You Make It

You Make It is an organization that supports foreigners who want to work in Japan, founded by Kenji Umeki. It is based in Fukuoka, with more than 120,000 Facebook Page likes from around the world. Here are further stories about You Make It.

Kenji Umeki – founder of You Make It

Why did you start this business?

When I was 35 years old and had not started my company, I met 16 foreign students from Vietnam. I trained them to prepare CVs and to practice for job interviews. When they passed the interview and became engineers in a big company in Japan, I was so glad to the point that I shed happy tears. It was something that I have not experienced before but I want to experience more, therefore I created this company to support foreigners who want to work in Japan wholeheartedly.

Some people who inspired you to be a founder?

Suyama-san, one of You Make It’s directors. Without him, I think You Make It would not have existed. Another one is not business related, dr. Tetsu Nakamura, a Japanese humanitarian doctor who was shot during his service in Afghanistan.

Please share your thoughts about being a founder.

I think it is important to have personality, be honest, and be yourself. I am happy that by running this company, I, being born and bred in Japan, who did not have any experience with foreigners, now can meet and work with people from around the world. However, there are also hurdles related to funding the company while making sure that the activities are aligned with the company’s ideals.

Seminar for students

What are the main services of your company?

You Make It provides free of charge support for foreigners who are looking for work in Japan but face difficulties to find one. We also organize online meetups regularly so they can communicate with native speakers and learn more about Japanese culture. We recently launched TSURU (, a platform to share information about working and living in Japan for foreigners. We also offer services for companies in Japan who want to employ foreigners.

Sometimes it is not easy, but we always keep going since we have the responsibility to earnestly help the people who are in trouble and rely on our support. 

What do you have in mind for the future?

I wish many people can be positive and have hope that the world is changing to be better. II want to create opportunities for people around the world to dream. Hopefully, I can meet companies that care about people and treat their employees well.


Meet Taipei – Online Pitch

I had the chance to pitch Gengoya, one of our project, at 2020 Meet Taipei Online together with other fellow startups from Europe and Asia. Can’t wait until I can be there in person (it has been too long since my last visit in 2007). I recommend you to watch the whole event, but if you want to skip directly to Gengoya, fast forward to 2:16.

Since I moved to Japan in March 2020, I have done 3 online pitches within 8 months. FGN Online Meet Up in July, Founders Live Fukuoka in October, and this one just before dinner yesterday.

Look how COVID-19 has led the world’s digital transformation. I used to spent my days in front of computer since I was 13 and got scolded for that. Who would have thought that less than few decades later, people have to, and even get paid a lot to do that to get paid (See mom & dad, your daughter knows best!). Even medical practitioners are expected to be able to navigate online.

I think presenting offline still feels much better and impactful to built a solid network, but, on the surface, wide network, the internet can give also has its own merit. Even though most fades away, I am still in touch with some of my online friends I met at mIRC during my middle school days.

Isn’t it quite awesome to experience being connected to so many people, without border, just by sitting and talking to your computer? Afterwards, you can easily reach out to people you are interested in using words and images. Of course they might not reply, but some actually will, and it can be a start of a meaningful relationship. What about you? How do you feel about networking online?


Milieu – One of the projects designed and produced by KYUB

KYUB is a design studio and printing company based in Bandung, Indonesia. Being active in social media has helped the company to expand its client base. Now, its clients are not only from Indonesia but also from other countries such as Australia, Singapore, and Japan. We interviewed Andre Liongson, one of the co-founders below.

Why did you start this business?

I graduated from design school and highly passionate about art and design. When I worked in a design company, I learned that design and printing can not be separated. It is an enjoyable achievement when the design can be executed and translated into printed products. Therefore, my interest in printing started to grow. Unfortunately, many designers feel that the production process is a barrier to their creativity.

Once I met with Ferdi and Glenn, friends with a similar idea, to create a bridge between design and production, we decided to work together and grow KYUB to be a creative studio which can show out of the box ideas can be accepted and understood by a general audience.

Kyub founders (from left): Andre, Ferdi & Glenn

Tell us about one of the creative people that inspired you to start.

I am inspired by my previous managers. There were 3 founders in the company where I worked at. All of them are independent women who are very passionate in what they do. Each of them has distinct roles: design, color & illustration, and business. I learned from my time there that creative industry is very broad, not limited by age, and not like in the past, it is now considered a primary need.

What are your main product/service?

Idea, design and printing. Our slogan is “Idea, design & production under one roof”, which means that we give a holistic service to client, starting from the idea to start a project, visually develop before producing it and show a tangible result to general public. It is important that the idea becomes something that is not only well-designed, but also effective and usable.

What is your typical workday schedule?

I am a morning person. I usually wake up at 6am, get ready to start and work at the studio from 8 am. Between 6-8am, I make sure I get breakfast. It is my mood-boosting ritual that I never missed. I work until 6/7pm then hangout with my team until late.

What is your hope for the future?

I hope to appeal to a larger audience and go global, strengthen KYUB identity so it can be easily differentiated from other design studios. I want to share designs that we make in our small studio in Bandung can be impactful in the world.

Haru – One of the projects designed and produced by KYUB
Twitter: (in Japanese)


Some of Gengoya products

Gengoya is an interest based platform to memorize Japanese vocabulary the fun way with the help of illustrations and games. It started as an instagram account in 2016 and now, it has more than 30,000 followers and actively publishing new products, both offline and offline, to support not only serious learners, but also people who are just curious about Japan. Below is our interview with the founder, Ferdi Trihadi:

Why did you start this business?

I was working full-time for financial purposes and I was pretty stressed out. I needed a platform where I can prioritize creative output aligned with my passion, which is drawing and learning Japanese. Gengoya is that platform. It is where I can prioritize process, not sacrifice things for the sake of the end result. I can also grow while enjoying the process.

Ferdi Trihadi, the founder of Gengoya

What is your typical workday schedule?

I tackle several brands and in order to progress evenly for every brand, I arrange my work hours into several segments, assign each brand to each segments and set micro goals.

One of the ways to play Gengoya Cards

What is your hope for the future?

I hope Gengoya can be a learning platform that is enjoyable and effective for modern society. We plan to use scientific research methods to analyze and efficiently improve our service and products based on proper data so can create bigger and better projects. I would be happy if these projects can inspire fellow practitioners and raise the standard of Japanese language learning field.


Worldnesia Event

Worldnesia is a language institution that provides Indonesian language courses through a wide selection of realistic everyday life and business-related topics that are specially designed to satisfy language learner needs. Either you are a newbie or an avid language learner, they are ready to help you to Speak Like Locals.

We had the privilege to interview Monica Xie, the founder of Worldnesia, about her startup journey.

Monica Xie, the founder of Worldnesia

Why did you start this business?

I started Worldnesia because I want to provide relevant learning material to language learners, especially to foreigners who work and live in Indonesia. I saw lots of language school only teaches formal or standard Indonesian which are rarely being used by the local unless they are in the formal business situation. I often got informed by the foreigners that they have lots of troubles when it comes to communicating with Indonesian people, either for daily conversation or in the working environment because the language they learned weren’t spoken by the local. I hope through our curated and customized learning materials, we can fill in the gap that existed and able to empower people to have better two-way communication. I personally believe good communication is the first key towards better human relationships and it will empower mutual understanding in a larger context.

What is your main product/service?

Our main service is language course, especially Indonesian course for foreigners. We put a lot of effort to create and maintain our learning materials while at the same time, we keep improving our learning system so that our learners can maximize their study time and able to Speak Like Locals in a short time. Aside from our language courses, we also provide copywriting, translating, and interpreting services because these industries are still correlated to language.

Worldnesia online class

What keeps you going when things get tough?

My satisfied learners keep me going even though sometimes I do feel like want to give up. Seeing them able to speak fluently and being able to solve their communication problems are the main reasons why Worldnesia is still here until today. There is no greater satisfaction when you see a bright smile on your learner’s face because their pain is relieved.

What is your hope for the future, for your company, and for your business field in general?

I hope that the language course industry will evolve and offer something more relevant, attractive, and with proven results, so the market could see that learning new languages are essential for one’s life, especially for professional life. As for Worldnesia itself, I’m looking forward to strengthening our capabilities in delivering relevant learning materials and enhancing our learning experiences through technology to reach out to global learners.

What do you want to share with the world?

I want to share with the world that learning languages should not be boring and that every language learner could be able to speak a new language in a short time if we could find a good combination of our own learning habits, learning materials, and learning systems. Although there is no one size fits all when it comes to learning languages, I believe language learners should take the learning process as a journey and enjoy every step of it.
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