Kevin Meyerson

President/CEO of Rainbow Japan Inc.
Time in Japan:
13 years

Where are you from?
The States.

Where are you from?

What is Rainbow Japan?
We' the largest web developer in Japan and a digital media production company. We wanted to do multimedia initially, but when we started in 1991 nobody knew what multimedia was. We started with computer graphic animation production, which is still about 20% of our business, and the rest is web development.

What were your first projects?
The first TV commercial was for a Sharp washing machine that used air bubbles to clean clothes. Major projects we've done are almost all of the JR East Japan's web development, Dell Computers in Japan, EMG's website, Sony Music Entertainment's website, Mitsubishi Motors, J-Wave and other major web development. We did Tokyo Disneyland's Toontown commercial several years ago, and coordinated the CG production for the Toyota Mark2 commercial where you can see through the car.

How do you feel about the development of the Internet over the past few years here?
Right now there are so many issues of distribution and it seems to me that the issues for e-commerce and web development are based not on marketing decisions, like what the users want, but on what the company wants to do. The lack of venture financing up till now was a real hindrance but that's changed and it's easier to get financing. I'm sure it'll change even more. It's going to affect the web development industry and will change the content available for Japanese users. It's all very exciting because major content change will be coming.

What are your goals?
I want to retire when I'm 45 so I have about nine more years. I had this dream to get a big sailing yacht and cruise around Southeast Asia, but the dream was crushed by a cargo ship captain I met on a plane; he tells me that it's impossible because there are pirates in the seas of Southeast Asia. Unless you have a ship that is faster than theirs, you have no way of surviving. He said to get an AK47 and a rocket launcher. So I have to look for something else.

What's your favorite thing about Japan?
The people are great. It's interesting because Americans and Japanese have opposite ideals. Americans like to be very straightforward and honest but in reality, a lot of Americans say what they think the other person wants to hear. On the other hand, the Japanese have the ideal of tatemae and bringing harmony to the group and not wanting to rock the boat but in reality, most Japanese are really straightforward and this whole idea of a mysterious Japan is so ludicrous because you can generally find out what someone's thinking by just asking them. Just take out the "nihonjin wa" and change to an "I" and you have what the person is thinking.

Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the web business?
It's a fast-growing market with enormous growth potential so there are a lot of shady characters and people who don't know what they're talking about, because there's so much money being invested into it. So be careful. Find out what companies are producing and take a look at their websites to see what kind of clients they have, especially regular clients. There are so many fly-by-night businesses, you really have to be careful.

What's your recipe for a happy life in Japan?
Don't be judgmental, go with the flow.

Kevin Meyerson spoke to Maki Nibayashi.

Check out Rainbow Japan's website at

Do you know an interesting person in Tokyo? If so, email us at

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355: Alec McAulay
352/3: Mary Frenzel
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337: Neal Dauber
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314: Ira Bolden
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313: Benjamin Gurnsey
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312: Dr Jonna D. Douglass, PhD
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310: Neil Day
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309: Stuart Ablett
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308: Maggie Tai Tucker
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307: Carmine Cozzoline
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306: Alison Noonan
305: Kevin Meyerson
Rainbow Japan Inc. President
304: Randy McGraw
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303: Roy Ron
302: Antonio Plozay-Liberatore
Economist/TV Talent
300: Miguel Angel

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Issues 150-199
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