Name: Minako Yamada
Position: Production Associate
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Favorite Foods: Japanese dishes, chicken rice, laksa, tea
Production team member Minako has mastered the art of days off: she visits galleries—lots of them. On a typical weekend, she and her friends will hit up three or four in a day, traveling far and wide across Tokyo for interesting exhibitions. On FunkyCorp’s recent trip to Italy, she searched out art and architecture from Baroque to Banksy, while some of us searched out our next Aperol Spritz. Although she exudes an air of calm capability, she admits to occasional stress, which she combats with “good chocolate: expensive, but worth it,” or laps of the pool. A competitive swimmer in high school, she still loves the meditative practice.
After spending the first 20 years of her life in Malaysia, Minako admits her first winter back in Japan was difficult; “I wasn’t prepared for Tokyo winters, and arrived from Malaysia without any warm coats.” Although she’s adjusted, she still prefers summer. Her international upbringing in KL may the reason she can adapt to anything her job at FunkyCorp throws at her. She went to a Japanese junior high school before changing to a British international school to finish her schooling, and learned to adapt quickly. “Suddenly everything switched: the language, the culture, the way of learning.”
Before briefly considering accounting, she decided to move to Japan to pursue her love of design and illustration. Her first project was her own family’s business, designing the menu and logo for her father’s restaurant, and photographing (and eating) every dish. It’s no surprise then, that her favorite subject for drawing is food. After working in magazines and web companies as a graphic designer, she joined FunkyCorp on the production team, ready for a new challenge. “Going out to meet clients and traveling to different parts of Japan is really exciting,” she says. “I’m not just sitting in an office all day.”