I like to learn new things, and these days I’m learning a lot about learning, and about how people read, think, and connect with each other. I’ve managed to turn what I like into what I do for work, by starting (with my partner) a company, TrainingAid, focusing on learning and on skills development. “Doing your own thing” is not always easy (but I knew that going in), but it’s fun, fulfilling, and exciting, and the best part for me is the feeling that everything that I do to invest in my own skills and knowledge is an investment in my own future, and the future of the company. In that way – if not financially – being my own boss is very rewarding. Here’s my bio, and various social links.
ABOUT THIS SITE
This is a “fifth” page because –
Five is my favorite number
The concept of “lucky number” was sort of important to me as I grew up. I don’t remember how my lucky number came to be five, but for as long as I can remember I just liked the number 5. Maybe because there were a lot of 5’s in my world – I was born on the 5th of July, in the 57th year of Japan’s “Showa” period, my name in kanji (Chinese characters) has 35 strokes (seven times 5!), and the second apartment my family lived in was on the 5th floor. It’s not like I do anything about the fact that I like the number, but when I’m on the receiving end of one of those “think of a number…” tricks, or when I have to randomly choose a number (say, for a blog title), I almost always pick 5.
I’ve now lived in five places
I was born and raised in Saitama, the giant “suburb” of Tokyo. Tokyo is one of my favorite crazy places in the world, and I love exploring the streets of this mega-city full of tasteful design ideas, amazing artistic impressions, and world-class local culinary expressions. Though I didn’t really grow up in the city of Tokyo, when I think of Japan as my home, I mostly think of the collective experiences of Tokyo – accompanied by all the bits and pieces of memories from other places in Japan I’ve visited.
After high school I left home to study at a university in Connecticut, USA where I lived for four years. These four years (minus the many summer and winter months I spend traveling) were undoubtedly very important – I wouldn’t be where I am now had it not been for the opportunity to study there – but I feel I didn’t really build a personal relationship with the city (Middletown, CT, where the campus is), mostly because as a student who had the privilege of having very, very generous financial support from a scholarship, I was living in a bubble. I spent one semester in London through a work-study program, and although it was only a few months, there I had valuable real-life(ish) life lessons of living like an adult person with responsibilities.
After graduation I moved to Washington DC for work and ended up living there for four years. A lot of things happened during those years, but by far the most important were meeting my partner and together ‘adopting’ a new family member Mai, who then moved with us to…
Portland, Oregon, with which we all (including Mai, we think) fell in love. We lived in Portland for almost three years, and moving there was one of the best life-decisions we made. If we ever had to go to the US and choose where to live, hands down Portland would be our choice.
And now we’re in Germany. I’m still getting used to living here and of course struggling with the language, but I’m enjoying the process of getting to know a new place and learning about myself as my new home slowly becomes part of who I am.
SO MUCH MORE TO SEE AND LEARN
As the famous travel quote goes, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” (Augustine of Hippo). Since I discovered my love of travel, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit many places around the world. But indeed the world is like a book, with page after page of amazing new discoveries, each of which leads to the awareness that there’s so much more out there. The more I learn, the more I know about what I don’t know. So in my journey through the stories of our world, and of my life, I think I’ve probably made it to the fifth page, and I’m excited to find out what’s to come in the following pages.