Has been a while since the last Photo Walk. Todays walk includes photos from Ebisu, Nishikoyama, Musashikoyama and Gakugei Daigaku.
First photo taken at a newly built park nearby. The Lumix LX3 is incredibly good at taking pics at low light. This shot was f/2.0, ISO 100 with a 1 second exposure - no tripod. There is some sort of image stabilizer thingy inside.
Before I forget, some of these in the Wallpaper Pool.
Occasionally go on photo walks with other pro photographers in Tokyo. Here I'm with the Nikon Tou group but one does not have to be a Nikon user to join ^^
This and the following few snapped on my Canon Kiss 2.
While we don't have any homeless folks (yet) in our park, in some parks you will see them washing their clothes, brushing their teeth and generally trying to keep clean by the water source.
I've seen homeless folks in many different countries but many (not all) of the ones I see over here seem to be trying their best to make the most of life. They wash down at the parks and take part time jobs like distributing leaflets or collecting plastic bottles/used newspapers.
As we take a look at the last few Lumix LX3 photos, I'm going to talk about how one chap went from being homeless on the streets to running is own IT firm which went public in 2006.
At the age of 26, Kanemoto-san (who is now naturalized to being Japanese) got married and was earning 280000 yen per month as an industrial designer.
Apart from his main job, he was doing some sort of volunteer work which he had been doing since his days at university. Most of his salary ended up being poured into his volunteer activities and before he knew it he had a few million yen worth of debt and his wife wanted a divorce.
Kanemoto-san told his wife that he decided to go to Tokyo and make it big. He managed to leave Nagoya for Tokyo without going through the divorce.
In 1997, with his laptop computer and a few thousand yen in pocket, Kanemoto-san arrived at Tokyo bus station and soon after headed to see his friend in Akihabara who had always said to him "why don't you come to Tokyo and work for me?"
But after meeting up, his friend said to him "I didn't think you would actually come..."
Without a job, Kanemoto-san went around to friends places in Tokyo and managed to live under a roof for 20 days - he was then homeless after that.
His first homeless place was Tokyo station where there was a load of construction going on. He sheltered himself in the nooks n crannies of construction sites. He kept warm by buying a 300 yen small bottle of warm Japanese rice wine which he would then wrap in newspaper to keep himself warm.
Kanemoto-san would get on the Yamanote line train (which goes in a circle around Tokyo) to keep warm.
There was a park in Omotesando where he based himself and was fortunate to meet a shop assistant who would pass him some sell-by-date food.
When I started to talk about that water fountain in the park, I recalled Kanemoto-sans story which is why we are talking about it today.
Despite being homeless, Kanemoto-san had always been focused on his dream of making it big in Tokyo. Even though he only had water at times to fill his stomach, he never let go of his laptop computer.
He visited a client that he had previously worked with and asked for work. "I'll design business cards - whatever. I need work."
Slowly but surely, requests for computer design work came his way. He even managed to find somebody who would lend him their fax and telephone (Japan is still a fax society - even in 2009!). But Kanemoto-san was still homeless.
While he could wash down in the park, he couldn't have a bath/shower meaning that he smelt.
The companies that he was doing design work for was unaware that he was homeless. Some of his clients thought that maybe it was because he was so busy that he didn't have time to bathe ^^;
Kanemoto-san being homeless had all the time in the world that he used to come up with design work which he used to approach companies. As his clientele grew, he started to earn 10000 yen (100 USD) per month which grew to 300000 yen (3000 USD) per month. He kept 10000 yen and sent the rest to his wife.
In 1999, Kanemoto-sans wife gave the money back to him that she saved up together with some allowance that she got from her parents. He used this money to set up an IT company called OK Wave which went public after receiving funding from IT giants Cyber Agent and Rakuten.
OKWave currently has 962521500 yen of capital with 87 employees. Their clients include NTT, KDDI and Microsoft.
Apart from running his company, he has also published many books about his experiences.
In the Yomiuri interview with Kanemoto-san, you can see a photo of him standing by a wall of empty plastic bottles. He was quoted a few million yen just for partitions and it was then when he had the idea to stick a load of plastic bottles to use as partitions in the office.
Kanemoto-sans story taken from Yomiuri and Wikipedia.
Was inspirational watching Kanemoto-san on BariBari Value a while back. BariBari was a show that covered the lives of CEOs which included many rags to riches stories.
No matter what the odds are, Focus, Determination and Passion will get you through the storm because at the end of all storms are blue skies and calm waters.
If you have hit a wall then climb over it or break it down because if you do nothing then you will be staring at the wall for the rest of your life - and you never know, the wall may fall on you cutting your life short ^^;
While working at Mirai Inc is fun, I do run into a fair share of walls but as I've said before, these obstacles should be treated as a gift from fate which should spur us to improve, learn and make us stronger. Allowing obstacles to consume us does nothing for life.