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Connecting Japan and China Through Chinese Medicine-Based Cosmetics

Beauty Hi-tech Innovation Co., Ltd. Planning & Development Department / EC Administration & Logistics
Fang Min Rui
Jiangsu, China (Came to Japan in July, 2013)
Kobe Gakuin University / Global Communications Department, Japanese Course

Where did your interest in Japan come from?

I had the chance to study Japanese when I was a sophomore at university in China. My teacher was Japanese, and taught us a lot about life in Japan and Japanese culture, and that greatly changed the image of Japan that I had at the time. That was when I thought I wanted to go to Japan and see the country for myself.

Before coming to Japan, my Japanese level was below N2 (on the JLPT), so at the time I wasn’t really thinking about finding work in Japan. But as I was studying at Japanese language school and university in Kobe, I started to think that it would be kind of a shame just to go back to China after this, and I decided that I wanted to work in Japan. Kobe is kind of like Suzhou in China, in that it’s a big city, but it’s also quiet and stylish.

What did you study at university in Kobe?

I mainly studied Japanese language, culture, and business in the Japanese Course at the Global Communications Department at Kobe Gakuin University. I’d already gotten my bachelor’s degree in China, but I thought that by studying at a university, I’d be able to study more general, less focused topics than at graduate school, and I hoped it would be easier to make Japanese friends. I decided to study abroad at a university in Kobe. A two-month internship was required for this course, and on top of the lectures on business manners and interview practice, there was excellent job hunting support, so I didn’t have any difficulties in my job hunt, even in a foreign country. participated in internships in a wide range of fields such as hotels, architectural firms, and machinery trading companies.

In my second year of university, I participated in the Consortium of Universities in Hyogo/Kobe‘s Hyogo International Student Internship, where I interned at a nail trading company. In 2016, I created a report as a member of the Hyogo International Student Internship Reporting Committee. It was a really valuable experience.

How did you find and decide on your current job?

I was interested in cosmetology from the start, and when I was a student, I worked part-time doing cosmetics-related interpreting. While aiming to get a job in the cosmetics industry, I met Mr. Yang, my CEO, at a Kobe New Year’s International Goodwill Party in my third year of university, and he invited me to participate in his company’s new project. That’s how I entered the company.

The project was to sell Chinese medicine-based cosmetics in japan, and I was put in charge of project development and delivery of goods. Another of the company’s strengths is in hair care products, and we’ve expanded to 2,000 stores across Japan. I hope to keep working hard to expand our original products across Japan.

At an exhibition of her company’s cosmetics

Things to be careful of when job hunting

The first impression you make is really important, so I was very careful about my clothes and makeup. It seems that some international students did not pay much attention to these job hunting rules.

At the actual interview, I was extremely concerned about making Japanese mistakes, and I was really nervous, but I’d been really helped by the practical knowledge I’d been given at the university, such as how to self-analyze and how to write my cover letter. I think that kind of advance preparation is really important.

What do you think are the differences between working in your home country and working in Japan?

From what I’ve heard from my friends working in China, I think the stability of jobs in Japan is a big different. In Japanese companies, it’s normal to work there for a very long time, and there’s a culture of working at the same company until you retire. In China, it seems that many people want to enter a company, gain some knowledge, and then start their own company. My plan is to continue to contribute to my company and keep living in Kobe.

What do you like most about living in Kobe?

The mountains and the sea are nearby, and the scenery is beautiful. It’s an international city, so I think it’s a good environment for non-Japanese people. I like going to stylish cafés and coffee shops on Kitano Hall on my days off. When I want to enjoy the ocean scenery, umie Harborland is the perfect place!

Have you tried anything new since coming to Japan?

I love food, so I’ve tried cooking Japanese food. I’ve tried making dashi-maki egg rolls, and miso mackerel so far! I also like traveling, though it’s difficult now with COVID, but I often travel to different places during my vacation days.

Please share a message for students who may be considering study abroad/working [in Japan].

Now that the internet is so well-established, it’s easy to find out a lot about Japan, but I think the best way to learn about Japanese culture and workplace culture, and Japanese values and ways of thinking, is to come here yourself. If you’re interested in Japan, try studying abroad or looking for work here!