Looking back on 2020 : Never look back behind, but…!!!
Looking back on 2020
This department was launched on March 3rd and we published the first book “Ready for the Paradigm Shift” on May 28th. We then published the books “Valley of the Wind” (Shigemi Suzuki), “Desires and Insights: The Everyday Life of an Insight Hunter” (Naoki Sakai and Hiroaki Shikata), and “A Smooth World and a Rough World: A Case for a Dual-System World” (Hideki Kato) in quick succession.
We are very grateful that the advisor of Shinchosha, Shinsuke Tsutsumi, has agreed to be our advisor.
・Entertainment agency operations
We have signed artists such as Tsuyoshi Ihara, Harumi Inoue, Ray Yamada, and Leena, and we hope to create a system that allows our artists to freely go about their activities and helps them to achieve a global reach.
・Online live streams
We have held over 30 online live streams, ranging from the music concerts of NON as well as online broadcasts of Shoten members (Taihei Hayashiya and Koraku Sanyutei), Eri Watanabe’s performances, and broadcasting the content of the famous YouTuber Yuka Kinoshita aimed at a Chinese audience.
・Corporate consulting services
We conducted a site inspection at Los Angeles for the overseas expansion of the major patisserie “Châteraisé” on February 23rd. We were also involved in the 100th-anniversary project of Daiwa Heavy Industry which produces Goemon baths, the branding of Otsuka Kagu, etc.
We relocated our gallery from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. Although the new site is 5 times larger, the gallery is only open on weekends due to COVID-19. We have launched an online gallery and e-commerce website as part of our ongoing digital transformation efforts.
We had also promoted the art project of KAZU who won an Academy Award for best makeup and hairstyling, but unfortunately, it could not go ahead as planned because of COVID-19. However, Mr.Brainwash’s opening exhibition at “Shinsaibashi Parco” was a huge success.
・Resort real estate
We acquired a condominium in Marina del Rey, Los Angeles, which we are currently managing.
The development of our project in Nanjo, Okinawa, has also progressed from land acquisition to the design phase.
We have been involved in the launch of several startup companies such as “SOUNDRAW” and “Tokyo Kasan.”
We were inspired by “Leed Publishing,” a company involved in regenerative medicine, during our consulting work, and we decided to launch our own in-house research. Our current research projects include boosting immunity through the activation of autologous lymphocytes and raising awareness of autologous stem cell cultures.
We had also planned to open a restaurant with my friends in Los Angeles, Sarkis and Ricky Takizawa, that boasts a vegetarian meat (plant-based meat analog) menu, but our plans have been postponed due to COVID-19.
We set up the Speedy Land Trust NPO with the environmental activist Ian Shimizu with the aim of preventing forest fires. (January 7th)
In addition, Sayaka Kuriyama a.k.a. Purako who is active in Mozambique, Africa, has temporarily returned to Japan, and we were able to set up a charity together.
The official Chinese website for “NON” was launched on January 21st, and we donated masks and funds to Wuhan on January 26th. Due to COVID-19, I could not visit Beijing and Shanghai like I did last year and there were no opportunities for face-to-face interactions.
I lectured at Yokohama University of Art and Design as a visiting professor and discussed how art is essential for society. I also gave lectures in person on several other occasions, e.g., at a managerial seminar sponsored by Tokyo Small and Medium Business Investment ＆ Consultation and at the temple hotel “CLOUD HOTEL.”
I participated in a “NewsPicks” round-table discussion on the problems in the entertainment industry and a conversation organized by “Sendenkaigi” alongside Hitoshi Tanaka (President of JINS) and Naoki Sakai.
・The “Talked” dialog series
I participated in a dialog series with 6 other people: the book curator Yoshitaka Haba, Kazuma Ieiri from CAMPFIRE, the publishing agent Tadashi Onitsuka, Associate Professor Mai Yoshino from the Faculty of Business Administration at Tokyo Seitoku University, Natsuyo Chinsho who is the CEO of DIGDOG, and Hiroto Kobayashi who is the co-founder of Infobahn.
Following the memorial service for Banjiro Uemura, the founder of Tohokushinsha who was my mentor in my 20s and had passed away at the age of 90, his son Toru also passed away at the young age of 58 years old as if he had gone to reunite with his father. I would like to express my deepest condolences to their family.
When I visited New York in February for some work related to Longchamp, I was glad to have the chance to enjoy a casual chat with Ryuichi Sakamoto over a cup of tea.
I was also able to meet Rev. Takafumi Zenryu Kawakami who is the deputy head priest of Myoshin-ji Shunko-in in Kyoto as well as Rev. Toryo Ito from Yosoku-in, a sub-temple of Kennin-ji, which were spiritually invigorating experiences. I am also very grateful to Yuki Naruse from ON THE TRIP who met with me and brought me around Japan throughout the year.
Also, the “Mr. F” series of LINE stamps which I have enjoyed releasing is now available up to its fifth installation. I can’t believe I have more stamps than Kimetsu *laughs*
I have also launched my official personal website.
This is where I post my blogs when I have spare time, so please take a look if you are interested.
I have not been thinking about what might happen next year but I will start by focusing on the things before me that I want to achieve.
Finally, everyone in Speedy Group has really helped me in incredible ways this year! Thank you all so much!