One Life Japan is our personal experiment in life
One Life is about living your life with the knowledge that it is the only one you have. One Life is about recognizing that your life and your neighbor's life can not be separate. One life is about realizing that we all - you, me, the earth, and everything in it are connected, and we only have one shot to make this work.
Both the founders - Tomoe and Kevin, are refugees from big city life and the corporate world. We began to question not only our involvement in an overwhelming system that endangers everything we care about in life, but also our own goals and ambitions. We began to question how we would feel if we spent our entire one life on the path we were on. We looked for what we felt truly passionate about in life - not just what "sounded good" in a job interview, or cleverly worded mission statements that served only to justify our jobs at the time - and we made the decision to follow that passion. We decided that the best way to live our one life, is to make our true passions in to our work.
Who We Are
Kevin is the dreamer that sets the courses using his uncanny ability to intuit which path will lead to the next great adventure. It's not all intuition though, he also relies on careful research, trip planning, and preparation. Kevin has over a decade of study of Japanese culture and history, fluency in the language, and the ability to charm even the most serious of local farmers into a conversation about politics, food, or life in the mountains. And, when his mojo is working, he has even been known to work in an unplanned home-cooked dinner and peak into the real life of the locals.
Kevin is an American certified Wilderness First Responder, and an Outward Bound Japan instructor. In his not-so-distant past, he worked for Japan's leading Sustainability Consultancy.
Tomoe keeps everything together. She is an expert in rural traditions and culture, with a special passion for exploring both new and traditional methods of healthy, environmentally sound cooking, and learning about how food and food production has influenced peoples lifestyles in Japan. She is also an expert in corporate finance, organizational leadership, and sustainable business to boot.
After graduating from the Japan's most prestigious University, with both an undergrad and graduate degree in environmental studies and business, Tomoe was on the executive career track at major multi-national corporation and one of Japan's most respected environmental consulting companies - but her true calling is farming. She now leads One Life Japan's Food and Life programs, community support programs, and just about everything else we do, integrating her main passions of food and health, with her amazing ability to chat for hours with the locals about things most mortals would not even notice.
Having spent over three years in the United States and England for both work and study, Tomoe is fluent in English and understands what makes us gaijin (that's a foreigner in Japan) tick. She puts that understanding to good use by constantly picking up on and pointing out the subtle nuances of Japanese culture that tend to go unnoticed.