EP021: Akiko Koga, An Artist and an Entrepreneur from Japan

Sanja Milosavljevic: Hi, hello, my name is Sanja Milosavljevic and I’m going to be your host today. Today, my guest comes from Japan, she’s an artist and her name is Akiko. I hope I pronounced her name correctly. She has a very interesting story because- well maybe interesting for us here in Serbia because she somehow likes our country and she likes to promote our country. But beside that, she also has an interesting story of herself. So I hope you enjoy our conversation. Hi, Akiko – how are you?

Akiko Koga: Fine, I’m fine – a bit nervous, but okay.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Ah, don’t be nervous, this is just a relaxed conversation, so don’t worry. Can you tell us something about yourself. Like what is your educational background, what do you do at the moment, what are your past projects and something like that?

Akiko Koga: I’m a photo-artist based in Tokyo. In my career I got the chance to go to Serbia and apart from my own work, I’ve been introducing Serbian culture to Japan. So today I will talk about my activities and after the outbreak of Coronavirus about my new project that is started with my friends. So, when I was little my father liked music and art very much and he introduced me to art and I came to love art. So when I was a highschool student, I started to take photos and it was my hobby. And I started becoming interested in art history, so in university I took art history as major. And my major was as Asian art history and my graduation thesis was about Buddhist art, statue of Budha in penance. And I got certified as a national creator. So while I was studying art, I gradually became keen on becoming an artist myself. So after graduating from university I decided to go to photography school and study photography. And in 2004 I got an opportunity to get my solo exhibition in Tokyo and my career as an artist started then. So my first exhibition abroad was actually in Serbia in 2009, that was the first time I visited Serbia. And we had a cooperation exhibition between Japanese and Serbian artists in Belgrade. I didn’t know anything about Serbia at that time, but I decided to go and get to know your country. And when I went actually I was very impressed with it. And people were really very kind and warm and I found Serbian culture very interesting and unique. I’d never had such an experience abroad until then. So when I came back to Japan I wanted to introduce Serbian country to Japanese people. Unfortunately in Japan Serbia is not so present and unfortunately there is still a little bit of negative media, you know because of the war and NATO bombing and ex-Yugoslavia whole situation and I wanted to change that image. So I started my activities to introduce Serbia through art, through Serbian art to the Japanese community. So I started to have projects bringing Serbian artists to Japan to have exhibitions. For example in 2015 I invited great Serbian painter, Mr. Milan Tucovic to Japan. And we held an exhibition at the Serbian embassy in Tokyo. That was also the first project of that kind at the Serbian embassy. Also in 2017 I had an exhibition – my solo exhibition – with Jovana Tucovic, a young, promising artist from Serbia. Through my work I had many contacts with Serbian artists, but for me really Milan Tucovic was really a great, fascinating person who I liked very much. In 2019 I visited Serbia twice and I had the chance to stay at the Tucovic home. I spent a lot of time with his family and that gave me a lot of inspiration and I made many photos. And in Japan, you know, there were more and more people who like me grew to like Serbia so we gathered together and talk about new projects. One of them is Jelena Jeremic. She lived in Japan until 2018 and at her home she had Serbian cooking classes. So she had great recipes from her grandmother and she had many beautiful stories, so we decided to make a recipe book with Serbian recipes. That was not an easy project, we gathered many friends and supporters to make this project happen – it was the first Serbian cookbook in Japanese in Japan. And in 2019 we managed to publish this book. It’s called “Learning Serbian cooking with Jelena”, published in Japanese. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: I think I remember- sorry, I think I remember that book because I think I’ve seen the promotion of that book in our local media, so I think it’s very interesting. Akiko, can you tell us something about your life, your Covid outbreak, how it changed your life, maybe how you had to transform a bit or change your everyday habits or your art – how your art is transforming in this let’s say challenging time.

Akiko Koga: So as I said before, I was supposed to have in spring of 2020 an exhibition in Belgrade at X Vitamin gallery, but unfortunately it was postponed because of Corona. So unfortunately also in Japan many artists had to cancel or postpone their exhibitions, so it was a very difficult time. Artists lost their place, if I can say so. It’s really difficult here in Japan for actors in the theatres and musicians, they cannot have concerts so here also everything is mostly cancelled or postponed. But recently we came to learn how to overcome Corone, or how to live with Corona. Also artists are starting to have again their own exhibitions and mini concerts, but of course paying great attention to safety measures. And at the beginning of the pandemic I was in Tokyo.

Sanja Milosavljevic: And did you panic? Where did you find information about Corona, how to protect yourself and how to take precaution measures?

Akiko Koga: You know in Japan from March there was a spread of the pandemic and of course it was a virus that nobody has known before so I felt very anxious. And I was surprised to see also in supermarkets there was not some of the food and also antibacterial items and masks were gone from shelves so it was really surprising. But as you know Japan is full of natural disasters, so we always are prepared for, you know, we prepared everything for typhoons and earthquakes, so in the same way I also prepared myself for Covid. I have my prepared items. And about source information, where we get it everyday – we hear the information from the Japanese government, from the doctors’ association from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government so they regularly give new information. And of course I watch TV everyday to get new information. And of course I’m paying attention when I’m going out, I’m always wearing mask, I wash hands regularly, I try not to touch my mouth or eyes and I ventilate my room always. And now it’s normal in Japan when you go to the restaurant or some public institution, at the entrance you have antibacterial stuff and they always check your temperature at the entrance and all seats are not close to each other. And they put also on the table partitions between people so here you know, we pay attention very much to the safety measures. So I’m also not going out much very often and not meeting my friends very often. We are very much paying attention and are very careful. And you know in Japan we have pollen allergy and we also get cold so we are very used here to wear a mask when we are sick, we are used to that. So here you cannot see people without masks on the street now. So also in Japan we are not accustomed to shaking hands, kissing or hugging so I think that’s also the reason we didn’t have so much explosion of Covid because we are following rules and have from before.

Sanja Milosavljevic: So, can you tell us something about the state of entrepreneurship in Japan, what is it like to be in the creative industry in Japan and be an entrepreneur?

Akiko Koga: So now we live in a day when anyone can say what they want and using the internet anyone can be self-employed. So you can become easily independent. So now in Japan you know women are- many women use social networks and the internet to make use of their potentials, things they like, that they’re good at and you know many women are starting to have their own businesses. And I think this trend will speed up from now on. Currently in Japan we see many restaurants and bars getting great damage because of Corona and many companies went bankrupt. And I think that form of employment we had before is changing greatly and you cannot rely anymore on your employer or organization. So you cannot rely on your employer and you have to throw away any fixed concepts you had so far and find new ways for your own employment. So I think now the time is that you don’t limit yourself just to your salary. That you have to find other means of living by yourself. Also myself as an artist, I’m trying to find new ways to make a living by using social media to publish my work. Until now in Japan the value was that to graduate from good university, to work in a big, famous company, to have that kind of brand – people are judged by that kind of brand. But now you cannot rely on that anymore. Now, your own talent – you have to rely on new values and that is your own talent, something you’re good at. And trying to spread information about yourself by yourself. So I believe everyone should act creatively and try to spread information as best as they can about themselves and that can maybe bring them some new job, some new employment. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Ok, so what is normal for you now? What’s a new normal for you and what are those new values for you, personally?

Akiko Koga: So my life really changed greatly after the pandemic started. So you know it’s less chance to meet friends and I spend lots of time by myself at home. And I have to face myself in a new way. You know, and that gives me a lot of inspiration. So what was new for me in this situation of course as an artist had to stay at home but also I started cooking more. So now it gives me really great joy to exchange cooking photos with my friends in Serbia. So they cook and I cook here and we exchange photos. And again this was a great chance for me to realize once again the beauty of Serbian food. So you know for Serbian food it takes time to make it and we are all used to quick cooking. So actually cooking slowly and cooking for a long time Serbian food gives you time to think and I think that’s a big thing. So I realized that food is not something you need to survive but also it can give you great joy and pleasure. So that was a great inspiration for me and I started thinking and I decided to start a new project with my friends – project for new life. First we decided to publish a booklet about Serbian food. You know, life change for many people. Now you cannot travel freely, you are separated from your family, you cannot plan anything. So we are all anxious. And then thinking of people who spend so much time now at their homes, we made this booklet so we can give them a little bit of joy in their everyday life. And we also made website with information about Serbia in Japanese and also a YouTube channel about Serbian cooking. So I hope that people who cannot travel now can enjoy our new activities, our new projects. And my wish is that Japanese people get to know Serbia better, to feel it closer.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Do you- would you ever like to return to the state of mind that was one year ago, in December 2019. I like to call it innocent time.

Akiko Koga: Actually I don’t want to go back to December 2019. The reason is that whatever time we have to face, we have to find a new joy in that time and we shouldn’t look back only at the past. Because I believe that even if we lost a lot, even if we lost something big, we have to find something new, something that would inspire us, some new joy.

Sanja Milosavljevic: And can you please share with us some of your future plans? You mentioned your book, but do you have any other plans you have for 2021 or 2022?

Akiko Koga: So when the situation with Corona gets better I’d like to go to Serbia again and to have this exhibition we had to postpone in Gallery X Vitamin. And I’m so much looking forward to meeting my friends in Serbia. And also here in Japan when the situation gets better I would like to continue my plans for spreading Serbian cooking and maybe have some event with cooking. And actually I have one more new idea. Actually I would like to make Serbian instant food here in Japan. This is actually an idea I got in all this situation with Corona. So actually you know many people now still in Japan are working from home and also children and students are having online lectures and they’re spending more and more time at home and cooking more. So more and more people are interested here in cooking. So it’s a big demand also for instant food so that’s how I got the idea. So as I said before – it takes time to make Serbian food, but in this way making it instant which the Japanese are good at, it can spread to many homes here in Japan and it’s something I would like to do. So I will try to find companies who could help me realize this idea and we can jointly develop this product. And then we can try to promote it through social networks and have some events promoting it.

Sanja Milosavljevic: That’s very interesting and if you need any help, I’m actually in the food industry and I could help you – just ask. So what would be your message to the world? I usually ask my guests to just send some personal message to others.

Akiko Koga: So I think everyone now in the world is suffering because of the current situation. But we have to now adapt to new circumstances, new changes. I really believe now it’s a great time and it can be a great time that women don’t need to be tied up to place and time. They can use their originality and areas they are good at to create something new. So you know there is a hint in the things you like – to find a hint, you know, for the future in something you like to do. So my message is you don’t have to have any fear. You try to find some new joy in this new situation, in this new life.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Okay, do you want to add something more because we came to the end of our conversation?

Akiko Koga: Do you want to hear about book recommendations?

Sanja Milosavljevic: Yes, of course!

Akiko Koga: So actually there is one book I like which I read recently. It was by Japanese author Hitonari Tsuji. And the name of the book when you translate it is something “Now is probably the time to think about why we live”. So actually this author lives in Paris for 20 years with his son and this book is essays about his life in these Corona times and it’s very interesting. So actually from this book I got hints how to overcome more easily this period of Corona. 

Sanja Milosavljevic: Thank you Akiko, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for staying longer hours to do this interview with us. I really appreciate your insights and the fact that you agreed to participate in this project. I think that we need to hear different voices, not just the ladies that run their own businesses but also the ladies from the NGO sectors, from creative industries or from universities or whatever – so thank you so much. Dear people of the world this was Akiko Koga from Japan from Tokyo. I hope you enjoyed our conversation and if you like you can always follow us on social media like Facebook, Instagram, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel. And be good, stay safe and stay in good health and see you in a week.  

Sanja Milosavljevic: Dobar dan, moje ime je Sanja Milosavljević i biću vaša voditeljka danas. Moja današnja gošća nam dolazi iz Japana, umetnica je i zove se Akiko. Nadam se da sam tačno izgovorila njeno ime. Ona ima veoma interesantnu priču, zapravo možda interesantnu nama ovde u Srbiji jer ona voli našu zemlju i voli da promoviše našu zemlju. Ali pored toga, ona ima i veoma inetresantnu priču. Nadam se da ćete uživati u našem razgovoru. Zdravo, Akiko, kako si?

Akiko Koga: Dobro, sam. Malo sam nervozna, ali sam dobro.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Nemoj da si nervozna, ovo je opušten razgovor, nemoj da brineš. Da li možeš da nam kažeš nešto o sebi? Na primer, koju si školu završila, čime se baviš u ovom trenutku, na čemu si radila u prošlosti, nešto poput toga.

Akiko Koga: Ja sam umetnički fotograf i živim u Tokiju. Tokom moje karijere sam imala priliku da posetim Srbiju i pored mog posla, predstavljam srpsku kulturu Japanu. Danas ću govoriti o mojim aktivnostima, a nakon izbijanja pandemije i o novim projektima koje sam započela sa prijateljima. Kada sam bila mala, moj otac je voleo muziku i umetnost i on me je uveo u svet umetnosti i ja sam je zavolela. Kada sam bila u srednjoj školi, počela sam da fotografišem i to mi je bio hobi. I počela sam da se interesujem za istoriju umetnosti, tako da sam na fakultetu završila odsek za istoriju umetnosti. Glavni predmet mi je bio Istorija umetnosti Azije i diplomirala sam na temi o budističkoj umetnosti, Statua Bude u pokajanju. I dobila sam diplomu Nacionalnog kuratora. Dok sam studirala umetnost, postepeno sam i sama poželela da se bavim umetnošću.  Nakon što sam diplomirala, odlučila sam da upišem školu fotografije. Godine 2004. sam dobila priliku da otvorim samostalnu izložbu u Tokiju i moja karijera umetnice je počela. Moja prva izložba u inostranstvu je bila u Srbiji, 2009. godine i tada sam prvi put posetila Srbiju. Imali smo zajedničku izložbu sa japanskim i srpskim umetnicima u Beogradu. U tom trenutku nisam ništa znala o Srbiji, ali sam odlučila da dođem i upoznam zemlju. A kada sam došla, bila sam impresionirana. I ljudi su zaista ljubazni i topli i smatram da je srpska kultura jako interesantna i jedinstvena. Do tada nisam imala takvih iskustava u inostranstvu. Kada sam se vratila u Japan, želela sam da upoznam ljude iz Japana sa srpskom kulturom. Nažalost, Srbija nije toliko prisutna u Japanu i postoji ta negativna medijska slika, znaš, zbog ratova i NATO bombardovanja i situacije sa ex-Jugoslavijom i želela sam da promenim tu sliku. Tako sam počela sa aktivnostima upoznavanja Srbije kroz umetnost, srpke umetnosti zajednici u Japanu. Počela sam da dovodim srpske umetnike u Japan, da pripreme izložbe. Na primer, 2015. godine sam pozvala srpskog slikara Milana Tucovića u Japan. On je održao izložbu u Ambasadi Srbije u Tokiju. To je ujedno bio i prvi takav projekat u Ambasad Srbije. Takođe, 2017. godine održala sam izložbu sa Jovanom Tucović, mladom umetnicom iz Srbije. Kroz rad sam imala dosta kontakata sa srpskim umetnicima, ali za mene je Milan Tucović bio veliki, fascinatan čovek kojeg sam jako volela. Godine 2019. sam posetila Srbiju dva puta i posetila sam dom Tucovića. Provela sam dosta vremena sa njegovom porodicom i to je dosta inspirisalo tako da sam napravila baš dosta fotografija. A u Japanu, znaš, postoji sve više ljudi koji kao i ja, vole Srbiju, tako da smo se okupili i razgovoarali o novim projektima. Jedna od njih je Jelena Jeremić. Ona je živela u Japanu do 2018. godine, a kod kuće je držala časove kuvanja srpske hrane. Pokazala je mnogo odličnih recepata njene bake i ispričala je mnogo divnih priča, tako da smo odlučile da sastavimo kuvar sa srpskim receptima. To i nije bio jednostavan projekat, okupili smo mnogo prijatelja iz Japana da bismo pokrenuli projekat – to je bio prvi srpski kuvar na japanskom jeziku izdat u Japanu. A 2019. godine smo uspeli da objavimo ovaj kuvar. Zove se “Učenje o srpskoj kuhinji sa Jelenom” i objavljena je na japanskom jeziku.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Mislim da se sećam – oprosti što prekidam, mislim da se sećam jer mislim da je knjiga promovisana u lokalnim medijima, mislim da je baš bilo interesantno. Akiko, da li možeš da nam kažeš nešto o životu tokom pandemije Korona virusa, kako te to promenilo, možda način na koji si morala da promeniš svakodnevne navike i nešto o tvojoj umetnosti – kako se tvoja umetnost menja u ovo, recimo, izazovno vreme?

Akiko Koga: Kao što sam ranije rekla, trebalo je da održim izložbu u Beogradu u proleće 2019. godine u galeriji Vitamin X, ali je to nažalost odloženo zbog Korone. Nažalost, i u Japanu su mnogi umetnici morali da odlože svoje izložbe, tako da je to bilo baš težak period. Umetnici su izgubili svoje mesto, ako mogu tako da kažem. Jako je teško u Japanu umetnicima u pozorištu i muzičarima, ne mogu da održe koncerte jer je i ovde skoro sve otkazano ili odloženo. Nedavno smo shvatili kako da prevaziđemo Koronu, ili kako da živimo sa Koronom. Umetnici su počeli ponovo da izlažu i da drže mini koncerte, uz preduzimanje svih mera bezbednosti, naravno. Na početku pandemije, bila sam u Japanu.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Da li si paničila? Gde si pronalazila informacije o Koroni, kako da se zaštitš i kako da preduzimaš mere bezbednosti?

Akiko Koga: U Japanu je od početka marta počelo širenje pandemije i to je virus o kojem niko nije ništa znao, tako da sam bila uznemirena. I bila sam iznenađenja da u marketima nije bilo hrane i nekih dezinfekcionih sredstava i bila je nestašica maski, tako da sam bila baš iznenađena. Ali kao što znaš, u Japanu se česte prirodne katastrofe, tako da smo mi uvek spremni, sve smo pripremili za tajfune i zemljotrese, tako da sam na sličan način bila spremna za Kovid. Pripremila sam neke osnovne stvari. A što se tiče izvora informisanja, dobijamo ih svakodnevno – slušamo informacije od japanske vlade, od asocijacije lekara iz vlasti Tokija i oni nas redovno obaveštavaju. I naravno, gledam televiziju svakodnevno, kako bih dobila informacije. I naravno, oprezna sam kada izlazim, uvek nosim masku, redovno perem ruke, trudim se da ne diram usta ili oči i redovno provetravam sobu. Sada je nomalno u Japanu da kada ulazite u restorane ili javne institucije, na ulazu vas dočekuju sredstva za dezinfekciju, mere vam temperaturu na ulazu i mesta su razdvojena da ne možete da sedite blizu mekog drugog. I stavljaju pregradne stolove između ljudi, tako da mi ovde obraćamo pažnju na mere bezbednosti. I sama ne izlazim tako često i ne srećem se često sa prijateljima. Vodimo računa i stvarno smo oprezni. U Japanu su česte polenske alergije i prehlade, tako da smo mi naviknuti da nosimo maske kada smo bolesni. Navikli smo se na to. Sada ne možete da vidite ljude bez maski na ulicama. U Japanu, takođe, ne postoji običaj rukovanja, ljubljenja ili grljenja i zato mislim da nismo imali eksploziju Korone, jer se pridržavamo nekih pravila od ranije.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Da li možeš da nam kažeš nešto o stanju u preduzetništvu u Japanu, kako je to biti zaposlen u kreativnim industrijama i biti preduzetnik?

Akiko Koga: Živimo u vremenu kada svako može da kaže šta želi a koristeći se Internetom, svako može i da bude samozaposlen. Tako da lako možete postati nezavisni. Sada u Japanu, žene – mnoge koriste društvene mreže i Internet kako bi iskoristile svoje potencijale, stvari koje vole, nešto u čemu su dobre i žene postaju vlasnice svojih biznisa. I mislim da će taj trend samo rasti od sada pa na dalje. Trenutno, u Japanu vidimo da su mnogi restorani i barovi pretrpeli veliku štetu usled Korone i mnoge firme su bankrotirale. Mislim da se forma zapošljavanja koju smo imali ranije umnogome menja i više ne možete da se oslonite na vašeg poslodavca ili organizaciju. Ne možete da se oslonite na poslodavca i morate da odbacite fiksirane koncepte koje ste imali do sada i morate da nađete nove načine kako biste našli posao. Mislim da je došlo vreme da ne možete da ograničite sebe samo na vašu platu. Morate da nađete druge izvore prihoda za samostalan život. I ja, kao umetnica, pokušavam da pronađem nove načine da zaradim za život koristeći društvene mreže da objavim svoje radove. Do sada je u Japanu na ceni bilo da završite dobar fakultet, da radite u velikoj i poznatoj kompaniji, da se na taj način brendirate – ljudi su vas na taj način vrednovali. Sada, na to više ne možemo da se oslonimo. Sad, lični talenti – moramo da se oslonimo na nove vrednosti a to je naš talenat, nešto u čemu smo dobri. I da pokušamo da delimo informacije o nama, sami. Verujem da svako treba da bude kreativan i da pokuša da podeli informacije o sebi na najbolji mogući način i to može da im donese nove poslove.

Sanja Milosavljevic: U redu, a šta je normalno za tebe sada? Šta je za tebe nova normalnost i koje su to nove vrednosti za tebe, lično?

Akiko Koga: Život mi se stvarno promenio od kada je pandemija počela. Malo manje viđamo prijatelje, tako da provodim dosta vremena sama kod kuće. I moram da se suočim sa sobom na neki novi način. A to mi je baš inspirativno. Ono što je novo za mene u ovoj situaciji, kao umetnica sam morala više da budem kod kuće, ali sam takođe počela da kuvam više. To me baš čini srećnom, da razmenjujem fotografije sa mojim prijateljima iz Srbije. Oni kuvaju tamo, ja kuvam ovde i onda razmenjujemo fotogafije. To je za mene ponovo bila prilika da shvatim još jednom lepotu srpske hrane. Za srpska jela je potrebno vreme da se spreme, a mi smo se svi navikli na brzinsko kuvanje. Zapravo, sporo kuvanje i dugo kuvanje srpske hrane daje ti vremena za razmišljanje a ja mislim da je to baš važno. Shvatila sam da hrana nije nešto što ti je potrebno da bi preživeo, ona ti pruža veliku radost i zadovoljstvo. To me je baš inspirisalo i počela sam da razmišljam i odlučila sam da započnem novi projekat sa prijateljima – projekat za novi život. Prvo smo odlučili da objavimo buklet o srpskoj hrani. Znaš, život se promenio za mnoge ljude. Više ne možemo slobodno da putujemo, odvojeni smo od porodica, ne možemo ništa da planiramo. Tako da smo svi anksiozni. Pomisao na ljude koji provode mnogo vremena kod svojih kuća, sastavili smo ovaj buklet kako bismo im pružili malo radosti u svakodnevnom životu. Napravili smo i veb-sajt sa informacijama o Srbiji na japanskom i YouTube kanal o srpskoj kuhinji. Nadam se da ljudi koji ne mogu da putuju sada, mogu da uživaju kroz naš novi projekat.  Moja želja je da ljudi iz Japana bolje upoznaju Srbiju, da im bude bliža.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Da li bi – da li bi ikada želela da se vratiš jednu godinu unazad, u decembar 2019. godine? Volim da zovem to vreme, vreme nevinosti.

Akiko Koga: Zapravo, ne želim da se vratim u decembar 2019. godine. Razlog je taj – sa čim god treba da se suočimo, moramo da nađemo novu radost u tome i ne bi trebalo da se vraćamo samo na prošlost. Verujem da, iako smo dosta izgubili, čak i ako smo izgubili nešto veliko, moramo da nađemo nešto novo, nešto što će nas inspirisati, neku novu radost.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Da li možeš da podeliš sa nama neke tvoje buduće planove? Pomenula si knjigu, ali da li imaš neke planove za 2021. ili 2022. godinu?

Akiko Koga: Kada se situacija sa Koronom popravi, volela bih da dođem u Srbiju ponovo i održim izložbu koju smo morali da odližimo u galeriji Vitamin X. I radujem se da posetim prijatelje u Srbiji. I ovde, u Japanu, kada se situacija popravi volela bih da nastavim sa planovima promocije srpske kuhinje i možda čak organizujem neke događaje sa kuvanjem. I imam još jednu ideju. Volela bih da napravim srpsku brzu hranu, ovde u Japanu. To je ideja koju sam dobila tokom Korone. Mnogi ljudi, ovde u Japanu i dalje rade of kuća, deca i studenti imaju on-lajn nastavu i provode dosta vremena kod kuće i češće kuvaju. Tako da je sve više ljudi zainteresovano za kuvanje. I velika je tražnja za instant hranom, tako sam i ja došla na tu ideju. Kao što sam ranije pomenula – potrebno je vreme da se spremi srpska hrana, ali ako učinimo da bude instant, u čemu smo mi u Japanu dobri, može da dođe u mnoge japanske domove i to je nešto što bih volela da radim. Pokušaću da nađem kompanije koje mogu da mi pomognu da sprovedem ovu ideju i možemo zajedno da razvijemo ovaj proizvod. A onda da pokušamo da ga promovišemo kroz društvene mreže i događaje.

Sanja Milosavljevic: To je baš interesantno i ako ti je potrebna pomoć, ja radim u sektoru prehrambene industrije i mogu da pomognem. I koja bi bila tvoja poruka svetu? Obično pitam moje gošće da pošalju neku ličnu poruku drugima.

Akiko Koga: Mislim da sada svi pate zbog ove trenutne situacije. Moramo da se prilagodimo na nove okolnosti, promene. Verujem da ovo jeste i može da bude odličan trenutak za žene, jer ne moraju da budu vezane za mesto ili vreme. Mogu da koriste svoju originalnost i polja u kojima su dobre da stvore nešto novo. Postoje nagoveštaji u stvarimo koje volimo – da pronađemo nagoveštaj nečega što bismo voleli da radimo u budućnosti. Moja poruka bi bila da se ne bojimo. Pokušajte da nađete neku novu radost u ovoj situaciji, u ovom novom životu.

Sanja Milosavljevic: U redu, da li želiš da dodaš nešto, jer smo stigle do kraja razgovora?

Akiko Koga: Da li želiš da čuješ koju knjigu bih preporučila?

Sanja Milosavljevic: Naravno!

Akiko Koga: Postoji jedna knjiga koja mi se dopala a koju sam nedavno pročitala. U pitanju je japanski autor Hitonari Tsuji. Naslov knjige je, nešto poput “Sada je verovatno vreme da razmislimo zašto smo živi”. Autor živi u Parizu već 20 godina sa sinom i knjiga je zbirka eseja o njegovom životu u vreme Korone i jako je interesantna. Ova knjiga mi je dala savete kako da lakše prevaziđem period pandemije.

Sanja Milosavljevic: Hvala ti Akiko, hvala ti na vremenu. Hvala ti što si ostala prekovremeno da bismo uradile ovaj intervju. Cenim tvoje uvide i to što si pristala da učestvuješ u ovom projektu. Mislim da moramo da čujemo druge glasove, ne samo žena koje vode svoje firme nego i žena iz NVO, kreativnih industrija, univerziteta. Hvala ti. Dragi ljudi, ovo je bila Akiko Koga iz Tokija, Japan. Nadam se da ste uživali u našem razgovoru i ako želite, uvek možete da nas pratite na društvenim mrežama kao što su Facebook, Instagram i možete da se pretplatite na naš YouTube kanal. Budite dobro i zdravo i vidimo se za nedelju dana.