“When I was born, Japanese people couldn’t afford any new clothes. After the first Tokyo Olympics, an economic boom took Japan by storm & I saw sky train for the first time on my trip to Tokyo. Back home, a landslide destroyed my father’s limestone mine & we had to take up rice plantation to survive. After 12th grade, I moved to Tokyo & took a major in English. At the entrance exam, I stood last since my classmates were all raised abroad. If I wanted to survive, I had to work twice as hard. In my 3rd year, after trying for years, I got a scholarship to study in the U.S.

The trip helped me see the wide division & inequality in society, so when I returned for my grad school, I took up Economic & social Development. Working in JICA, I was sent to work in Washington in 2000. During 9/11, a flight crashed into the Pentagon. The next one was on route to White house, & there was chaos in the street. I was standing a few feet away from the White House. Luckily we were safe. The whole experience was heart wrenching. As an economist, this opened my eyes to the fact that terroism was a result of poverty & inequality.

At the funeral of Japan’s Emperor, His Majesty the 4th King visited the country. I saw him on TV in Gho & that’s when I first heard about Bhutan- I’d have never imagined that years later, that’s where I’ll be. On my first visit in 2007, there was not a single building in babesa. In 2016, I was appointed as the JICA chief here. My interest in 3D printing grew that time & Ali express shipped to my office, what seemed the first 3D printer in Bhutan. Everyday, I marveled at it. However, people couldn’t understand it’s potential. After my term ended, I was paying for classes to learn 3D printing in Japan. The more I got into it, it felt more exciting, as if I found my life’s one true passion.

Before I left, I wanted to make sure that 3D printing finds a place in Bhutan. A project that I played a role in starting, hired me again to come to Bhutan. I’d never imagined this & here I am today, nearing my retirement & doing all I could to teach 3D printing to the Bhutanese students before this becomes a second career when I get back to Japan.”

#HumansofThimphu

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