How This Japanese American Built A Thriving Business in Japan (Dustin Ikeda, Co-Founder of Hashi Media)

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This Japanese American Left the US for Japan

In this interview, we chat with Dustin Ikeda, co-founder of Hashi Media (the leading social media marketing and influencer marketing agency in Japan for gaming, tech, and lifestyle).

Born in Hawaii, he kept little of his Japanese culture & heritage. But a trip to Asia (and Japan) motivated him to learn the language and reconnect with his roots.

I reached out to Dustin for this interview to find out more about his motivations for moving to Japan as an overseas-born Japanese American and what life in Japan is actually like.   

Watch the full video to learn more about why he moved to Japan 7 years ago to teach English, career & job advice for foreigners living in Japan, tips for starting a business in Tokyo, and how social media marketing works in Japan!


  • 0:00 – Intro
  • 0:24 – Why did Dustin move to Japan? His Japanese American roots.
  • 1:23 – What’s it like being Japanese-American in Hawaii
  • 2:09 – Why did Dustin start teaching English in Japan?
  • 2:31 – Challenges living in Japan as a Japanese American
  • 4:05 – How can foreigners make friends in Japan
  • 5:15 – From Teaching to Entrepreneurship and Learning Japanese
  • 9:23 – Resources for foreign entrepreneurs
  • 10:35 – How does Social Media Marketing work in Japan?
  • 13:08 – Mistakes that foreigners make when entering the Japanese market.
  • 15:00 – More about Hashi Media and influencer marketing
  • 18:25 – Entrepreneurship in Japan and advice for foreigners
  • 20:50 – Career Paths for Foreigners
  • 23:51 – Are Japanese companies expanding abroad?
  • 25:00 – Differences between Living in the US vs Japan
  • 26:10 – Why do foreigners leave Japan?
  • 28:02 – Dustin’s future plans and how to reach him
Also check out why this Asian American moved to Singapore!