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Cynthia Usui: Taking the Road Less Traveled through Japan’s Hospitality Industry

Despite government attempts to increase labor mobility and gender equality, Japan’s labor market remains notoriously rigid. The lifetime employment system is still common and coveted. Obtaining the lauded status of seishain (permanent/regular employee) at an established organization means following a well-trodden path with little room for detours. Deviate from the status quo, for whatever reason,…

Nagareyama City Mayor Yoshiharu Izaki: Diversity and Municipal Marketing in Japan

I first learned about municipal marketing in the mid-2000s while I was earning my MBA in California. During that time, The City of Riverside Development Department hosted an on-campus presentation about promoting the city to businesses around the country, and the world, to create a vibrant community and increase economic activity. Upon graduating, I joined…

Gary Luscombe: Crossing Cultures to Work in the Japanese Hospitality Industry

The traditional inn—the ryokan—is where Japan’s rich history intersects with the unparalleled hospitality and customer service that the country is known for. Steeped in tradition, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to work at a ryokan as a foreign resident of Japan. Thankfully, Gary Luscombe, who works at Amami Onsen Nanten-en, has…

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