METROPOLIS | CLASSIFIEDS | PERSONALS | JOBS
LIFE IN JAPAN
Martin Hope


Martin Hope

Maki Nibayashi

Occupation:
Natural food shop/mail order company owner


Time in Japan:

Nine years



Where are you from?
From a city in southwest England, Bristol.

What brought you to Japan?
Love

Can you tell us a bit about your business?
We are a small company selling a wide range of organic and natural products, specifically traditionally made local organic products and organic products from overseas. All products we sell are free from sugar and all additives and preservatives, and don' contain any animal products or by-products. We promote whole food veganism by giving cooking classes, and we also arrange for various events/talks on organic farming, fair trade, animal rights, veganism, the environment, and more.

How do you find these organic farms?
Being involved with organic and natural products you get to know organic farmers. It's still a very small world with not that many farmers as yet converted, so you soon get to know those who are growing organically in your area.

Do you feel Japan is vegan friendly?
It can be, but for the most part it's not something the majority of restaurants are aware of, and that is what causes the difficulty. It's hard to get people from dousing your dish in katsuo (bonito) or simply getting them to understand that fish is not a vegetable. However, there are a growing number of vegetarian restaurants popping up all over Japan and many places that will happily prepare a vegan meal. Times are changing, slowly but surely.

What's the weirdest thing you've seen or experienced here?
I was on a train when a young man asked me if I was English. After saying yes, he was so overcome with delight that he started jumping up and down on the spot. The train was fairly full and I could see how they were all happy that it was happening to me and not them. After his workout, he started to ask me more questions, getting closer all the while. Then wanted to know what was in my mouth and after a few attempts of trying to put his fingers in my mouth, I was far from overjoyed. I could see he was not going to give up and to pull who-knows-what from my mouth? Happily my stop came and I bounded off.

What's the one Japanese item you can't live without?
Shoyu (soy sauce).

Your recipe for a happy and successful life in Japan?
Get involved in some type of class that puts you into contact with people outside your social circle and who you'd generally never meet. Try to learn at least daily Japanese - it really does help. Find a creative or non-abusive form of release for stress, instead of simply turning to alcohol. Don't take yourself, things or life too seriously, but certainly be sincere when you need to be. Remember most of us are here out of choice and even if we are not, we always have the choice to see things positively, negatively or however.

Contact Martin Hope at warabemura@aol.com  

Martin Hope spoke to Maki Nibayashi.

Do you know somepne who has an interesting life in Japan? Email us at maki@tokyoclassified.com

LIFE IN JAPAN:
360: Gustavo Marchesi
Professional tango dancer
355: Alec McAulay
Filmmaker
352/3: Mary Frenzel
Professional singer / songwriter, bandleader & voice instructor
350: Kate Smurthwaite
Bond analyst and aspiring novelist
349: Tim Spangler
Recreational Equipment, Inc.
348: Robin Rozzell
Tribal Nation Security
347: Marco Invernizzi
Bonsai artist
346: Charles E McJilton
Advocate
345: Chris Chavez
Dancer/Singer
344: Donna Burke
Singer and narrator
343: Dennis Sun
Artist, freelance graphic design and illustrator
342: Martin Hope Berry
Natural food shop owner
341: Donald James Berry
Technical Adviser
340: Amy Jorrisch
Tokyo International Players
339: Anthony Al-Jamie Ph.D.
Education consultant and journalist
338: Joel Silverstein
President of Outback Steakhouse Japan
337: Neal Dauber
Termite and Pest Control Operator
336: Marcus Spurrell
CEO of No Mass Media, Internet Co.
335: Stefan Fanselow
Flight Instructor
334: Colleen Lanki
Theater Artist
333: Ben Leibson
Scuba Diver
332: Bernard Yu
Executive Director of TELL
331: Hayden "Hay-chan" Majajas
Informations Systems Manager
330: Alistair McLachlan
BootsMC Finance manager
329: Ronald Lee Davis
Missionary / Teacher
328: Ed Durbrow
Musician
327: Isabelle Maranda
Marketing Coordinator
326: Brian Marcus
Food & Beverage Director at Tokyo American Club
325: David Baran
Managing Partner, Compass Partners
324: Murali Kupusami
Furla Tea & Coffee Owner/Model
323: Angela Jones
Fire Dancer
322: Tim Tsang
Coordinator for International Relations (CIR)
321: Chris Monnier
Drummer
320: David Snyder
President of Rising Crane Sports Consultants, Inc.
319: Juliet Hindell
BBC's Tokyo Correspondent
318: Sid Lloyd
Football team captain
317: Niels Frederik Walther
Chef for the Danish Ambassador
316: Jonathan Katz
Jazz musician and composer
315: Yoichi Hayase
President, True Travel, K.K.
314: Ira Bolden
Program Manager
313: Benjamin Gurnsey
Corporate Communications at Sony Computer
312: Dr Jonna D. Douglass, PhD
Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist
311: Roy Kilner
Izakaya Manager
310: Neil Day
Senior Software Research Engineer
309: Stuart Ablett
Sakaya Operator
308: Maggie Tai Tucker
Animal Trainer
307: Carmine Cozzoline
Restaurant Owner/Chef
306: Alison Noonan
Cellist
305: Kevin Meyerson
Rainbow Japan Inc. President
304: Randy McGraw
DirecTV Marketing Manager
303: Roy Ron
Researcher
302: Antonio Plozay-Liberatore
Economist/TV Talent
300: Miguel Angel
Bartender

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