April 23, 2022

Yuko Tamura: "Rebellious" Writer and Editor of Japonica

Yuko Tamura:
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If you are a regular listener to Now and Zen, you'll know many of my fascinating guests are non-Japanese living in Japan. So it's always fun to have a bi-cultural Japanese guest on the show and hear their insights and perspectives.  This episode I speak with Yuko Tamura, she is an award-winning writer on the Medium platform and the editor of Japonica - the publication for everything Japan. She describes her writing as Fun Facts about Japan and "a little Rebellious essays" from Tokyo. 

We discuss some of these articles including "The 3 facts you should know before marketing to Japan". Yuko is passionate about cross-cultural topics and she offers  insightful advice she would offer both Japanese and English speakers to avoid cultural misunderstandings. We chat about writing for Medium, the opportunities for writers, and why these writers of Japan topics should join Japonica.

We dive into the topics of gender inequality in Japan, internet trolls, how she became bi-cultural despite never living outside Japan, and other interesting stories from her experience working for both Japanese and foreign companies.  Other topics we discuss:

  • Why create a platform of independent writers on Japan 
  • Discuss her "3 Facts to know before Marketing to Japan" article 
  • "Hone" and "Tatemae" explained from a Japanese perspective
  • Breaks down the anatomy of internal business meetings at Japanese companies
  • Why decisions take longer in corporate Japan 
  • How souvenirs from relatives  peaked both of our "international interests"
  • Writing and speaking in English being a "liberating" exercise
  • Only writing in English about gender inequality to avoid internet trolls
  • Motivation behind her articles about female inequality and sexism in Japan
  • Together we coin a new Japanese word for "Empowerment"
  • Favorite Japanese word without an exact English translation