In late 1992, Kazuhiro Soda was attending a "company information session" in Tokyo, where young students about to graduate from university were introduced to various companies as prospective recruits.

"I looked around and saw of a sea of young Japanese, all wearing the same black suits," he recalls. "There were 2,000 of us in one huge room, inside a large corporate building. As far as I knew, none of us had been instructed about what to wear and yet everyone turned up in the same 'recruit suit,' including myself."

That was the moment when Soda decided that "the corporate life" wasn't for him.