Diane Morris

Diane MorrisOccupation:
Media & Advertising
Time in Japan:
5 and a half years

Before I came to Japan in 1992, my husband' job had taken us to quite a few other places?Nigeria and America in particular?so we were used to operating in unfamiliar cultures, but I think what struck me when I first arrived was that there wasn't much English around in the center of Tokyo?especially on signs?so I went through different stages of panic in the first few days as I tried to find my way around. Because I have to do a lot of traveling in my job, I think the best thing about living in Japan has to be the transport. It's reliable. It's comfortable. It's clean. It's interesting?I get quite a few of my ideas for new campaigns just by going on the subway because the ads are always changing. Last summer I was on the London underground and I have to say that I was ashamed of it. I thought that it could be so fantastic, but look at it. Japan is certainly way ahead when it comes to public transport.

The most embarrassing thing that has happened to me happened during the first few weeks I was here. My daughter and I had taken the Narita Express to the airport and when we got off we realized that we had left our train tickets on the train. Thinking that we would need them to get through the ticket barrier I went back onto the train to find them when suddenly the doors closed on me and the train started moving back to Tokyo. So I?and I had never had cause to do this anywhere ever before?had to sound the emergency call. The train stopped, I was put off at the next station?Narita town?and was left standing on the platform not knowing any Japanese and without any money or ID because it was all in my wallet which I had left with my daughter. After a failed attempt to get through the ticket barrier and much explaining, with the help of someone from tourist information, to the police, I was escorted back to Narita airport where, thank God, my daughter was still waiting. But it didn't stop at that. The policeman thought I had lost my airline ticket not my train ticket, and by the time I'd sorted that one out there was about twenty minutes left before the flight. We made it, but only just. It was a long time before I took the Narita Express again.

An average day for me starts with the Financial Times and a check through my email. It's important for me to get on the phone to make appointments with senior management early?after about 10:15 am there's no chance, they're locked into meetings. I try to arrange my appointments so that I'm out and about by eleven. Lunch is certainly a very enjoyable time for me and I have a bit of a reputation for making connections over lunch?I guess that comes from my time working for IPC in the UK. Afternoons are just more of the same, half in the office and half out.

The most rewarding part of my life here has been the connections that I've made through my work. I've learned so much from my American colleagues, and I have a lot of admiration for their way of doing business, particularly those who are able to do it in such a relaxed easy style. I think, I hope, I've taken some of that from them.

I'm leaving Japan for Singapore in June and I feel happy that I've been able to participate in the community here through my work with Foreign Executive Women (FEW). I established the FEW awards which have gone out to women from many different parts of the professional community, and that to me is an accomplishment that I'm leaving behind. I'm looking forward to having a change now but I know I'll maintain some contact with Japan in the future.

Diane Morris spoke to Richard James.

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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

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