Zack Konno

Zack KonnoOccupation:
Car Export Representive
Time in Japan:

I have just returned to Tokyo after spending six years exporting American cars to Japan from California. I was particularly involved in shipping the larger American models, especially Chevy trucks and Caprice wagons, to the market that has been created over here by the emergence of a kind of custom car sub-culture. The demand for these cars is now decreasing because of the worsening exchange rate, and so currently most of my work is to do with exporting Japanese cars to countries where there is a demand for imported vehicles, especially unusual or limited edition models.

In the six years that I have been away Japan has gone through many changes. When I was growing up, young people felt restricted by their parents and constrained by the community, but over the past few years there has been a shift away from this and the younger generation have begun to enjoy much greater freedom. I think that in some ways this is positive because it allows the young to think and act more independently, but there are some who confuse freedom with being able to do anything they want to, and that can cause problems.

Another thing I have noticed about Japan since returning is that people seem to be quite depressed. In the States I kept on hearing about how bad things were getting here and, although many Japanese people that I spoke to said that it wasn' true, when I came back I noticed that people didn't appear to be very happy with their lives. Maybe it's because I was in the States for so long and wasn't used to seeing people like that?especially not in California?but it is certainly not how I remember things being six years ago.

I think the best thing about living in Japan is the convenience: unlike America, you don't have to have a car if you live here because the public transport system is so good and everything is so accessible. On the other hand, I had kind of forgotten how high the cost of living is in Japan, and while it is possible to live cheaply in Tokyo?I've found quite a few discount stores since I've been back?generally speaking, trains, food and accommodation cost far too much.

In the future my personal goal is to learn more about different cultures. I already know quite a bit about Japan and California?I don't say America because California is very different to the rest of the country?but there is still so much more to find out, and I think that in this business I can do that.

Zack Konno works for Torao, an import/export car dealership, and can be contacted on 045-931-0221.

Do you know an interesting person in Tokyo? E-mail us at

199: Diane Morris
Media & Advertising
198: Ross Mihara
NHK Sumo Announcer
196: Corky Alexander
Tokyo Weekender
195: Edward Obaidey
194: Merry Angel
Managing Director
193: Alison Pockett
Managing Partner
192: Zack Konno
Car Export Representive
191: Pamela S. Caudill
Assistant U.S. Customs
190: Caroline Power
Being a Broad
189: Geoffrey Tudor
P.R. Section Chief JAL
188: Ryuko Ishikawa M.D.
Family Psychiatrist
187: Georges Hassam
Arabic Dance Instructor
186: Larry London
DJ at InterFM
185: Richard James
Photographer & Writer
184: Alan Kidd
Rock Musician & Editor
183: Adam Hitchens
Mobile Hairdresser/Masseur
182: Lylian de la Vega
181: Annie Chang
Computer Training
180: Mike Jacobs
179: Jimmy Angel
Rock'n'Roll Singer
178: Dante
177: Elizabeth Spencer
Tokyo Classified Intern
175: Paul E. Ainlay
Proprietor of D.B. Cooper's
174: Steve Bindon
173: Nanae Nagata & Naji Rahman
Proprietors of Heart Cocktail
172: Tom Holiday
171: Gordon Hutchingson
170: Barry Cardinal
Renshi Aikido Instructor
169: Tammy
168: Steve Feldman
Computer Dealer
167: Eve Suter
Flower Designer
166: Paul Goldsmith
Computer/H.R. Consultant
165: Avry Gottesman
Auto Dealer
164: Russell Pollard
Financial Advisor
163: Sa'dia
Belly Dancer
162: Marcel L'Esperance
Choral Director
161: Gregg Alan
Used Motorcycle/Car Dealer
160: Dr. Greg Sapplers OMD
Oriental Medical Doctor
159: Ute Ikuta
Cat Lover
158: Pam Adkins
Shaw College
157: Cloudy Bong Water
156: Melissa
Internet Company Director
155: Paul Gibson
Proprietor, The Fiddler Pub
154: Ann Spiers
153: Evans M. Asare
152: Sandy Weiss
Acting Teacher
150: Kike

Issues 300-360

Issues 250-299
Issues 200-249
Issues 138-149