Jiro graduated from university in Japan with a MBAE and has since lived in New York and London, as well as Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka. He started his career in the finance and IT industries working for a Japanese bank and an English and American financial IT company. This afforded him multiple opportunities to make many friends from around the world, whilst understanding various cultures much better. As a result, he decided to retire in 2009 and become a licensed English guide in Japan, with his main goal wishing to create a cross-cultural bridge between Japan and other countries. His expertise is the Edo-Tokyo Museum which specializes mainly in 17th Century Japan to a more modern history. He enjoys exploring this interesting and diverse history of Japan with visitors but also going further afield to Hakone, Kamakura and Mt. Fuji. Jiro can provide a unique insight into Japan given his upbringing and his knowledge about peculiar Japanese topics, ranging from pensions to modern, social and cultural issues.
Edgar is a PhD candidate in International Studies at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies of Waseda University. He specializes in the Cool Japan Strategy, Japanese popular culture and creative industries. His contact with anime, manga and videogames during his teenage years triggered an interest in learning about Japanese culture. In 2012 he obtained the Monbukagakusho Scholarship to come to Japan and was officially appointed as CoFesta Ambassador by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and the Japan International Contents Festival (CoFesta) Executive Committee. In 2016 he was appointed as "Cool Japan Ambassador" by Japan's Prime Minister Cabinet Office. His experience with the media and his academic research has given him the opportunity to collaborate with different government agencies and private companies involved in the “Cool Japan Strategy” on developing projects to export Japanese contents such as Anime, Manga, Music, Videogames and Film. This has made him familiar not only with all the unique places related to Otaku Culture in Japan, but with many different aspects of the Japanese media production as well as its cultural significance and background. Other of his research interests include Japanese Modern History; IR of the Asia-Pacific Region and Mexico-Japan relations.
Aquiles Hadjis has been living and working in Tokyo since 2009, when he arrived on a MEXT scholarship to develop his art practice at Tokyo University of the Arts, where he completed his MFA and PhD degrees in Fine Arts. His artistic work and research focus on the links between free improvisation, experimental music and visual arts. He has performed and shown his work in many countries including the US, Japan, Germany, Venezuela, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Aquiles’ relationship to Japan predates his arrival to the country, as he has been studying Japanese Art and culture since the late 90’s. He has focused on the study and practice of Kendo (Japanese fencing) and Zen Buddhism of the Soto school, integrating the philosophical core of both disciplines into his artwork. During his time in Tokyo, Aquiles has lived in the Yanesen neighborhood, an area that has been gaining popularity the past few years for its unique combination of old temples and ancient buildings with many curious shops and cafés in which independent designers have channeled the area’s historical background through ingenious renovations.
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