It’s especially important for the second generation to get around and succeed.
The story of Hiroshi Kageyama, co-founder and deputy representative director of glolab
He came to Japan from China when he was 6 years old. Spend time in a local city until graduating from high school. Naturalized in Japan in the third year of junior high school. After going on to high school and university, after working as a member of society, went on to graduate school at the age of 29. Currently working at a Japanese company while working as a deputy representative director of glolab. Father of one child.
― Do you remember when you came to Japan?
I came to Japan because my father was studying abroad in Japan. I was worried that I would go to a great place when I saw that I had a thick wad of bills to buy a ticket for a flight to Japan, but I was purely excited. I entered elementary school a little after I came to Japan, but at that time I lived in a rural area instead of Tokyo, so I was the only foreigner. It happened that the principal of the elementary school wanted to promote international exchange, so I asked him to hold a school-wide meeting and introduced himself in front of about 800 students.
― How did you study Japanese?
Of course I couldn’t speak Japanese, and at that time there was no teacher who could teach me Japanese, so I was studying using the word cards my father made and the textbooks my father gave me. My dad came back around 11 pm and was forced to recite the textbook until he could say it. Also, writing a diary, even if it’s just one line. After about a year, I started playing catch in Japanese. (Communication with kanji) I didn’t learn kanji so much at that time.
― By the way, how much can you speak Chinese now?
Isn’t it about the minimum conversation with parents? It may be difficult to explain things logically. The language to think about is Japanese.
― How did you spend your time in elementary school?
I joined the soccer club in elementary school 2, and I made a lot of friends there. Dodgeball together during the lunch break, or make a secret base in the evening. I feel like I had friends normally. My father was a school teacher, so I was able to study. However, I was also teased and teased because I was “Chinese”. When I was in the upper grades, I was once beaten by a classmate, but the teacher used to take a video without stopping. It must have been interesting. At that time, my father protested the principal and he apologized directly. At that time, I was strongly aware that I was Chinese, so I didn’t want to be teased like that.
― You said you went to a junior high school in a school district different from the elementary school.
Yes. There were various things in elementary school, so I wanted to change the environment. Also, my parents wanted to study hard, so I was sent to a cram school when I was about 4 or 5 years old, and I took the entrance exam for junior high school. Unfortunately I failed, but I went to a junior high school near the city.
― How in junior high school?
At first, I quit immediately after joining the table tennis club, joined the swimming club, and joined the soccer club in the latter half of the second year. I think I was studying about 10th in my grade. I had no unpleasant memories of being bullied. However, I think that there is a big part that I was trying to gain an advantage by positioning myself as a “child who can study”. Sometimes I hurt someone who was weaker than me. At that time, the teacher told me that the other person was hurt, but I also cried when I realized the pain and loneliness of the injured side.
― Why were you trying to gain an advantage?
I think it’s to dispel my loneliness and irritation. At that time, my father could only work as a contract employee and could not get a stable job, and my mother was pessimistic about the future when she saw such a father. There were also many quarrels between husband and wife. I lost confidence when I saw my unshining father. He behaved cheerfully outside, but after all the family of others looks very happy. I think that sometimes hurt weak people.
― You said that you were naturalized by your family when you were in the third year of junior high school. Did you have any changes in your mind?
The consciousness that “I’m going to live as a Japanese person” has become stronger. And I was relieved that I could stay in Japan. My dad was also told at work that his visa would expire at any time, and he was restructured many times and his visa was dangerous.
― What was your name at that time?
The Chinese name has changed to the Japanese name. The family name was given by the parents after the Chinese name, the name was decided by the kanji, and the reading was decided by the parents. I liked the universe, so I chose the kanji related to it. I changed my name from high school to Japanese, but I was embarrassed to be asked by a friend who knew me from junior high school to explain, “Why did you change your name?” Actually, he was Chinese, he became Japanese. It’s something different to say that. I wonder if it looks like someone from the outside. Everyone always asks if China is late or selfish, or if Japanese people are advancing their manners. The point is that you can put such a label on it because you are Chinese. That’s why such conversations are very annoying and humiliating to me. So I didn’t want to say “I was Chinese” or something like that.
― How did you think about going to high school?
My parents told me to go to the top school, and I thought that way too. It was a pressure, but I was in a position where I could go to study.
― How do you go after you safely go to the school of your choice?
When I was in high school, I started playing basketball because I wanted to play basketball. I feel like I’m going to do something new. However, when I was a junior high school student, I was in the 10th place, but when I was in high school, it dropped to the 200s, and I felt frustrated. I feel like I can’t go up even if I do my best.
― It seems that you are trying new things, such as changing club activities even in junior high school.
Well, that’s right, I am an easy person to give up. It would be nice if I had one successful experience and quit, or if I learned and quit, but in my case, I felt like I was quitting at the first wall. And until now, the setting of my parents was great. Go to a cram school or go to club activities. There was a part that was done well in that. I think that it will be necessary to take on challenges and take on challenges later when making life choices. After all, I couldn’t find what I wanted to do.
― How did you decide your course after that?
My parents are also in science, and I chose science because it is easier to find a job in science. Also, I wanted to become an astronaut, so I decided to go to science. However, I didn’t have much imagination beyond that. I didn’t have an image of work. My parents also wanted to go on to college, so there was pressure. I can’t improve my grades. I can’t even get into studying for entrance exams. I attended a university where I could study aerospace, but I fell down once and became a ronin. I received it for the second year, but it fell again. When I was wondering if there was anything I could do, my father found out that there was a national university related to aerospace, and I went on to that university.
― Then, is it a major related to aerospace?
After all, it was mechanical engineering. Even high school students had a longing for astronauts, so I couldn’t study like that at university, and I lost motivation again. I used to do things like class boring (laughs), but I remember that my academic curiosity wasn’t really stimulated. If anything, after joining a student group that supports learning for children connected to foreign countries, I became interested in social things, and that time was more meaningful.
― What made you decide to join the group?
When I returned to China when I was in my first year of college, I saw the national flag and national anthem very much at the time of the Olympic Games. At that time, I was a little wondering that I was Chinese. However, after returning to Japan, an anti-Japanese demonstration took place in China, and I was shocked to see it. The Japanese speak badly about the Chinese, and why do the Chinese do so much anti-Japanese activity? What is this feeling of alienation? I thought I had to do something about it. I don’t know why I got there, but I happened to get caught in a search. I also wanted to have contact with students who are interested in multiculturalism.
― What is the organization doing?
I was supporting learning for a child who has a connection with the Philippines, but he never came. He was like playing on a motorcycle. However, while listening to his story and talking in earnest without lying, he himself found a goal and began to study little by little. At that time, it was fun to know that the other person would change depending on what I said and did, which gave me confidence. Also, I sometimes held study sessions and discussed about Yasukuni issues with university students who are also active, but that was very refreshing. At university, I felt like I was doing what I was told, but I had to think for myself. Well, I also had the opportunity to show my past.
― How was your participation?
Until high school, I was either “Chinese / Japanese”. Hide one or the other. After I entered the school, I finally left my parents, lived alone and looked back on various things, and I wanted to go up one level. Conflict with parents or having to hide one or the other. What is the place where you can be recognized? I wish I could have a background and be good for someone. That’s why this group was really perfect, and I participated until graduation.
― Did your experience with the organization affect your subsequent career?
From my experience with that organization, I became interested in human resources companies. I was very interested in the work of nurturing people, such as revitalizing the organization by being involved with myself. However, I didn’t really understand the work of manufacturing and engineers related to my major. I had a lot of difficult experiences when I came from overseas, and I was wondering if I didn’t have to make use of those experiences even though I knew the conflicts and differences in multicultural values that I could understand.
― How do you find a job?
First for ventures or human resources. But the venture was over and I didn’t put much effort into it. I didn’t have an image of working at all. I don’t look closely at working or parents. I only worked in a humiliating environment. I didn’t want to do anything. So, first of all, I decided to work at an automobile manufacturer for car collision safety and crash tests. I tried to see if I could really do it as an engineer, and if not, I wanted to study business management at graduate school.
― How was it when you worked?
In the end, in about 2 years and 10 months, I found another foreign-affiliated company and changed jobs. A wide range of people I met in business who are engineers, but also in sales, management, and marketing, and also have an MBA. He asked me if I would come to my house, and I thought it would be fun to work with this person. Also, I want to learn to work in English as a weapon. Foreign-affiliated Japanese branch offices must be able to speak not only technology but also sales and English. I entered a foreign-affiliated company because I thought it would be nice to be able to move flexibly.
― What about foreign-affiliated companies?
We started up a business. However, as I was able to find issues that I faced in my work and talk about those issues, I was about to go on to a graduate school for business, so I went on to graduate school. In my first year of graduate school, I felt like I was working and gradually faded out of it.
― Did you always think that you wanted to go to graduate school?
I want to surpass my father. That was the case when it came to going to graduate school. Even though my father worked so hard to graduate from graduate school, there was one underlying apology that I wondered why I was staying in the undergraduate school because of my great love and money. After that, I simply have various experiences, so I think that I should live in a place where I can make use of those experiences by multiplying multiple backgrounds such as development, sales, management, and dealing with several languages. Thinking about various things.
― Aside from graduate school research, an interpreter dispatch app was also produced.
Yes. It is an application that matches foreign tourists with foreigners living in rural areas. Because there is a problem that there is no means of transportation or guide when foreign tourists go to rural areas. When I was a graduate student, I was thinking of starting a business from scratch with a sense of ownership, and I decided to make it from the relationship with my mother.
― What is your relationship with your mother?
My mother had a job as a “teacher” in China and was able to teach people. Since I came to Japan, I could only do physical labor due to language barriers. As a result, I became mentally involved and lost confidence, and I think it led to the discord between my parents. My parents are doing a lot for me. I didn’t like it very much, but I started to think that I wouldn’t change it myself, not just say “I don’t like it”. I was confident that I had a job, and I thought it would have a positive and positive impact on my child.
― What are your thoughts on your parents now?
Both of them have very good roots, and now they have the respect and gratitude that they have taken on the challenge and have come this far, but I want them to treat me better 10 or 20 years ago. It was. I think I was able to get around to go on to school and get a job in my twenties. My father had the mental power to put up with it and manage to survive in a new place, but I wonder if he was not good at getting around. My mother is usually kind, but if I don’t get results, she’s a very strict person. I wish I could have done it if I could support him more positively. Anyway, my family didn’t engage.
― Do you feel that you are a “father”?
The basic idea is that the second generation will have the most conflict and struggle. We must strive to be prosperous in a poor environment. First of all, I don’t want to impose it on the third generation. No matter how good people are, if you don’t get around well, you can’t win in the world. After all, it is important to get around well and succeed. Especially for the second generation. Otherwise, neither the upper generation nor the lower generation can be supported. At that time, I think it is necessary to have a third party other than the parent.
― Does that have anything to do with the establishment of “glolab”?
I would like to create a place to meet role models and have project lessons. I didn’t really have a clear view of profession and life. I think one of the major factors was that I had never seen my parents try something with the confidence to work. It works for someone who works like that, chooses something and works responsibly. There was no such figure. After all, I didn’t know the image of working, so I wish there was a place where I could share that kind of thing. Also, try something on top of that, and while trying it, be aware of your strengths and weaknesses, if this is the case, if this is not suitable, if this is the case, you can win. I want to create a place.