She was born in Sapporo. Having parents of art teachers, she loved making crafts in her childhood. She graduated from the Course for Interior Design, Department of Industrial Designs at Joshibi Universty of Art and Design in 1990. After working at an architectural design office, in 1992 she obtained grant from Danish government to study further in Denmark for two years. While learning furniture and spatial design, Ms. Ito was fascinated by the Scandinavian design, which always has its base in the local lifestyle and presents such locality to the world. Later on, she became a freelance designer based in Sapporo, to establish Chiori Ito Design in 1999. Mainly designing furniture and daily commodities in collaboration with woodwork manufacturers in Hokkaido, she also delivers her original items as Chiori Design and plans the interior for public buildings — she produces widely from a butter knife to public spaces.
Ishiya Co., Ltd. President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Hajime Ishimizu was born in 1982 in Sapporo. After receiving a business law degree from Toyo University, he pursued entrepreneurship in the Graduate School of Commerce at the Otaru University of Commerce. He joined Ishiya Confectionery and took the position as the CEO president of the company in July 2013.
After entering Ishiya Co., Ltd., he has gone through various departments such as manufacturing, sales promotion, finance, quality control, and product development and has come to find both pleasure and hardship in manufacturing and promoting confectionery in each department. Through his own these experiences he aspires to offer customers the opportunities to enjoy, feel, and taste happiness in his products.
This vision has inspired him to continue his pursuit for creativity and originality.
Through confectionery, he is also aiming to contribute to society by cultivating culture and education.
Venture capitalist Nippon Technology Venture Partners (NTVP)
He was born in Kaifu-gun, Tokushima Prefecture in 1958.
Directing Shakespeare plays in a club when studying in Keio University opened his eyes to the possibiities of building something from scratch if he could devote himself for half a year. As that experience became his foundation as a company employee, he made advanced achievements in investing start-up companies.
In 1998, he established the first Investment Limited Partnership run by individuals in Japan, where he succeeded in investing DeNA(BayStars), and etc.
Further, he carries out “Youth Entrepreneurship Program” in Chiba City, and so on while he has been serving as a lecturer at Keio Business School since 2007.
With his belief that “Japan in the 21st century should be where unique, independent, individual, and nameless young entrepreneurs challenge frontier business of the unknown future from scratch as a job maker,” he insists on changes of preconceived ideas.
Professor of Graduate School of Media Design Studies at Keio University
Born in Tokyo in 1954, He graduated from Azabu High School. He majored in Human Studies at Wako University, but left to join ASCII Corporation in 1979.
In 1986, He established Microsoft KK, the precursor of Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd., and served as the first president. He has led the IT industry in Japan from an early stage.
After his retirement, he started to contribute his energy to develop younger members. He also started his present career at Graduate School of Media Design Studies, Keio University in 2008.
He is an enthusiastic railfan from a young age and loves model railroading. In 2014, he suffered a cerebral infarction. After a stroke, he paralyzed on one side of the body and had speech difficulty. However, he is recovering from them dramatically by earnest rehabilitation.
Professor of Mathematical and Physical Ethology Lab,
Research Center of Mathematics for Social Creativity,
Research Institute for Electronic Science at Hokkaido University
Born in Aichi Prefecture in 1963, Prof. Nakagaki liked to wander around hills and fields, and grew up with interests in animals and plants. What gave him joy in elementary school was P.E., and art classes. The fact that he was captivated to lithe movements of animals and formative arts of morphology even at that time, demonstrates that He was a child with enthusiasm for organisms.
Focusing on animals’ wiseness that composes physical phenomenon, He mainly researches single-cell organisms and evaluates its level of wiseness in order to grasp its mechanism by something like equation of motion in physics. And further, engaged in researches day and night, He hopes to understand algorithm of organisms’ information processing.
He was awarded the Ig Novel Prize in 2008 and 2010.
ToyToy (Motoi Ogawa)
Heir to the culture of the Ainu tradition/Traditional Ainu paper cutout artist,
Ainu pattern designer/Ainu roots musician, Successor of Ainu traditional dance
Born in 1972 and raised in an Ainu community, he was introduced to the art of traditional Ainu paper cutouts at a very young age. His works are a harmony of the Ainu and Japanese cultures involving Washi and Chiyogami patterns, both traditional Japanese styles of paper. His designs are reputed for their vibrance of energy. He is the successful founder of Ainu Design Products.
As a Tonkori (Five-stringed Japanese harp from Sakhalin) and Mukkuri (Ainu bamboo jaw harp) artist.
He conducts workshops on Upopo singing, Rimse dancing and paper cutout art at daycare centers nursing homes and other educational institutions.
He projects revolve around the hands-on belief he himself has been given that "handing down the gift of our ancestors to future generations will contribute in molding the tradition of Hokkaido into the future."
Ms. Yukie Kimura was born in Osaka in 1978. She experienced melting glass for the first time when she was 17 years old. Fascinated by the indescribable charm of glass, she trained herself in glass melting and blowing techniques in Otaru after graduating from high school.
Although Ms. Kimura wanted to set up as an independent glass artist, she experienced a mental break down due to the strict work environment.
In 2009, she and her husband moved back to Otaru, her husband’s hometown, where they decided to re-open Hokkaido’s oldest pottery kiln “Otaru Oven Shirase Toen.”
After seven months of repairing and refurbishing the oven, they were able to open up her own workshop, “Yukie Glass” in September of 2010. Ms. Kimura now creates vivid and colorful original works like aroma pots, art pieces, and glass wares as well as accessories such as pendants and earrings, fighting with melted, blazing glass in 1,200 degree Celsius day and night.