Yamaha’s more human side is what drew me to join
I understand that you rode in college and were a Yamaha fan back then. For motorcyclists, just hearing that a fellow enthusiast is steering the company is heartening news.
Yes, that’s right. I got my scooter license when I entered university and used it to get to and from school, my part-time job, etc. And riding is fun, right? So I decided I’d get onto a proper-sized bike and quickly got my 400cc license through an accelerated course. Afterwards, I went straight to a big bike dealership in Nagoya and was looking at a CBR. Then one of the dealership guys who was a bit older told me—almost like it was a secret—that Yamahas were the hot thing right now. The FZ400R had just come out and I liked the design when I saw it, so I ended up buying one. As you can imagine, once I started riding it, it was nothing like my scooter!
It’s a pretty common story for how people get into riding, but for you it was a huge, life-changing first step.
I was enjoying my life as a college student as well as my life as a rider. Time flew by and all of a sudden, it was time to start deciding on a career. For me, I loved riding motorcycles as a hobby and felt that if I entered the industry, I’d lose my love for them, so I had basically eliminated going down that route.
What happened for you to go that far, to not consider a career with a motorcycle manufacturer?
I thought life at a bank or securities company probably didn’t suit me. I wanted to go to a place that put forth an honest effort to manufacture and sell something respectable. So I took the employment exams for major steel manufacturers and leading electronics companies. But at the same time, and mostly out of curiosity, I took the exam for Yamaha since it was the company that built the FZ I’d spent so much time together with in college. I got offers from several places and was looking to join a major electronics company.
Why is that?