Master of My Fate

“I’m from Bangladesh. I quit working for my family business to come to Japan. I knew I could do so much more than just sell shoes. Someone once said, ‘You are the captain of your ship and master of your fate.’ That really struck a chord with me. So when I got a scholarship from a Japanese university, I left my stable life in Bangladesh, even though my parents were a bit disappointed. They said, ‘Why Japan? No one speaks English there.’ But I was determined to come here. If I was going to study abroad, it was going to be Japan. Our shoe factories would get a lot of orders from Japanese customers, so I’ve seen their discipline, the quality and their philosophy towards work, which motivated me.

“When I got to Japan, I wanted to do so many things. I wanted to be in the shoes and bags business. I wanted to be a filmmaker. Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out. Finally, I came up with an idea to develop an app that would connect people based on major interests. So someone interested in AI would find another person who’s into the same thing. Of course there were many hurdles to overcome. Finding people and money was the hardest part, especially since I was just a student and didn’t have enough money. But after much hustling and failing, pitching at business contests and launching crowdfunding campaigns, I was able to find an investor and engineers who helped make my ‘social consulting network’ app a reality.

I think if you try something hard, eventually you get some kind of push or support from around you. That’s why I’m grateful to many Japanese people who’ve had my back. I probably couldn’t have done this back home, where imagination is limited.”

(For more on our enterprising interloper’s app, UniTwo, visit




【翻訳;Junko Kato Asaumi
📸 Tim Franklin Photography

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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