Jason Hancock, 46, is an American actor and TV personality in Japan. In 2016, he founded Special Beauty Japan, a pageant celebrating the unique talents of special needs youth. This year, he is an on-call announcer for Olympics events at the National Stadium and for track and field events for the Paralympics.
1. What brought you to Japan? My first job was as a teacher in Fukushima Prefecture. It was a compromise with my parents, as I wanted to move to New York to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Coming to Japan for a year — famous last words — was the time for me to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Much to their surprise, my interest in working in the Japanese entertainment industry kept me here and did not take me back stateside.
2. As a reporter for NHK World, what story are you most proud of? On a show called “Tomorrow,” I was able to travel to Tohoku and interview families as they strived to rebuild their lives after the earthquake and tsunami. Their stories are those that really stand out as pieces I'm proud to have taken a part in sharing. It really helped me see the Japanese fighting spirit.