STAFF INTERVIEW: Tatsuya Kato (International Office)
Tatsuya Kato is a member of the International Office at Yamasa.
Jon: As I work with you in the same office and you often provide help for students when they have questions and so on I thought I'd interview you for this weeks Newsletter.
Kato: Okay, but I'm going jogging in a minute so can you make it quick?
J: No problem, it'll be over before you can say 'owatta'...........
J: When I was student studying at Yamasa, on the rare times that I
plucked up the courage to venture into the International Office and talk to the mysterious bearded one, I
remember seeing this person, quietly tapping away on his computer - I had no idea who you were, where you
came from and what you were doing there. I'm sure a lot of the students feel the same when they come here - can
you tell all these people what you do?
K: My official title is Vice president of planning, but I am also
the liason officer between Yamasa and other organsations such as Okazaki City Hall.
As well as that I am the marketing manager so I'm in charge of all communications with Yamasa's
overseas offices and partners. I also often get to travel abroad.
J: You sound as if you are a well travelled person.
K: It's one of the perks of the job.....
J: Where else have you been?
K: On business?
J: No, pleasure.
K: I've spent a total of 14 months in Australia, 6 months in India and 2 months in New Zealand.
J: What were you doing in Australia?
K: It was a few years ago now, but when I was in Sydney on a working holiday I was selling ikagawashi.
J: What's ikagawashi?
K: Things.........The job I worked at sold stuffed toy Koalas from Taiwan, and stuffed Kangaroos from China, amongst other things and part of my job was to cut off the tag that said 'Made in Taiwan' or 'Made in China' .
J: So tourists in Australia bought the toys thinking they were made in Oz?
J: Sounds very dubious to me.......
K: I also tried to sell 'health food' from China.
J: You tried?
K: It sold very well actually!
J: So you had a lot of different jobs before you started working at Yamasa?
K: Yes, that's right, I'm a job hopper, I like to move around, travelling from one country to another experiencing different cultures.
J: You don't look like a typical Japanese, when you were travelling did people mistake for somebody from a another country.
K: When I was in Nepal, people mistook me for a Nepalese, in India for an Indian and in Syria for an American!
J: I can understand the first two, but for an American?
K: I was in Syria in 1998 when America was on the news regularly so that might have been the reason.
J: Was Syria your favorite place then?
K: No, my favorite place is actually the International Office!
K: Well, at a push I'd have to choose India over the I.O.
J: Why India?
K: Because it's different. I've been to more than 20 countries and I felt that only India was different.
J: Different in what way?
K: Using past experiences, my previous travel experiences, to get by in India didn't work, nothing was what I expected and I had to learn many new things - I enjoyed it because of that.
J: Are you planning on travelling again anytime soon?
K: After I finish working at Yamasa, I'm going to head south......I like warm places.....
J: Isn't Japan hot enough for you?
K: It's hot enough, but too humid in the Summer.....
J: Well, I'll let you get back to your jogging. Thanks for your time.
K: No problem!
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