to people who are close by.
13. Do you identify yourself as an instructor or a friend when giving a presentation? I prefer to be a friend. Speaking and listening have no value if they don’t co-exist. I can speak confidently because I know the audience is listening respectfully and that boosts my self-esteem. My presentations allow everyone in the audience to both speak and listen at the same time.
14. How do you connect with your audiences during your presentations? I don’t quote from a textbook but share honest opinions and experiences, especially if I’m discussing obstacles in life or negative influences. A person who has overcame real obstacles in life can be inspirational.
15. You stress the importance of respecting parents. Did you go through a rebellious phase when you were younger? I was a rebellious child and from the end of elementary school through middle school, I thought it was cool if I talked back to my parents. Many times, I would call my mother “baba,” or “old hag.”
16. You proposed the country celebrate Parents Day on Sept. 30. How is this different from Mother’s Day and Father’s Day? There isn’t a big difference, I just wanted to add an extra day where we can give thanks to our parents. Also, isn’t it easier to show your appreciation to both parents and not just your mother or father?
17. What can we expect from your talk at the upcoming Tabi Matsuri in Tokyo on Oct. 4? I still haven’t decided what I will be talking about. I believe presentations are meant to be fresh, so I’ll talk about what I’m thinking about on the day. If a sushi chef started making sushi today for a meal in October, the fish would rot. Presentations are the same.
18. Who would win a fight between a lion and tiger? I don’t think that a lion and a tiger would fight. Therefore, neither would win nor lose.
19. What do you want to be when you grow up? My favorite thing in the world is to see people who are close to me enjoying life. I want to show this feeling to my children and grandchildren one day.
20. Do you have any words of advice for young people? The more you worry, the more you can relate to those who worry. The more you suffer, the more you understand those who are suffering. Life is not only about having fun and being happy — I believe there is a meaning to the obstacles we face in life and so we should enjoy all the emotions we feel, good and bad. After all, we are only human.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.