Cultural Appreciation

Miyuki Seguchi was born and raised in Japan. But it wasn’t until she returned after completing a Masters in Financial Journalism (2011) that she started to appreciate its wonder. Armed with her journalism experience and now also a qualification in tourism, Miyuki has created a podcast, Japan Experts, to share her reaffirmed love of Japanese art, history and culture.

Can you tell me about your time at City?

It was an intensive ten-month period. I was one of the first-year students for the Master’s degree in Financial Journalism programme, together with 13 other students, most of whom had a diverse background and unique international experience. We gained first-hand experience and skills required for print, broadcast and digital journalism through our programme, fieldwork and class visits to major media organisations, as well as through internship opportunities.

I would also like to share an unforgettable event in March 2011 when Japan experienced the biggest earthquake ever, followed by a massive tsunami. I still remember the morning that my eyes glued to a TV screen in the reception area of the journalism department. Soon after, I received a phone call from a British newspaper and a radio station to provide support for their stories and programmes. I felt emotional and uneasy about what was happening in my country but I went to their office to help. I worked day and night to find appropriate interviewees, arranged interviews, and acted as an interpreter; all of these efforts were appreciated in the newsrooms, which made me feel valued.

All of these experiences, together with City’s reputation as one of the world’s best journalism schools, helped me to achieve my high ambition, which was to become an English-writing (speaking) journalist.

I am grateful to everyone who supported me during my time at City including friends, lecturers and university staff, as well as senior editors and journalists at the Financial Times Group where I interned.

What happened after you graduated?

With an internship offer at Bloomberg in Tokyo, I decided to return to Japan and started my career as an English-writing journalist. After a few months, I moved to the Tokyo bureau of Dow Jones where I received solid hands-on training. I was very fortunate to not only learn how to write fast and accurately, but I also worked on feature stories for the Wall Street Journal, a paper I had always admired, as well as the Financial Times. After that, I had an opportunity to work at the English news section of Japan’s national broadcaster NHK.

Since then, I have moved into the corporate world, joining the PR & Communications team at major global companies. Throughout these times, I have enhanced my skills in crafting key messages (storylines), telling stories effectively, and leveraging multiple channels, while having deepened my understanding of the other side of the media world.

How have you continued to stay connected to City since graduating?

Since my graduation from City, I have taken a role in sharing my experience in the UK with prospective students through participating in Study Abroad Fairs and through written pieces. Through these opportunities, I have been fortunate to talk about my time at City and also to have stayed connected with the international recruitment team who provided me with huge support when applying to the journalism programme.

How did the idea for your podcast come about?

Through my professional experience, I found my passion in connecting with people, asking good questions, and identifying interesting stories to tell. Having experienced several years of the corporate life in different industries, I reconfirmed my interest in arts, culture, and history. Having gone through ups and downs in the past ten years, I gained confidence to follow my passion and to work independently.

While having expanded my professional field into regional tourism development, I have relearnt Japanese history, culture and everything related to my country. This helped me to become a licensed guide for international travellers and to realise authentic values in Japan’s long-lasting local culture and traditions, most of which are struggling to survive. I thought their stories were worth sharing with international audience who have limited access to such resources due to the language barrier.

The idea of podcasting came from all these thoughts and reflections. My podcast Japan Experts aims to introduce the cultural wonders of Japan in English, together with experts in a particular field. So far, it has covered a wide range of topics from flower arranging to swords to traditional stage performance.

What has been the most rewarding experience?

Discovering the many wonders of Japan is a true reward, so is talking to insightful speakers who have shared the love of their lifework. I am enjoying all of the new encounters and collaborations that would never have happened if I had not launched this podcast. I am truly honoured to have had the opportunity to connect with listeners across the world; from 57 countries so far.

What has been the biggest challenge?

Producing an episode that is appealing to listeners is not so easy. I understand that my podcast has huge room for improvement and I would like to make it better. At the same time, it is also tough to stay motivated and distribute content on a regular basis. I hope to create a sustainable business model that allows me to have some support so that Japan Experts can add more value to the listeners.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

My podcast was born out of my curiosity, which I believe is one of my greatest skillsets. Anyone who is keen to pursue a career into journalism should have a strong curiosity. If you are one of those people, I would encourage you to follow your passion. It may take many years to achieve your goal. It may end up leading to something else. In any cases, all the experience throughout your journey will become your greatest asset and will help you to discover your future path.

 

To listen to Miyuki’s podcast, simply search for ‘Japan Experts’ on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or visit the website: anchor.fm/japan-experts

You can also access Japan Experts via YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Miyuki is keen to hear from you, particularly if you might like to collaborate,  so feel free to get in touch via any of her social media channels.

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