“As a child, I dreamt of becoming a comedian, but fate had different plans for me. I ended up studying agriculture and livestock at a university in Kyoto. Years later, I met my now-wife also in Kyoto when she was practicing medicine. We crossed paths while taking German classes for our entrance exams to study in graduate schools. My wife works in Kyoto and we have a 33-year-old son.
I graduated from university at the age of 22 and joined the national federation of agricultural cooperative associations, which had 4 million farming households as members when I first joined.

I arrived in Bhutan during the cold winter days of November 2022 and was welcomed by the beautiful mountains of the Himalayas. Bhutan is a remarkably peaceful country, and its people embody contentment in life, which is unique in a world where many chase material wealth. Here, communities come together to support each other, reminiscent of the way things were in Japan 50 years ago.

Since December of the previous year, I have been working as a JICA volunteer under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. Prior to coming to Bhutan, I first worked, as a new graduate, at an agricultural cooperative in Japan, worked as a truck driver, had a stint in a dance theater with geisha girls, worked with a rural cooperative in Bangladesh, with an agrochemical company as researcher, in Italy for a financial institution of the UN, among other diverse jobs.

I first worked with JICA in 1985 as a Volunteer in Bangladesh, and from 1996 worked as a JICA staff until retirement, including teaching assignments with universities. A year after retirement, I became a JICA Volunteer again.
My assignments have mostly been in agricultural areas across Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, south-east Asia, and Africa. In Asia, I worked on irrigation projects, research initiatives, and small-scale poultry projects. Here in Bhutan, I have been assigned to the Policy and Planning Division (PPD), where I work as an agricultural statistician.

My responsibility within the PPD is to oversee Bhutan’s RNR (Renewable Natural Resources) statistics, with the expectation of improving the annual reports. To be honest, I am still in the process of delivering results, and there isn’t much I have accomplished so far, but I am working diligently on it.

Looking ahead, I aspire to organize activities with other JICA volunteers in Bhutan related to food and nutrition that will generate demand for the new and higher quality crops that farmers can produce to earn better.

At 62 years old, I have lived a full life, and a couple of years ago, I used to contemplate how my life would end. I would ponder the possibilities of falling ill, encountering accidents, or even facing war. These thoughts made me realize that I should not waste my life worrying about earning money.

One of my primary goals for coming to Bhutan was to pursue genuine happiness instead of focusing solely on material wellbeing. To me, Bhutan represents a country of happiness, and I am delighted to spend part of my remaining years in this nation, where I can continue learning. I want to dedicate these final years of my life to working for peace, not only for Bhutan but for the entire world.”


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