André Bishop:Owner of Bar Nihonshu, a Japanese Sake Bar Yves

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André Bishop:Owner of Bar Nihonshu, a Japanese Sake Bar Yves
What is a "Visit Kyoto Ambassador"?
-Spreading the appeal of Kyoto throughout the worldThe City of Kyoto has appointed 50 individuals and 7 corporations as "Visit Kyoto Ambassadors".
They were selected from among those who live in or are well acquainted with foreign countries;
have a deep knowledge of and attraction to Kyoto; and are very active in the fields of culture,
arts, or business. Their knowledge of the city makes them excellent spokespersons in conveying the
charms of this ancient capital.
Dates of appointment: April 1, 2014, October 28, 2014, and November 13, 2014
Date of ending service: March 31, 2017
Visit Kyoto Ambassadors (Friends of Kyoto)
André Bishop:Owner of Bar Nihonshu, a Japanese Sake Bar
I have been to Japan over 20 times since 1996 and have visited Kyoto often to
experience its Beauty, Food, and Culture. As a sake professional I have visited
many SAKE KURA in Kyoto and promote sake from Kyoto in Australia.
Yves Bougon:Managing Director and CEO of Hearst Fujingaho
In addition to being CEO of HEARST FUJINGAHO, Mr. Bougon also runs Hearst
Magazine’s international business in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea.
2015 will be FUJINGAHO’s 110th anniversary and the year in which the global ELLE
and Harper’s BAZAAR magazines begin publication in Japan.
In 2013, he started “Kyo-to-Asu” (Today and Tomorrow), a Kyoto tourism
information website that features all the Kyoto special features that ever
appeared in FUJINGAHO. The Kyoto special features are popular among readers and
there are 2 or 3 published annually in FUJINGAHO. The Kyoto tourism information
is also very popular overseas; therefore to meet the needs of non-Japanese, all content is
translated into English. His aim is to transmit to the world the exquisite Japanese culture from
Kyoto in hopes of conveying its appeal to millions of people.
Hiromi ICHIDA:Costume specialist(Resides in Kyoto)
Since 1971, she has been active in heading missions to other countries aiming to
introduce Japanese culture, particularly Kimono. She organized cultural exchange
programs in 104 cities across the world. In recent years, she is very active in
organizing such events in Hawaii every year. At the Hokkaido Toyako Summit in
2008, she demonstrated the dressing of Juni-hitoe or 12 layers of Kimono to the
spouses of the leaders of the summit countries. Meanwhile, she often appears in
TV programs such as a TV drama “Kyoto Meikyu Annai”. At present, she is the
vice president of Kyoto City Tourism Association.
Eugenio Alphandery:Manager and co-owner of Officina Profumo - Farmaceutica di Santa
Maria Novella srl(Resides in Florence)
He is the manager and co-owner of Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, the oldest
pharmacy in the world, that produces and sells perfumes, soaps, and other
cosmetics across the world. He is also the President of the "Union Imprese
Storiche Italiane." He actively supports business and cultural exchange programs
so as to promote sister city relations between Kyoto and Florence. Especially, he
has contributed greatly to the formation of partnership between Kyoto Association
of Corporate Executives and Associazione Imprese Storiche Fiorentine. He
continues to serve as a bridge between the two cities.
Masanori OHTANI:International project business organizer, President of Sydney Kyoto
Society, Director of Australia-Japan Society of NSW(Resides in Sydney, Australia)
He was born in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto. After graduating from Waseda University, he
joined Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Tokyo and worked in Tokyo, New York USA and Sydney
Australia as a Mitsui staff and executive. Today, he is a business consultant and
Principal of Ohtani & Co. P/L in Australia.
He is also an active member of several associations for promoting business and
people to people’s mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and
He has established Inoue Yasushi Award, as the co-founder with Inoue Yasushi
Memorial Foundation in 2006, to encourage the research and researchers of Japanese literature in
Australia and NZ (It will have 7th award ceremony and special program in Sydney in 2013).
GUO Xin:Board member of Kyoto-Tsingtao Citizens Friendship Association(Resides in
Born in Tsingtao, Shandong Province, China. She came to Japan as an exchange
student and graduated from Kyoto Seika University in 2003. She has a good command
of Japanese language and has a deep knowledge about Japanese culture. She
established“Kyoto-Tsingtao Citizens Friendship Association” in February 2011
which will serve as a center for friendship between the citizens of both cities.
Since then, as a volunteer, she has supported several programs to promote
friendship between the two cities. She also plays an important role in spreading
the charms of Kyoto in China. She is also active in encouraging Chinese students
to study in Kyoto, and in promoting school excursions to Kyoto.
HAN Meihua:Chief Representative, Hoshino Resorts Beijing Representative Office(Resides
in Beijing)
She is the Chief Representative of Hoshino Resorts Beijing Representative Office
which was the first office opened outside Japan in 2010. She has been working for
Hoshino Resort inbound business for 8years and has a strong connection with media
and travel agents, and devotes herself in sending Chinese tourists to Kyoto and
other parts of Japan. Especially she devotes in developing the rich layer to let
all know the charm of Kyoto.
Yasuo KITAYAMA:Gardener(Resides in Kyoto)
Born in 1949 in Kita-ku, Kyoto. Head of Kitayama Zoen, he was exclusively
assigned as a gardener for Kodaiji Temple. After graduating from Kyoto Sangyo
University in 1971, he was taught by Hiroyasu KOMIYAMA at Komiyama Gardening
company. In 1975, he left the company and established Kitayama Zoen. In 1978, he
undertook the renovation work of Entokuin Temple garden. After that, he was
engaged in the renovation of Kodaiji Temple garden and Ryokoin (a branch temple
of Daitokuji Temple) gardens. Furthermore, he has created other gardens at many
places such as Kubota-Itchiku Art Museum, the Aichi Expo, Ken-ninji Temple,
Tofukuji Temple and Hikosan Shrine. He has also created Japanese gardens in Florence
(commemorating the 35th anniversary of sister city relation with Kyoto), South Africa and Saudi
Hidetomo Kimura:CEO of H.I.D. INTERAQTICA Co., Ltd
Born 1972 in Tokyo, Hidetomo Kimura is the world’s leading aquarist specializing
in the harmonization of “art,” “design,” “interior decoration” and
“aquarium.” Establishing the unique field of “Art Aquarium,” Mr. Kimura is
now also engaging in a new endeavor to develop traditional industries of Japan as
modern art. His “Art Aquarium Exhibition – Goldfish Series” is especially
famous. In the same genre, the exhibition “Art Aquarium Castle: Kyoto – Dance of
Goldfish” was presented at the World Heritage Site Nijo Castle from October 24
to December 14 in 2014. This exhibition drew 290,000 visitors. An Art Aquarium
Exhibition was presented in Milan, Italy, in May 2015.
QIAO Bin:Student at Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto
University(Resides in Kyoto)
He is studying at the graduate school of Kyoto University. He is the president in
Chinese Students and Scholars Association of Kyoto University, and also the
Chairman of Chinese Students and Scholars Association of Kyoto Area. He is active
in building friendship between Japan and China by holding international exchange
programs. He also spreads information about Kyoto to China. He grew up while
watching Japanese anime programs. He came to Japan in 2003 and settled in Kyoto
in 2005. Since then he has been the avid fan of Kyoto calling it his “second
home town”.
Yoshiyuki Gi:owner-chef of Chinese restaurant Ichinofunairi
Yoshiyuki Gi began training at renowned Chinese restaurants throughout Japan when
he was 18 years old. Later, he travelled to China and obtained qualifications as
a top-class chef. In 1996, he opened the Chinese restaurant Ichi No Hunairi, as
owner-chef, near the intersection of Kawaramachi and Nijo Streets in Kyoto.
There, he presents the charms of Kyoto through creative Chinese cuisine that uses
the distinctive Kyoto vegetables. In 2010, he opened the restaurant Gihan Ebisudo
– Sanjo, which focuses on Chinese yum-cha and cuisine.
Yoshiyuki Gi is active internationally, as vice president of The International
Exchange Association of Renowned Chinese Cuisine Chefs, as overseas director of Taiwan Michelin,
and in other posts. He also serves as vice chairman of the Society of Taiwan Diaspora in Japan –
Kyoto Branch
Chris Johnson:Restaurant and Japanese Sake Consultant
As a sake specialist, SAKE SAMURAI, I promote Kyoto sake, but having lived in
Japan for 3 years and visiting Kyoto 5 times I love the culture, history, food,
temples, shrines and people. I want to share that with other people so they will
visit and enjoy your wonderful city!!
Clémentine:Singer(Resides in Paris)
She is the most popular French singer in Japan. After her debut in 1987, she has
been singing various types of songs such as Jazz, Pops, and Bossa nova. She
performs in European and some Asian countries such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Since 17 years ago, she has been visiting Japan every year. She is an avid fan of
the landscapes and traditional culture of Kyoto. Whenever she comes to Japan, she
often visits Kyoto.
KUNNA DASH:President of the India Japan Friendship Center(Resides in Wakayama)
Born in 1969 in Puri, Odisha, India, Mr. Dash is the president of the India Japan
Friendship Center, founded in 2006. In order to deepen mutual understanding
between Japan and India on topics such as food, culture, education, tourism and
the economy, he lectures, organizes cultural events and appears on a variety of
media in both countries.
He runs a hotel in India called “Hotel Santana” and exhibits Kyoto cultural
artifacts at the hotel. In April of 2015, Mr. Dash opened his first hotel in
Japan, “Santana Guest House Kyoto”, in Kyoto. He introduces Gion Festival and
the culture of Kyoto at “Rath Yatra”, India’s annual float festival held in July and also known
as the origin of Gion Festival. In addition, he founded “Chandra Sekhar Academy”, an English
school that provides lessons in Japanese language as well as Kyoto culture, such as the Kimono, to
students from kindergarten through high school in India. Throughout Japan and abroad, Mr. Dash
promotes the beauty of Kyoto.
Keiko Nelson:International contemporary artist(Resides in the San Francisco Bay Area)
Born in Kyoto, Japan. After working with traditional and contemporary Japanese
art, an interest in western art techniques and concepts guided her towards
studying in Europe. She did post-graduate work at the University of Fine Arts in
Hamburg, a school based on traditional Bauhaus principals. In 1972 she
established residence in California.
Most of her works are abstractions of the inner landscape of her experiences…
including memories of lifelong emotions mixed with extensive travel to North and
South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. All are echoed in her work.
Keiko Nelson Tsukamoto works in many different materials: clay, bronze, glass, paper, mixed media
painting, and installation pieces. She has shown at museum and galleries internationally, and her
work is sought after by many collectors.
Keiko is the Chairman and founder of San Francisco Kyoto-kai, and Board member of the United
Nations of America, San Francisco.
KONG Yi:TV and radio personality(Resides in Toyonaka City, Osaka)
Born in Shanghai, China. She is also appointed as a Visit Japan Ambassador. She
is a member of the committee for drafting the new version of “Kyoto City Tourism
Promotion Plan”. She produces various TV and radio programs for NHK, FM COCOLO,
and some other broadcasting companies in Shanghai that promote mutual
understandings between Japan and China. She contributes to spreading Kyoto
culture in China as a reporter. At present, she is the representative of TEN-I
Company which organizes and coordinates exchange programs in the fields of
tourism, culture, education and business; and the promotion and multi-lingual
translation for such programs.
Shin KOYAMADA:Hollywood actor, producer and philanthropist(Resides in Los Angeles)
Upon his high school graduation in Japan, he moved to the United States alone. He
became a U.S. national martial arts champion in Shaolin Kung Fu. He holds higher
ranked Black Belts in numerous martial arts styles. He became best known to
audiences after his co-starring role in the Hollywood blockbuster film “The Last
Samurai” as Nobutada, with a worldwide box office of US$456 million. Shin also
starred in the Disney Channel hit feature movie “Wendy Wu Homecoming Warrior”
as Shen, which received the highest TV ratings around the world, including Japan.
He has acted in many more movies and also produced movies, shows, comics and
events through his American production company Shinca Entertainment. He founded the Shin Koyamada
Foundation (SKF) in the U.S. and Japan to support numerous charity programs, including
international exchange programs and promoting Japan and Kyoto internationally.
Miho Sauser:Freelance Editor
After serving as Deputy Editor-in-Chief for “Esquire Japan,” Ms. Sauser lived
in Shanghai from 2005 to 2012 and is now engaged as an editor for Japanese and
Chinese magazines in Tokyo and Shanghai.
Her work supports Japan-based journalists from the editing stage as a
contributing editor for Chinese magazines such as “China Life Magazine” “GQ
China” “Esquire China” “Life Week,” “Modern Weekly” and “Z Magazine”
which disseminate information on high-quality Japanese culture mainly focused on
architecture, design, art, traditional crafts, etc. In addition to coordinating
and interpreting, she also gathers news and writes.
Because the demand for Kyoto information is particularly high in Chinese magazines, she has been
visiting Kyoto frequently in recent years introducing various aspects of traditional Japanese
culture that originated in Kyoto above all else to many Chinese magazines.
Keiko SANO:Managing Director, Kyoto Center GmbH, Germany(Resides in Frankfurt)
Born in Kyoto. Former executive member of a special exhibition at National Museum
of Ethnology, and a curator at the museum of Kyoto Saga University of Arts. She
studied folk beliefs of Japan and the exporting business of holding fans of Kyoto
for a long time. In January 2010, she opened an antenna shop com show room in
Germany. There she sells Kyoto products and manages cultural salon and workshops
for tea ceremony, Japanese dance, dressing of Kimono and some other activities in
order to contribute to the promotion of Japanese and Kyoto cultures.
Jeff Berglund:Professor in Faculty of Foreign Studies, Kyoto University of Foreign
Jeff Berglund: Professor of Faculty of Foreign Studies at Kyoto University of
Foreign Studies
Jeff has lived in Kyoto for 44 years. He is applying that experience and
knowledge acquired through television work in diverse areas to presentation of
Kyoto’s attractions to the world in the English language. In late 2013, together
with a Kyoto production company, Jeff launched a YouTube program titled [Jeff’s
Destination Kyoto].
In April 2014, the television station KBS Kyoto began broadcasting its first regular Englishlanguage program, [[email protected] Omotenashi Kyoto Kanko Annai] (Kyoto Hospitality – A Sightseeing
Guide). Kyoto expects to welcome a growing number of visitors from abroad over the coming years,
and this program is designed to help residents of Kyoto learn various English expressions. The
ultimate goal is to enable all Kyoto residents to offer foreign visitors the omotenashi
(hospitality and much more).
Jamila URAYIM:Singer and Dancer(Resides in Osaka)
Born in Shinjang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Came to Japan in 2003 to study at
Doshisha University and the graduate school of Kyoto University of Education.
As a child she joined a youth performance group to get the skill of traditional
Uyghur singing and dancing. After coming to Japan, she has been active in
promoting friendly relations and mutual understanding between Japan and China
through her dance and singing performances and lectures.
In April 2011, she organized the “Charity concert for Great East Japan
Earthquake victims” which was held in Kyoto, Osaka, Ashia and Takarazuka with
the cooperation of international students there. The profit earned by the performances was donated
to the disaster stricken areas. In June 2012, she visited Shinjang Uyghur Autonomous Region with
the Liansheng erhu (a two-stringed Chinese instrument) ensemble based in Osaka and performed
together with the music department students of Shinjang conservatory. She is active in promoting
cultural exchange programs between Japan and China.
Judith CLANCY:Writer /lecturer(Resides in Kyoto)
Born in the United States, Clancy has lived in Kyoto since 1970. After studying
tea ceremony at Urasenke for six years, she worked in the overseas department of
Kanebo in Osaka. At present, she teaches Kyoto history and culture at NHK Culture
Center, and English at Otani University. She is the author of several books:
GUIDE (in 2012 by Stone Bridge Press), and “Kyoto: City of Zen” (in 2013 by
Tuttle). She is greatly interested in the traditional architecture of Kyo-machiya
town houses and their preservation as well as Kyoto’s wonderful food culture. At
present, she lives in a 120-year-old renovated town house in Nishijin.
John Frank:Vice President of Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc
Stéphane BARBERY:Photographer and writer(Resides in Kyoto)
He has been a lover of Japan since early age. After arriving in Japan in 2008, he
has been active in creating photo books of Japanese trees and beautiful landscape
of Kyoto; and screen images under the theme of delicate beauty and Japanese
chess. His interest in these months is to quest for the beauty of Kyoto which he
thinks is the most beautiful city in the world. His other interest is to
concentrate on studying Japanese.
Souoku Mushakouji:Mushakouji Senke
He is the 15th generation “Iemoto” (master) of “Mushanokōjisenke” (one of the
great schools of Japanese tea ceremony) and Special Associate Professor at the
Faculty of Policy Management of Keio University.
In 2003, he succeeded the hereditary title “Souoku” and later the priestly
title of “Zuiensai” (Buddhism) at Daitokuji Temple under its former director
the late Settei Fukutomi. From 2008 to 2009, he served as Special Advisor for
Cultural Exchange by the Agency for Cultural Affairs reigniting his New Yorkbased activities.
Mr. Mushakouji won the Kyoto Prefecture Culture Prize in January 2013 and, since 2008, has been
participating in the international cultural exchange activities of Jishoji (“Ginkaku” – Silver
Temple) every year. Particularly in Europe, the U.S. and Hong Kong, he is working to introduce and
disseminate Japan’s “cha-no-yu” (tea ceremony) culture.
Vicky Chen:Model and Japanese Sake Sommelier
Ms. Chen was chosen one of the “New Taiwan Superstars” in BEAUTY, a famous
women’s magazine in Taiwan. She also appeared as the main model in “THE WOMAN
IN KYOTO” in the global magazine Prestige International Chinese Edition.
Currently, she participates in events and works as a brand image character, among
other activities. This year, she acquired Japan’s “Kikisake-shi” (Master of
Sake) certification and is now involved in Japanese sake educational activities.
Hoshino Tsuji:Board Member of the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation(Resides in Kyoto)
Born in Kyoto. In her family business, Tsuji has carried on Japan’s history,
culture and ceremonies, primarily in the form of Japanese style weddings, in
affiliation with about 80 shrines and temples throughout Japan. She is the
Japanese representative of Life Beyond Tourism Expert Member of the Romualdo Del
Bianco Foundation, a non-profit organization whose headquarters are in Florence,
Italy, Kyoto’s sister city, and she has been a board member since 2007. Tsuji
organized an exhibition with art works from Kyoto as part of the Kyoto - Florence
sister city affiliation anniversary project. Bridging Kyoto and Italy, she
promotes the beauty of Kyoto with art works and traditional culture such as Kimono, throughout
Japan and abroad.
Stomu Yamash'ta:Percussionist, Composer and Music Director
Percussionist, songwriter, music director and Kyoto native. Mr. Yamash’ta moved
to the U.S. at the age of 17, studied at the world renown Interlochen Arts
Academy, the Berklee College of Music and others and performed in the Berlin
Philharmonic, Philadelphia and other prestigious orchestras. He made soloist
performances in the percussion work “CASIOPEA” written by Toru Takemitsu and
conducted by Seiji Ozawa for the Chicago Orchestra, among others, and established
a unique percussion sound with the 20th Century’s premier musicians. In 1972, he
won the Best New Artist Award of the Japan Minister of Education Awards for Fine
Arts. In his 20s, he was lauded by media outlets both in Japan and overseas as a “Maestro
After returning to Japan in 1980, he was bestowed the Japan Academy Award for Music (1984) for the
movie “Kukai” (Air and Sea) and participated in wonderful endeavors such as searching for
“Sanukite” music created using rock instruments as well as Buddhist music, and practiced “On
Zen.” In 2013, he was designated as a Kyoto City Distinguished Person of Cultural Merit. He now
works as a special advisor at Sacred Bridge Foundation and is involved in international activities
including as art coordinator.
David Atkinson:CEO of Konishi Decorative Arts and Crafts Co.
David Atkinson is from England, and has lived in Japan since 1990. After working
for Andersen Consulting and the investment bank Salomon Brothers, he joined
Goldman Sachs in 1992. Having worked as a financial analyst and then as a
director and partner, he left the company in 2007.
That same year, he purchased a Taisho-era Kyo-machiya (merchant townhouse in
Kyoto), and spent a year restoring it for use as a residence. Since 2011, as CEO
of Konishi Decorative Arts and Crafts Co., Mr. Atkinson has devoted his energy
toward the repair of National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties.
Furthermore, he is advocating a growth scenario of “Employment for 4 million people and GDP 8%
growth” by increasing the budget for protection of cultural properties. He has been featured in
The Asahi Shimbun (Newspaper) column “Nobuyuki Omine’s Town Topics” and has spoken out on
matters relating to the restoration of Kyo-machiya. In 2014, Mr. Atkinson published An English
Analyst on Safeguarding Japanese National Treasures (in Japanese). He participated as a panelist
in “Kyo-machiya Symposium” (February 2014), and in the seminar “Kyoto Sousei Renzoku Koza in
Tokyo" as part of the event “Kyo-aruki in Tokyo 2015” (February 2015).
Nobuhiro TERADA:Artistic Director・Ballet Dancer(Resides in Kiev)
Born in Kyoto in 1976. At the age of 11, he moved to Kiev as the first Japanese
student under the Japanese government scholarship to study at Kiev National
Ballet School. After graduating from that school in 1995, he joined the Kiev
Ballet Company and performed as a soloist. In 1999, he graduated the Ukraine
Academy University. In 2002, he was awarded the Order of Saint. Stanislav from
Russian Orthodox Church. The next year, he was honored by receiving the title of
Merited Artist of Ukraine. As the artistic director of both Kiev National Ballet
School and Kyoto Ballet Theater, he contributes to the friendship and interaction
between Kyoto and Ukraine.
Nobuaki Tomita:Japan Cultural Legacy Art Producer / Kimono Meister(Resident of Kyoto)
Born in Kyoto in 1963. After working for a kimono wholesaler in Kyoto’s
Muromachi district, Nobuaki Tomita became independent and at 27 years of age
established Kyokaori Co., Ltd.
Today, as a “Kimono Stylist,” he is responsible for production of kimono not
only in Japan, but also for Hollywood actresses and actors. In a commemorative
edition, the publication Fujingaho selected Nobuaki Tomita as one of “Four
Kimono Masters.” He has produced exhibitions on the intricacies of wearing
kimono and given talks at the official residence of the Consulate-General of
Japan in Los Angeles, the Embassy of Japan in China, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and many
other places all over the world. Furthermore, Nobuaki Tomita is active as a producer and designer
involved in collaboration of regional traditional cultures and corporations within and outside
Noriko CARPENTIER-TOMINAGA:Directrice, Comité d'Echanges Franco-Japonais / CCI Paris
Noriko CARPENTIER-TOMINAGA: Director of the Japan-France Economic Exchange
Committee, in the (Paris) Ile-de-France Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Noriko graduated from the University of Angers (France),
[Faculty of Languages, Humanities and Social Sciences, (Department of Tourism)]
After working for the Delegation of the European Union to Japan, Noriko began
working as Section Chief in the Secretarial Office of Nissan Motor Company’s
president, Carlos Ghosn. Due to family circumstances, Noriko now lives in Paris.
As director of the Japan-France Economic Exchange Committee in the (Paris) Ilede-France Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry (an organization of which all companies
automatically become members), Noriko undertakes activities that promote exchange between Japanese
and French companies. She is involved in promoting Japan-France dialogue for heightening awareness
of problems relating to building an environment focused on the status of women in companies and
balance of work and life for women. Alongside her work, Noriko obtained an Executive MBA from HEC,
one of Europe’s leading business schools.
Etsuko Nakamura:Pioneer of Sake brewery tourism,National Licensed Tour Guide
She is a pioneer in inbound sake brewery tourism in Japan. As an interpreter
guide, she plans and operates “Sake Brewery Tours” for foreign Japanese sake
fans (http://saketours.com). In 2013, she conducted a 5-day tour of sake
breweries centered around Kyoto. Her hope, as an interpreter guide, is to
showcase to the world the wonder of Kyoto through its sake, food, pottery, etc.
She was named “8th Sake Samurai,” she is a member of the Japan Tourism
Agency’s Sakagura Tourism Promotion Council and a Private Sector Specialist for
Regional Human Resources Net Tourism Promotion and Exchanges under the Ministry
of Internal Affairs and Communications, as well as a Sake Advanced Specialist designated by the
Sake Education Council.
PETER GRILLI:President, Japan Society of Boston(Resides in the town of Harvard, MA)
Mr. Grilli grew up in Japan as a child, living in Tokyo from 1947 (age 5) to 1959
(age 17). After graduating from high school in Tokyo, he went to the U.S. to
enter Harvard College as a freshman. He returned to Japan in 1961, after his
sophomore year of college, and attended Waseda University for two years. Then he
returned to Harvard and graduated college in 1965. He continue to do graduate
work at Harvard in the MA program and PhD program. In 1970, he returned to Japan
for PhD research at Tokyo University. In his professional life, he has worked a
book editor in Tokyo in New York and in various cultural exchange activities. In
1974, he joined the staff of the Japan Society of New York where he served as Director of
Education and later as Director of Education, Film, and Performing Arts. In that capacity, he
produced major Japanese performance events in New York, including Grand Kabuki at the Metropolitan
Opera House in 1982, 1985 and 1989, and Bunraku at City Center Theater in 1992. Mr. Grilli is also
known for his writings about Japan and for producing a number of documentary films about Japan,
including SHINTO: Nature, Gods and Man in Japan; DREAM WINDOW: Reflections on the Japanese Garden;
and TORU TAKEMITSU: Music for the Movies.
From 1995 to 2000, Mr. Grilli served as Director of the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at
Columbia University. Since 2000, he has been President of The Japan Society of Boston, which is
the oldest of more than forty-five Japan-America Societies currently active in America. The Japan
Society of Boston was established in 1904. In 1959, Boston became sister-city to Kyoto, and Mr.
Grilli works often on sister-city ‒ related affairs. The Japan Society of Boston is a not-forprofit American organization dedicated to strengthening ties of friendship and mutual appreciation
between the people of Japan and the United States. He makes his home in the town of Harvard,
outside Boston, and visits Kyoto frequently.
Soji HIRAIDE:Owner of 30 chain restaurants in Taiwan
He was born in Tokyo in 1974 of a Japanese father and Taiwanese mother. After
finishing high school in Japan, he moved to Taiwan. He established “Kanpai
Yakiniku” restaurant in Taipei in his 3rd year of college, a business that grew
to 29 locations as of March 2014 including “yakiniku” (Japanese barbeque)
restaurants and “ramen” (Japanese noodle) shops, among others.
He became “Sake Samurai” in October 2013 upon his investiture in the Japan Sake
Brewers Association Junior Council in recognition for his Japanese sake
information dissemination activities in Taiwan over the span of his career. He
hopes to convey the appeal of Kyoto, the pride of Japan, to as many people as possible in Taiwan,
the world’s No. 1 Japanophile country.
Bill TOTTEN:Chairman, K. K. Ashisuto(Resides in Kyoto)
Born in California, USA. After receiving a PhD in economics from the University
of Southern California, Dr Totten came to Japan in 1969. In 1972 he established K
K Ashisuto, now a leading software distribution company in Japan. He was
nationalized as a Japanese citizen in 2006, and has written eighteen books on
social and economic issues including "Nihon wa Warukunai" (Don't Blame Japan). In
addition to helping manage Ashisuto, he gives lectures throughout the country,
walks ten kilometers daily, reads extensively, and raises fruit, vegetables,
honeybees and chickens in his Shimogamo garden.
Pauline Chakmakjian:Founder of The Japan Room
Pauline visits Kyoto often because she thinks it is one of the most beautiful
cities in the world due to its relaxed, peaceful and aesthetic ambiance.
Moreover, the city is attractive as one of historical importance since it was the
capital of Japan for over one thousand years. She was a Board Member of The Japan
Society of the United Kingdom in London and is currently on the Board of
Directors of The Japan-America Society of Hawai'i in Honolulu. Pauline frequently
gives lectures and study days on a variety of subjects including The City of
Kyoto and Machiya as well as Kyoto matsuri, shrines, temples, Heian-period
courtly life, Noh, gagaku and the traditional handicrafts of Kyoto. The Japan Room is a cultural
salon that aims to promote Japanese culture through lectures and other elegant events.
Yoshiyuki Hosomi:Director of Hosomi Museum
Born in Kyoto on August 15, 1954, and graduated from Doshisha University in 1977.
In 1994, having received authorization from the (then) Ministry of Education,
Science and Culture, Yoshiyuki Hosomi established the Hosomi Art Foundation,
based on the Japanese fine art collection assembled by his grandfather. In 1998,
he opened Hosomi Museum in Okazaki, Kyoto, and was appointed museum director.
Aside from involvement in planning and presentation of exhibitions, Mr. Hosomi is
making good use of his interests, presenting tea ceremony events at the museum
and in other ways working to spread interest in traditional culture.
Since July 2008, Mr. Hosomi has served as chief secretary of Kyohakuren, an association
established to promote cooperation on further development of cultural activities, among museums
and galleries in Kyoto. Since June 2014, he has also served as a specialist member of the Rimpa
400 Year Celebration Festival Committee.
Eiji Horiuchi:President of Regency San Marino Travel Agency(Resides in Florence)
Born in Kyoto in 1961. In 1987, after graduating from Doshisha University, Mr.
Horiuchi moved to Florence, Italy, a sister city of Kyoto City. Since 1990 his
travel agency, Regency San Marino, has offered European tourists a travel
experience with a sense of the deep culture and spirit of Japan, with a
particular focus on Kyoto. Regency San Marino is the first agency to practice
legal marriage services for Japanese couples in Italy.
In addition to founding the JoFuKan training hall for Kendo in 2009, he hosted a
Kimono Meeting in 2015. From Florence, he promotes beautiful aspects of Kyoto
such as Japanese spirituality and Kimono culture.
Yoshiaki HOMPO:The first commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency, Professor of Tokyo
Metropolitan University(Resides in Tokyo)
After finishing the graduate school of Tokyo Institute of Technology, he started
working at the Ministry of Transport. He served as the councilor at the Permanent
Delegation of Japan to the OECD, the board member of Japan Post, Councilor for
general tourism policy at the Minister’s Secretariat of Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. He was appointed as the first commissioner
of the Japan Tourism Agency. He has contributed to designing the tourism policy
of Japan. At present, he teaches tourism policy at Tokyo Metropolitan University.
He also serves as the President in Inbound Research Council and policy advisor
devoting himself for the promotion of industry-government-academy cooperation programs.
Tokubee Masuda:President of Fushimi Sake Brewers Association(Residing in Kyoto City)
Tokubee Masuda was born in Kyoto Prefecture. In 1991, he became the 14thgeneration master of sake brewery Tsukino Katsura, founded in 1675 and one of the
oldest breweries in the Fushimi district of Kyoto. Tsukino Katsura is the oldest
sake produced by the brewery. Over the years, Mr. Masuda has worked to highlight
the attractions of Kyoto through Japanese sake and cuisine, all over the world.
Aiming to spread awareness of Kyoto, he is involved in and promoting diverse
events and activities in Kyoto, including the Kyoto Sake Summit 2015, Japan Sake
Festival, and study tours with participants from around the world. He has also
sponsored sake-tasting and traditional events at consulates and embassies of many countries. Mr.
Masuda is undertaking broad-based public relations for Kyoto through the medium of Japanese sake.
Since 2008, he has served as president of the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association, as well as
chair of the association’s Overseas Strategies Committee. In 2010, he was appointed president of
the Fushimi Sake Brewers Association
Machadango:Author, Interpreter, Translator(Currently living in Kyoto)
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, grew up in Taiwan, and spent two years in the USA. Has
travelled extensively in Japan, experiencing culture and customs of many places.
Discovered an interest in Japanese folklore, and began studying the Japanese
attitude toward gods and ancient history of Japan, thereby deepening awareness of
the way of thinking underlying Japanese culture and civilization from various
Currently engaged in writing, as an author, translator and interpreter. Works
translated in Taiwan include the anime series Kiteretsu Daihyakka [Kiteretsu Encyclopedia] by
Fujiko F. Fujio, Mitsume ga Toru [The Three-Eyed One] and Janguru Taitei [Jungle Emperor / Kimba
the White Lion] by Osamu Tezukawa, among other works.
[2012 March 28] Wrote a book of essays introducing culture and customs of Kyoto, published by
Kadokawa Taiwan
[2012 August 06] Passed Level Three of The 1st Shrine Certification Test
[2012 September 24] Two entries were awarded prizes in The 3rd Hankyu Ee-hagaki Contest – Kyoto
[Great Picture Card Competition]
[2013 January 23] Passed Level Three of The 9th Kyoto Tourism & Culture Certification Test
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/machadango
Blog: http://machadango.com/
Madeleine WARDENAAR:Japan expert, Art history specialist(Resides in Amsterdam)
She has been an ardent fan of Kyoto since her first visit here 20 years ago. One
of her ancestors used to be the Director General of the Dutch Trade Mission
Dejima, Nagasaki. She studied East and West Asian cultural histories and
anthropology at university. She served as the communicion advisor at the World
Water Forum 2003 in Kyoto for the Dutch delegation. As the director of
Netherlands-Japan 400 Years, she coordinated the cultural events to commemorate
the four-century relationship between Japan and Netherlands in 2009. Over the
past 20 years, she has been a professional intermediary for cultural affairs in
the Netherlands and Japan. At present, she is the vice chair of the Japanese Dutch Shinzen
Foundation, Advisor of Japan at Van Gogh Museum and the guest curator at National Museum of Modern
Art, Kyoto.
Marco Massarotto:CEO of HAGAKURE
Born 1971 in Bassano, Italy. Now CEO of HAGAKURE, the largest digital marketing
company in Italy. (The official IT social media broadcasting company for Expo
Milano 2015.)
In 2011, Mr. Marco Massarotto established La Via del Sake (The Sake Path), an NPO
that aims to spread Japanese dining culture through Italy and Europe. Mr.
Massarotto has organized cooking classes for Japanese foods and tasting parties
for Japanese sake. He lectures on Kyoto culture through twice-yearly visits to
sake breweries, upmarket Japanese restaurants and Japanese confectionery shops in
Kyoto. Mr. Massarotto is also working on marketing traditional industry products of Kyoto, by
expanding sales networks, and using his company’s website to sell products, introduce buyers,
etc. Through his business in digital communication, Mr. Massarotto is broadcasting attractions of
Kyoto in such areas as traditions of Japanese dining and products of traditional industries.
Muriel BARBERY:Novelist(Resides in Amsterdam)
Her first novel “Gourmet Rhapsody”, published in 2000, won the Best Gourmet
Novel Prize in France. It was translated into 15 languages. Her second novel
“The Elegance of the Hedgehog”, published in 2006, won many awards in France.
It has been translated into more than 40 languages and sold over 6 millions
copies. She lived in Kyoto for two years which inspires her current writing. She
comes back to Kyoto as often as she can.
Isao Yasuda (Mao-Hsun Chang):Chairman Society of Taiwan Diaspora in Japan – Kyoto
Branch(Resides in Kyoto)
Isao Yasuda was born in Kyoto in 1947, to a Taiwanese father and Japanese mother.
He graduated from the Doshisha University Faculty of Economics. As chairman of
the Society of Taiwan Diaspora in Japan – Kyoto Branch for 18 years from 1997 to
the present day, Isao Yasuda has visited Taiwan on countless occasions for
dialogue and exchange with key Taiwanese people. He provides assistance for
tourists from Taiwan and in many other ways presents the charms of Kyoto.
For his endeavors over many years in international exchange between Japan and
Taiwan, the Taiwan government awarded Isao Yasuda the 華光三等奨章 in November
Sachiyo Yamada:Lacrosse Player(Resident of Shiga Prefecture)
Became a professional lacrosse player in September 2007. The following year, as
Japan's first professional lacrosse player, she joined the veteran team
"Wilderness," based in Adelaide, Australia. She is a Kyoto Sangyo University 50th
Anniversary Publicity Ambassador (Musubiwaza Ambassador), and Kyoto Marathon
Supporting Ambassador.
Yo E:Representative of Hangzhou 尚昇文化創意 Co., Ltd(Residing in Hangzhou City)
As representative of Hangzhou 尚昇文化創意 Co., Ltd (Hangzhou City, China), Yo E
is publicizing the attractions of Kyoto through activities that broaden awareness
of traditional industry products and traditional culture of Kyoto.
RENA RELAN:Managing Director of an entertainment company(Resides in England)
Born to a Japanese mother and Indian father, Ms. Relan studied at an
international school in Japan and later went on to study at an American
university. After graduation, she worked for a Japanese-affiliated company before
launching her career as a TV and radio personality, model, event host etc. She is
currently based in London and the managing director of Ceenar International
Co.,Ltd. in London. The company focuses on spreading fashion trends in England
and Japan, organizing cultural exchange events, and consulting businesses with a
global vision.
She hosted “Japan Matsuri 2014” and a ceremony at the Japanese pavilion set up in 2015 to
commemorate the Rugby World Cup 2019, both held in London, while wearing kimono, and introduced
Japanese cultural traditions such as the Shamisen, Shakuhachi, Koto and more. Ms. Relan promotes
the beauty of Kyoto throughout Japan and abroad, especially in Europe.
Ro Igyou:Representative of Shokodo Co., Ltd(Residing in Hangzhou City)
As representative of Shokodo Co., Ltd (Hangzhou City, China), a company involved
in sustaining the culture of fragrance, Ro Igyou is developing cultural exchange
between China and Japan through cultural events such as incense appreciation
gatherings and tea ceremonies.
The Aeon Group
Regarding Asian countries and Japan as one market, Asia's "Super Regional Retailer" Aeon operates
over 15,000 stores and offices in 12 countries. In April 2012, the company concluded a
comprehensive cooperation agreement for the promotion of local communities and culture with the
City of Kyoto.
OMRON has locations in 35 countries and regions across the globe and engages in business in over
110 countries in close partnership with local communities. Aiming for sustainable social growth
centered on industry, the environment, lifestyle and society, OMRON provides pioneering products
and services that solve social issues for people to live fuller, richer lives based on its
understanding of society’s latent needs. All of Omron’s business activities are based on its
core value, “working for the benefit of society,” and over many years it has always been
committed to contributing to social development through its business. Its name derives from
“Omuro” area of Kyoto, the former location of its head office.
Kyoto Ikebana Association
Kyoto Ikebana Association consists of 35flower arrangement schools which has their bases in Kyoto.
They holds “Kado Kyo-ten” flower arrangement exhibition every year in Kyoto. Their 63rd
exhibition was held in 2012. Their exhibitions are held on other occasions such as Gion Festival,
Higashiyama Hanatoro, and Arashiyama Hanatoro. They welcome visitors to Kyoto by decorating
flowers at Kyoto National Guest House and JR Kyoto Station Building. They also contribute to the
international friendship by holding exhibitions in the sister cities of Kyoto such as Kiev, Xian,
and Prague.
Founded in Kyoto in 1875, SHIMADZU provides its valued customers with various technologies and
products in several fields mostly dealing with analytical and measurement devices, medical
devices, aeronautical devices and industrial devices.
Shimadzu Foundation Memorial Hall, which opened its doors in 1975, welcomes on average 15,000
visitors every year and, in December 2013, it attained 300,000 visitors.
SHIMADZU offers guidance to overseas visitors to Japan not only on the Memorial Hall but also
other Kyoto landmarks.
The PR magazine “MEDICAL NOW” published by SHIMADZU’s medical systems division features a
section that introduces Kyoto traditions and, from January 2014, SHIMADZU began publishing
“MOMENTUM” external PR magazine for in an effort to convey Japan’s appeal overseas readers.
Established in 1953, HORIBA comprises of 37 Group company located in 26 countries. The Company
provides analytical measurement devices in five fields, namely automotive, environment, medical,
semi-conductor and scientific.
HORIBA’s motto, “Joy & Fun,” articulates the hope of providing a workplace where individuals
can spend their best time and engage in amusing activities that will enrich the life of each
individual. HORIBA has 5,500 employees worldwide that take on global challenges under its motto.
Of course HORIBA provides high value-added products and services that enhance the HORIBA brand
value in the analytical device field, but it also engages in corporate activities based on a
culture that cherishes Kyoto’s “honmamon” (genuineness).
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) is a global commercial bank which is capable of
consistently providing up-to-date information and services by closely cooperating with group
companies and overseas subsidiaries throughout the world, concentrating mainly on the three
regional divisions of Asia-Pacific, Americas and Europe.
SMBC provides high value-added services appropriate to the specific local needs of its globallyoperating clients of business corporations, financial institutions, governmental organizations and
public entities.
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
The bank has about 100 offices in more than 40 countries in the world. Union Bank which is the
affiliated company of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ has about 400 offices in the U.S.A. Thus the
bank has a wide network across the world. The bank is the official financial institution for the
city of Kyoto.
(The above names are organized in Alphabetical order, written without honorifics)
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