What is “Tate-Yoko Ehime International”?

N ways to become an earthling -Part 4-


~その4 “たてヨコ愛媛インターナショナル“とは?~

This is the final episode of N time articles to become an earthling. That’s right! N is only 4! It seems that it’s too early, but … the stories of earthlings are over! *However, my articles will continue!


In the “Tate-Yoko (which means vertical and horizontal) Ehime Community” that runs this website, I set up a sub-community called “Tate-Yoko Ehime International” with my friends. Tate-Yoko Ehime International currently has 60 members, but I think most people probably don’t know how this sub-community was launched or the concept of the sub-community. Therefore, this time, I am writing this article with the intention of sharing the process leading up to this point and its philosophy to all the participants. * Therefore, there may be some overlap with the past articles, but please forgive me.


I did not translate this article into English by myself. I just used Google Translation. Why? That’s because it can translate better than I do. Nowadays a machine translation plus rework works much better than my level of translation at least.


Section 1: Life and Work in the United States

その1 アメリカ勤務時代

I currently work at Miura Co., Ltd.


In 1999, when I was 26 and a plant engineer at a company, I had a chance to visit my relatives in California, USA for 10 days. This trip was much better than I expected and was very inspiring. I was so impressed by the United States itself but more than that I couldn’t forget the excitement of interacting with the people who lived there. Right after that I changed my job to Miura Co., Ltd. in 2000 which was the following year with the motive of wanting to work in the United States someday.


Miura Co., Ltd. began to put more effort into its overseas business perhaps from around 2005. After working in Matsuyama for eight years as a mechanical engineer, I was relocated to the United States as a technical advisor in 2008. I went to the United States when I was 35 years old and lived there for about 9 years until 2017. It was such a timing that President Obama was elected right after I went to the United States (at the same time we were hit by the Lehman shock), and President Trump was elected just before returning to Japan.


The last nine years have definitely been the best times of my life. Because I was able to get rid of all the biases such as company name and title and live as a living person named Tate Nagafuchi. Sometimes I was ridiculed or treated rudely because I was an Asian who couldn’t speak well, but when I was able to be recognized and build a good relationship of trust with people, I felt the utmost happiness and confidence. This kind of experience brings us the “self-affirmation feeling” in the current fashion. Isn’t this the real thrill of working overseas?


When I was working in the best environment with my best friends, I was suddenly ordered to return to Japan. Yes, we had a deficit of 2 million dollars in FY2016. In addition, I confess that I caused various problems that I cannot write here. I will talk to those who want to know separately.


Section 2: Return to Matsuyama and Sense of Crisis

その2 松山帰任と危機感

Well, I returned home with disappointment (lol), but I was able to recover so quickly. The new mission given by Japan Miura Co., Ltd. was business reform utilizing IT. In technical terms, it is called BPR (business process re-engineering) and it is the entrance to DX in the current fashion. This is a big project that lasts for five years, but we plan to finish the project in 2022 which is next year. The members of the information system department to which I belong are amazingly intelligent and are all wonderful people. They warmly welcomed me. I have been blessed with really good people in my life so far.


On the other hand, however, immediately after returning home, I feel a sense of discomfort and a sense of crisis toward the Japanese and Matsuyama people. The world is advancing with tremendous speed and enthusiasm, but the people living in Japan are in a sense of security or satisfaction. More to say, lukewarm water. I wanted to say to everyone like below.


“When we were young, Japan was said to be the world’s second-largest economy or Look East, but that’s a thing of the past. Japan is already a ‘former strong economic country’ like the past Argentina. Even at a “Best Buy” in the United States, Sonies and Panasonics are pushed to the corner, and you can find only LGs and Lenovos at the main areas.”

「我々が若いころは日本は世界第二位の経済大国とか、ルックイーストとか言われていたけど、それはすでに過去のことなんだよ。日本はすでにアルゼンチンみたいに『かつての経済大国』なんだよ。アメリカのBest BuyにいってもSonyとかPanasonicは隅っこに追いやられ、LGとかLenovoばっかりだよ。」と。

Japan and Matsuyama are apparently very comfortable to live in. That’s because the baby-boomer generation’s seniors fought the world (in business) and acquired the money and assets that built a wonderful social infrastructure. Did they make it for us and the younger generation to live comfortably? The answer is probably Yes and No.

はっきり言って日本は、そして松山はすごく住みやすいです。それも団塊の世代の先輩方が世界と戦って(ビジネスの話)手に入れた資産で、すばらしい社会インフラを築いてくれたからなのです。それは我々やもっと若い世代が居心地良く暮らすために作ってくれたのでしょうか?答えは多分Yes and Noなんでしょう。

We must enjoy the “right” to live happily in peace and security, while fulfilling the “duty” to fight the world (again, in business) to make a stronger and better country for the next generation. This social infrastructure was created for that purpose, so it shouldn’t be for only relaxing. I was convinced by reading Kakuei Tanaka’s theory of remodeling the Japanese archipelago, which was written in 1972 when I was born.


I shouldn’t stay in the lukewarm water! Both I myself and the company will be washed away! I thought I needed to stay in touch with the latest information and people so that I was able to survive!


At that time, NewsPicks was introduced to me by a person of a major IT company in Tokyo with whom I was working at work, and I became an academia member. I was still an early adopter of the news web media and there were only a few academia members in Ehime then. However, one of them was Mr. Inami, the operator of Tate-Yoko Ehime (lol). We decided to create a NewsPicks user community of business persons by using NewsPicks as a hook by collaborating with Mr. Miura and Mr. Kubo of Cybozu.

そんな時、仕事でやり取りしていた東京の大手IT会社の方にNewsPicksを紹介され、アカデミア会員になりました。そのころはまだEarly Adapterだったので、愛媛県にアカデミア会員は数名しかいなかったのですが、その一人が現たてヨコ愛媛運営者の稲見さんだったわけです(笑)。仕事でご一緒したサイボウズの三浦さん、久保さん、そしてこのマツヤマンスペースの稲見さんと意気投合し、NewsPicksをフックにしたビジネスパーソンのコミュニティをつくることになりました。

Part 3: NewsPicks User Group Ehime to Tate-Yoko Ehime

その3 NewsPicksユーザーグループ愛媛からたてヨコ愛媛へ

The predecessor of Tate-Yoko Ehime is “NewsPicks User Group Ehime” which started in June 2019. We invited Mr. Daisuke Sakamoto, the current CEO of NewsPicks, to Matsuyaman Space to hold a social event. It was so popular that the capacity of 35 people was filled in one day, and it was very exciting as it was featured in the Ehime newspaper. After that, this event was held 6 times in total until the end of 2019, welcoming various guests, and a total of about 200 people participated.


I think the hooking of NewsPicks has paid off now. First, President Sakamoto was from Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture. As Miura Co., Ltd. had a relationship with NewsPicks by chance, Mr. Sakamoto accepted the request for guest participation from us very willingly. The people who loved reading NewsPicks at that time, or those who were interested in it, were very information-sensitive people, so there were a lot of good encounters every time. Wonderful guests such as Reiko Ishida and Shunichi Kojima participated in the connection with NewsPicks after that. I would like to take this moment to say thank you.


About 50 repeaters out of these 200 event participants became the initial members of the current “Tate-Yoko Ehime” community.


Fortunately, I had the opportunity to give my presentation at the final event of the NewsPicks User Group Ehime in December 2019. Then I suggested to everyone saying, “Drink to Action!” to take actions not always drinking (lol). The “Tate-Yoko Ehime Brain storming session” was held on January 11, 2020 which was right before the Covid-19 expansion.

2019年12月に開催されたNewsPicksユーザーグループ愛媛イベントの最終回、私は幸運にもプレゼンをする機会を得ました。そこで皆に提案したのが、「Drink to Action!」、酒ばかり飲んでないで行動に移そう、でした。その勢いで2020年1月11日、まさに新型コロナの前夜に「たてヨコ愛媛ブレスト大会」が開催されました。

The concept of the session was to “work on social issues with colleagues from different industries who are not business stake holders.” 11 project teams were set up on that day alone with 50 people participating in the session. There are various teams for such as a team for environmental issues, a team working on increasing the tourist population in Ehime, a team for revitalizing multi-works, a team to create a community website, and so on. After that at the time of the first wave of the Covid-19 in May, the members of Tate-Yoko Ehime collaborated from various teams launched a take-out food delivery system by taxis called “Taku-Taku-bin” in just one week.


We now have a community of over 250 people from these first 50 core people and the philosophy of Tate-Yoko Ehime is as follows.


  • Get inspired and learn by getting in touch with cutting-edge information and people even in the local areas.


  • Create a weakly connected community of the most interesting people in Ehime.


  • Work on solving social issues while having fun by the synergies of the members.


As you can see from this website, we are doing social project activities and real exchange events offline, and web seminars and meetings and article exchanges in relay format online. Some business transactions among the people who actually connected here are being developed which is great.


Section 4: Tate-Yoko Ehime International

その4 たてヨコ愛媛インターナショナル

After the 1/11 brainstorming session I mentioned above, I set up a “Global Human Resources Development Team” with two of my friends. It was the beginning of “Tate-Yoko Ehime International”. The project concept was vague first and just ​​”learning for business people” at the 1/11 brainstorming stage but as we discussed with the members I noticed that my project must be for followings after a few months.

(1) Issues that I wanted to tackle

(2) Issues that I could use my experience to solve

(3) Issues that I could enjoy myself to work on


As a result, I wanted to tackle the following issues. I thought that this area could meet the above three conditions.


  • I want business people (and students) living in Ehime to know more about the world!


  • I want to make Ehime a more “cool town” for foreigners living in Ehime!


As I mentioned earlier, I have worked abroad for nine years, but I realized that there are not so many such examples in Ehime. On the other hand, as is the case with Miura Co., Ltd., where I work, there are many talented and enthusiastic people in Ehime. I have come to think that it is my duty to convey my overseas experience to these people. What I want to tell you is “It’s easier than you think doing business with foreigners and in foreign countries.” “There is almost no barrier doing business abroad since you have a lot of strength and enthusiasm.” This is also what I wrote in the last three articles.


On the other hand, when I returned to Ehime, I noticed that I started seeing many foreigners in the city of Matsuyama. What’s more, they play with their family in the park and shop at a supermarket which means they live here. I myself had been a “foreigner” for nine years, so I can understand the nervousness and desire to interact with local (Japanese in this case) people. However, somehow, Ehime doesn’t seem to be a comfortable atmosphere for foreigners even though Ehime is the place of “hospitality = Osettai”! In such a situation, those who returned to their own country would not say, “Ehime is Cool, so you should definitely go!” to the people.


It is important to have a school where children can study, a hospital with the language support, and other infrastructures in the area for foreigners, but more important thing I believe is to “enjoy communicating with local people” that they meet in the area. This is not limited just for foreigners but may be true for Japanese as well. Speaking of the “under tourism” idea that Mr. Toshinao Sasaki mentioned at the recent Tate-Yoko event, a local city like Ehime where they can experience more real people and life in Japan should be more attractive to foreigners than Hakone or Kyoto.


When looking at these two-way challenges and my own experience, I thought that

“Increase opportunities for business people (& students) living in Ehime to interact with foreigners living in Ehime”

must be what I should work on. Mr. Ogame of Daiki Axis, who had the experience of being a “foreigner” in Switzerland as well as me, and Mr. Shinohara of JAVICO, who is engaged in human resources development business in Vietnam, agreed with my idea.




●Hiroki Ogame

Manabu Shinohara

The above is the original philosophy of “Tate-Yoko Ehime International”.


Part 4: Closing

その4 最後に

Under restrictions due to the spread of Covid-19, a social event was held at Konya-machi DEIN, Saijo City in August 2020, and at the Cybozu Matsuyama Office in October. We also held a trail walking tour of the Namekawa Valley in collaboration with Asogaku. * All events were held only in English!


The number of core members who agree with the concept has increased through such social events


In addition, on Facebook, we have also set up a private group of Tate-Yoko Ehime International, which is currently attended by 60 people mainly from past event participants. *Sorry for not updating so often!


We wanted to have drink parties with these members as “Thirsty Thursday” every other Thursday! from December 2020. Currently, the activity is temporarily suspended due to the third wave of Covid-19.

こうしたメンバーを中心として、2020年12月からは隔週木曜日を「Thirsty Thursday」として、ドリンクパーティで交流だ!と盛り上がっていた矢先の新型コロナ第三波。現在活動は一旦停止している状況です。

* We are planning to hold a small coffee communication meeting at Komeda Coffee near Ehime University in the afternoon of the 4th Saturday every month to see if there is anything we can do even in this situation. If you are interested, please contact Tate.


This “Tate-Yoko Ehime International” has just started up, and the management system is not solid (lol). I don’t know how it will be developed or fade out in the future, but in any case, I think it is necessary to share with you the background to this point and the motivation to start the sub-community, so I wrote this long article.


I hope that I will see those who have already participated in the sub-community and those who have read this and are interested in it soon.


Thank you for reading this article to the end.     


Tate Nagafuchi


テイト 永渕
1972年生。愛媛県に本社がある三浦工業株式会社で企画統括部に所属。機械エンジニアとして入社し、その後アメリカ駐在を9年間経験。 2019年6月に稲見さんとともにNPUG愛媛交流会をはじめ、それが今のたてヨコ愛媛の原型となる。愛媛で最も面白い人たちが集まる社会人コミュニティを作りたい。ニックネームはテイト(Tate)。
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