Discover the stories of people from all over Japan building apps and games businesses on Google Play.

We're starting with stories from founders in Chubu, Kinki, Chugoku & Shikoku, Tokyo, Kyushu & Okinawa, Hokkaido & Tohoku. Stay tuned for more coming soon.

Kazunori Asada

Kazunori Asada

Sapporo, Hokkaido



Even as a young boy, Kazunori loved programming on his 1970s microcomputer. A successful software career followed and, perhaps more surprisingly, two doctorates in Medical and Media Design. Combining his developer background and medical accomplishments, Kazunori focused on creating software for the color blind community, such as a tool that can help them distinguish colors. His most popular title, Chromatic Vision Simulator, was inspired by a book written by his color blind friend, and shows normal sighted people what color blindness really looks like. Next, Kazunori wants to improve the app so it will work automatically just by pointing the phone (or device) to an object - without the need for opening the tool.

"Before releasing my apps, I didn’t have confidence in myself, but seeing how pleased people are with my tools affirms that I made the right decision pursuing a career in development"


Blacksmith DoubleCircle

Sapporo, Hokkaido



Studying in an elementary school that emphasized IT education, Koichi’s interest in computers began at a young age. Fast forward to graduate school, computational physics became his passion. While working for a system development company, Koichi created the tool app Quick Memo. Its huge success led him to become an independent developer, known as Blacksmith DoubleCircle. When virtual reality first entered the scene, Koichi was also keen to be a part of the trend by releasing VR escape games. For the future, he has a lot of ideas for new titles including aerospace and board games.

"Google Play is wonderful because of its low cost and ease of use. We can reach people even without advertising and it's simple to monetize our releases through the platform’s billing system"

Hiroyuki Takahashi

Ame Kaze Taiyo

Hanamaki, Iwate



The struggles of the agricultural and fishing industries after the Great East Japan Earthquake inspired once aspiring news reporter, Hiroyuki, to create Pocket Marche. The app helps connect producers directly with consumers, empowering them to increase their sales, set their own prices and build relationships. Buyers benefit from knowing precisely where their meat, fish and groceries come from, and can be sure they’re getting high-quality ingredients. In the future, Hiroyuki wants to continue to help build strong bonds between producers and consumers, and hopes to spread awareness about the importance of knowing where your food comes from.

"App technology is helping me fulfill my purpose of getting people to properly see the producers hidden behind the food we eat. Google Play is a part of that"

Kazutoshi Yoshizawa


Hanamaki, Iwate



Kazutoshi had dreamed of starting a business since his student days. But it was some years later, while working as a sales consultant and software developer for a healthcare company, that the inspiration for one came to him. Noticing that the medical and nursing staff around him were struggling to organize their schedules, he decided to use his developer experience to help by creating Shiftna. On the platform, professionals working shift jobs can manage their busy and complicated schedules. Today, Kazutoshi is dedicated to showing his admiration for health workers by constantly improving Shiftna and keeping it free to use.

"I wanted to start my own business and through the Shiftna app I’ve been able to make that dream come true"


Saaya Shiine


Koriyama, Fukushima



When Motoyoshi was going through a difficult time, his wife Saaya tried to cheer him up by getting him to play a word game featuring cute and funny illustrations that she drew herself. It made Motoyoshi burst out laughing, and lifted his spirits so much that he got inspired to use her artwork for a game. Their creation, Cat Designer: Mocha’s Jigsaw Puzzle, with its hand-drawn graphics and cute animal characters, has a unique picture-book feel. In it, players have to solve puzzles to move up levels with fairytale titles like Forest Cafe and Castle Garden. Currently, they are dedicated to making their new escape game where the main character is a cat.

"By releasing through Google Play, we reached people in other countries such as in South America, which wouldn’t be possible otherwise"

Kohei Saito

Koji Wada


Sukagawa, Fukushima



IT specialist Kohei and rice farmer Koji were both volunteer firefighters in their hometown, Fukushima, when the Great East Earthquake struck Japan in 2011. During the rescue efforts, they noticed how helpless the fire brigades became without telephones and communication, giving them the idea for SAFE. This platform for members of the brigades provides notifications of fire outbreaks within their locality, as well as information about water supply and fire hydrants. Kohei and Koji recently added a feature for alerting to other events like landslides and floods. In the future, their goal is to use SAFE to enhance cooperation between fire brigades from all over the country.

"The time it takes to locate a fire and find a water supply has been dramatically reduced with SAFE. The app is highly rated and is spreading by word of mouth"

Hayato Sato


Sendai, Miyagi



A recent graduate, Hayato developed games as a hobby during his Computer Science Master’s studies. His title Escape from the Closed Circle takes its eerie atmosphere from the fantasy-mystery novels he loves to read in his free time. Hayato believes inspiration for games should always come from a place of personal interest and passion, and opts to express his individuality in his titles. With this philosophy, his dream is to develop even more successful games. His next project is a simulation game where players navigate two years of postgraduate study with internships, thesis submission and more.

"I love mystery novels, so my games are quite influenced by them. The good thing about indie games is that they reflect a strong sense of the developer’s individuality"

Stories from Hokkaido & Tohoku

Hitomi Wada


Kakamigahara, Gifu



Hitomi has been a fan of fantasy role-playing games since a friend first introduced her to them as a child. Years later she got inspired to create her own game, Gifu Quest, while exploring the enchanting sights and landmarks of the Gifu prefecture. Players must save all 42 municipalities from ruin and can even play a role in the game's creation - with some of their photos of Gifu featuring in the game, and many sharing their travels to the places that appear in the game under the hashtag #realgifuquest. Next, Hitomi wants to create new games and eventually feature the whole of Japan.

“My dream is to create games for all 47 prefectures. There are many places in Japan that I personally do not know about yet, so I, too, want to find out about them to create games”

Takao Hayashi


Nagoya, Aichi



When Takao's father sadly passed away when he was only 9 years old, he decided to double down on his hobby of coding and help his family become financially secure. He eventually launched Ateam, and after releasing various apps and games in Japan, his company began to focus on expansion into new markets. Their efforts are paying off, as real-time battle RPG Unison League has become a global hit. The Japanese art in the game has become so popular that some fans have even adopted the style of their favorite characters into their fashion. Next, Takao wants to release new games and reach players in more parts of the world, including India and Latin America.

“What is extremely convenient about Google Play is that through it, you can launch games all over the world at the same time, and pretty fast. We think that's great”

Tomoki Tsunekawa


Nagoya, Aichi



When Tomoki moved back from Tokyo to his hometown Nagoya, he wanted to start a company that would bring a new industry to the area and create local employment. A keen gamer from childhood, it was only natural that this would be a game studio, which he named WonderPlanet. The studio had its first hit with Crash Fever, a vividly animated puzzle game with multiplayer and chat features for friends to play together. Crash Fever won fans by introducing novel elements that were not common in conventional games and has gained global popularity. Now, 8 years after launch, Tomoki and the team are looking to make this a long-term management title and celebrate the 10th and 20th anniversaries.

“On Google Play, startups like ours are featured and promoted to people all around the world. As a result, our reach has increased tremendously — a fact I'm really thankful for”

Eiji Kamiya


Nagoya, Aichi



Eiji's love of programming began when he received his first computer in elementary school, and continued through to university where he'd spend sleepless nights coding. One day he realized there was no way to draw digitally without specialist tools, so he created ibis Paint X. People can use the app to hone their illustration skills or design comics using only their fingers and phones. What really drives him now is a desire to make Japanese software as well renowned internationally as its cars and electronics are – a goal he's helping to achieve with his drawing tool being popular in many countries.

“We started distributing on Google Play because we received a number of requests, especially from overseas, which led to a significant increase in the active users”

Yohei Sakakibara


Handa, Aichi



When Yohei had his first child 6 years ago, he found himself quickly running out of paper when logging the baby's feeding, naps and diaper changes by hand. This inspired him to create the app PiyoLog, where parents can record their baby's sleep or feeding schedule, height and weight, along with photos - and share it with other caregivers. Grandmas and grandpas can also use the platform to keep up to date with how their grandchild is growing. Recently, a voice service was added to make it easier for parents to log their childcare schedule, and Yohei hopes to have the app available on smartwatches and wearables in the near future too.

“It's great to know that when you publish your app on Google Play, people can search for it and download it. Many people would have never downloaded Piyolog if I was promoting it by myself”

Takashi Fujita


Toyama, Toyama



When Takashi quit his job, he went through a stressful time. To lift his spirits, he began taking late night walks in the countryside where the sounds of nature brought him peace. Motivated to help others heal their stress, he took this tranquil ambience and put it in his game, Fushigi Coffee. Here, players follow a protagonist lost in a mysterious forest harvesting, making and drinking coffee. Lots of people use the game to relax and nod off to the soothing sounds of the fire crackling and the coffee beans grinding. Takashi's goal now is to get more people enjoying his games around the world by releasing versions in English.

“I think our great reviews on Google Play help people decide to download our game, which grows our reach”

Masahiko Sakamoto

Saku Medical Association: Tell me! Doctor Project

Saku, Nagano



When Doctor Masahiko was living in the remote town of South Aizu in Fukushima, he witnessed many parents struggling to see medical professionals to treat their children. So he visited nursery schools to teach them about different symptoms and when to see a doctor. This gave him the idea for Tell me! Doctor, which he launched alongside a team of people when he moved back to Saku city in Nagano. The app has digitized information so parents can learn when to see a doctor, how to sterilize baby bottles after a natural disaster and use a symptom search to find out what's wrong. Their disaster management content was recently made available in English, Ukrainian and Polish to assist people in war-torn regions. Next, Masahiko wants to offer the app in even more languages.

“One of the purposes of creating this app was to reduce parental concerns about child-rearing, and also to help medical professionals reduce the burden they face in the Accident and Emergency units”

Stories from Chubu

Motoki Arai

Happy Elements

Kyoto, Kyoto



After graduating in Electrical Engineering, Motoki always wanted to work in the tech industry. When he became the CEO of Happy Elements, his colleagues told him that there weren't many mobile games that women enjoyed playing. Realizing this could be an opportunity, Motoki decided to start a project so they could develop the idea. Ensemble Stars Music was the result – an artist production game featuring male pop singers, sophisticated manga-style illustrations and heartfelt stories. Happy Elements is now working on ideas for new games to keep their audience of now both women and men entertained.

“With the love of many people, it's become much bigger than just the app now – there are live performances, stage performances, merchandise - it has become a big business”

Keiji Okamoto


Kobe, Hyogo



Keiji worked hard to pursue his passion for snowboarding all the way to a professional level. However, an accident on the slopes left him with a spinal injury and the news that he might never snowboard again. With his future plans uncertain and hoping to contribute to the sport despite no longer being able to snowboard, Keiji founded yukiyama: a platform where snowsports enthusiasts can access ski resort maps and track their distances down the slopes. Today the app is used all over Japan. The team plans to make it accessible to tourists too by localizing it to other languages. As the app grows, so does Keiji's sports career, who now competes in the Paralympics

“I was really pessimistic about the world after my injury. I thought my life was no longer worth living without my snowboarding skills. But when I found a different way to contribute thanks to yukiyama, I felt reinvigorated and like I could still have an impact on the ski and snowboard world”

Tomoko Takaoka

Hidetoshi Takaoka


Ashiya, Hyogo



Tomoko's newborn baby slept so soundly that she was lucky to have free time postpartum to design crossword and puzzle games — something she'd always enjoyed. When her programmer husband, Hidetoshi, suggested they publish the games, the pair launched Mokosoft. With the help of Tomoko's artist friend who created the illustrations, and her younger brother who wrote the accompanying music, they mainly released puzzles for themselves, friends and family to enjoy. But over time, their releases with cute characters have grown popular. Inspired by their success, they are planning to create more games - including one which helps people learn about local issues impacting their towns.

“I love to make things that entertain people. I wouldn't ever make compromises and release anything I didn't think was fun or satisfying. I want people to chuckle while playing my games”

Kazufumi Watanabe


Ashiya, Hyogo



Kazufumi studied Pharmaceutical Sciences but went in a different direction when he realized he wanted to start something of his own. As an occasional fisherman, he noticed that members of the fishing community in Japan typically weren't tech or internet savvy, and got the idea to bring digital tools to anglers. Tide Graph BI allows fishermen to predict the tides using an algorithm partly influenced by old Japanese proverbs. It also offers weather insights, lunar patterns and a detailed index of where and when you can fish based on the 'catch report'. Kazufumi is now planning to increase the number of supported locations in Japan and in the future, wants to cover fishing points all over the world.

“Distributing on Google Play was essential for our business growth. It helps us to increase awareness and distribute the app around the world. It also helps improve the credibility of our business as it is highly trusted by our audience”

Shinichiro Yamanaka

Omoshiro Kakumei Capsule+

Hirakata, Osaka



As a young man Shinichiro was faced with a choice – prove to his father his gaming business was a success or he'd have to take over the family newspaper shop. Having fallen in love with arcade games as a student, he succeeded and has created more than 40 games with his wife Mina - who switched careers from florist to developer. One of the most popular, Raise a Japanese Doll, where players have to look after a traditional haunted doll, has been downloaded more than a million times. Shinichiro also wants to design 3D games, while Mina plans on creating a game that brings players to a mystical world.

“Developing is hugely important for us. We love making games and we intend to work as game creators for the rest of our lives”

Takuro Imagawa


Katsuragi, Nara



From an early age, Takuro took after his father and enjoyed handcrafting. This early passion for bringing objects to life paved the way for a career in robot design — and app creation in his free time. AMeDAS Widget was inspired by his desire to be able to see a detailed weather report at a glance while on his bike. Now, people love using it while doing outdoor activities like fishing and cycling. It's also useful during huge weather events in Japan, such as typhoons.

“I would like to develop more apps that are useful to the world”

Takashi Furukawa

TF's apps

Kusatsu, Shiga



Takashi's love of gaming as a young boy led to his interest in programming. But it wasn't until he became a father that he started using his developer skills to create security apps as a hobby. Bear Bell, an app which flashes lights and sounds alarms, gunshots and thunder cracks to scare away bears, was designed to protect his daughter from mountain bear attacks. Hikers can use the app to attract attention if they're in trouble too. It's not just serious apps he produces, as he is also building a GPS-linked treasure hunt game in his spare time.

“It's rewarding knowing my apps are having a positive impact throughout Japan and beyond. It makes me happy knowing they're becoming an essential part of people's lives”

Stories from Kinki

Masaomi Kurokawa


Kure, Hiroshima



Masaomi’s love of computers and gaming began back in middle school, when his dad bought him his first computer to program. Later, during the mid-2000s, he decided he wanted to revive classic retro games from his childhood. His RPG title Dragon Lapis has a characteristic old-school aesthetic - with dragons, legends and battles, and is hugely popular with fans of the RPG-genre. His nostalgic games have a loyal fanbase both in Japan and overseas. Masaomi has more games in the works and, in the future, wants to take on new challenges like moving into the app space.

“Google Play trusts developers and makes its policies clear. When it comes to expanding our games overseas, it’s been an easy platform to use”

Shoji Kodama

Laxus Technologies

Hiroshima, Hiroshima



Learning the magic of computer science at a young age, Shoji knew that technology was going to change the world. He wanted to build an environmentally-conscious company that could help encourage the re-use of items. This, combined with his desire to help everyone have luxury goods no matter their income, led to Laxus: a platform for borrowing designer handbags in exchange for a monthly subscription fee. Now he wants to bring affordable high-end bags to more people by expanding Laxus globally.

“Who is fashion for? I don't think it's intended just for the wealthy. So I thought why not give people access to the real thing for less?”

Takatsura Miyawaki

Sakura Apps

Hiroshima, Hiroshima



“After spending several years working in product and software development for big companies, Takatsura decided to create something of his own design. Finding his expenses and book balancing irksome, he decided to make Kakeibo Kakei: an expense management tool that requires minimal effort to use. Initially it was mainly used for tracking expenditure, but he soon added other features like credit card management. In the future, he wants to build a social network where the community will be able to share budget handling knowledge”

"I came to the conclusion that I wanted to use my expertise to create something that would add value to the world, something useful"

Tomohiro Ishizu


Matsuyama, Ehime



Programmer Tomohiro has witnessed first-hand the effects of natural disasters. When heavy rain caused landslides in Ehime some years ago, he knew that a public service information app could be potentially lifesaving. Through his company PRICER, he had already created a number of apps relating to parenting and tourism, but he then built localized disaster apps, where communities can also gather and share news. He hopes to add real-time information about disasters as they occur, and market his apps in other countries where people there may benefit.

“There are all sorts of community issues and climate issues in every region, and we think we can help to improve such problems with the power of apps”

Yuji Ishikawa


Matsuyama, Ehime



When IT specialist Yuji began living alone, he felt like he was losing touch with his family and friends. This gave him the idea to create Birthday/Event, a platform where people can keep track of their loved ones' birthdays and special events. He particularly wanted the app to feel fun, with cute, animal-themed graphics and illustrations. People love being able to see all their friends' birthdays in one place, with many saying the app has helped them enrich their relationships - feedback Yuji cherishes.

“Reviews like 'This app enriches my relationships' make me glad that I created it. I feel like my app is meaningful to people”

Gen Suzuki


Tottori, Tottori



Gen began his tech career in the 1970s - seeing the birth of the PC, the internet and the cloud. His app MissionJapanese was inspired by his own experience of communicating with foreign workers over the years. It's a language app helping people learn conversational Japanese, rather than the formalized language taught at school. People can have live practice exercises with native speakers, and he says it's been particularly useful for foreign nurses who use it to speak to their patients. Gen is now working to improve the app's checking tools to make translations more accurate and natural.

“Communication is what makes us human - and even if there are cultural differences and we're from completely different places - if what you want to say is conveyed well then we can build meaningful relationships”

Keita Yamada


Okayama, Okayama



While at high school, programming whiz Keita wanted to be able to use his phone to study for exams. This gave him the idea for TestMaker, where people can build customized quizzes and flashcard-style questions. While still a teenager, he published the app for his classmates to use for their exams too. Today, teachers use the platform to prep their students, and communities have formed on social media for sharing revision tests. Now working as a software engineer, Keita is still dedicated to TestMaker and plans to add a publishing feature for test sharing soon.

“I feel honored to be a developer when I see how my creation positively impacted someone's life. It's awesome when I get reviews from people saying they passed their exam by using TestMaker”

Stories from Chugoku & Shikoku

Yoshihiko Haruyama


Fukuoka, Fukuoka



Yoshihiko is determined to live his life with purpose and wants his mountaineering app YAMAP to make a difference. After the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, he was inspired to bring people closer to nature and save lives. Despite having no programming experience, he and his team created a platform which enables mountaineers to safely check their location and share their climb activity logs, even when there’s no phone signal. The app has become very popular with climbers, who have also formed a YAMAP community. Yoshihiko recently partnered with the local government to aid mountain rescues, wants to keep enhancing the app's safety features and continues to promote the joy of mountain climbing to the world.

"YAMAP has created and expanded a culture where phones can be used as GPS devices for mountaineering. Not only does it help to reduce the number of accidents in the mountains, but it is also a great pleasure to know that even if you do get lost, the YAMAP monitoring function can save your life"

Chikako Yamakura


Fukuoka, Fukuoka



Chikako began her gaming career in her early teens. After deciding she wanted to make games her way, she set up her own company Ganbarion. Ever since, she has worked to create an environment where everyone can succeed - irregardless of gender. In fact, it was a female-led team that created their popular adventure game Engawa Danshi to Kemonotan. Players spend time with the characters Yotaro and Tora to fight monsters and heal a mysterious disease. After all her success, Chikako is also working with local municipalities and educational institutions to support the younger generation with an internship program, while her dream is transforming Fukuoka into Japan’s Hollywood of the gaming industry.

"We have a working environment where every member can take on any challenge regardless of gender"

Choi Dongjun

cocone v

Fukuoka, Fukuoka



When Choi, originally from South Korea, came to Japan to study design, he grew fascinated by the trend of avatars and the freedom it gave people to reinvent themselves. This inspired him to pursue digital design and to get involved in avatar game development – a phenomenon then mainly associated with the male-dominated gaming world. Together with the cocone v members, Choi decided to create an avatar digital world focused on women. On Purenista, people can make their avatar, dress it up, give it personal effects with a variety of items and create their own artwork with many designing functions. Next, Choi wants to reach a more global audience and develop apps that enable players to use their artistic skills.

"We want to encourage people to have fun in their own way. On Purenista, players can create their ideal avatar and artwork regardless of their gender in the real world"

Yoshihiko Miyazaki


Fukuoka, Fukuoka



Yoshihiko started his tech career during the 1980’s computer revolution. He’s made games on floppy disks and CD roms, and when smartphones came into the scene he jumped at the challenge to reinvent his digital world. As CEO of the gaming company althi, his goal is to allow players to be in charge, creating their own storylines and characters. Their title Elnea Kingdom is a role-play inspired wonderland, designed to be a long-lasting peaceful game. It's the latest title in the WorldNeverland series that started 25 years ago. Yoshihiko appreciates that people often message him to share the stories they have created. In the future, he wants to add new landscapes and more realistic graphics to the game.

"I appreciate that Google Play picks up our games to be featured on the Play Store quite often. It’s a really effective way of receiving attention"

Kenji Eguchi


Usa, Oita



Kenji taught himself to make apps after finding a ‘how to’ book in a store. He single-handedly created Photo Plus – Lettering to help users add text and images to photos. He originally loved taking pictures of natural landscapes and flowers, and he thought it would be a good idea to create an app that allowed users to add text, such as names and dates, to their photos. Fans highly appreciate its variety of fonts, colors and writing styles. Hundreds of thousands of downloads later, he continues to work alone from his home in Oita. He’s now working on some 3D graphics and a new edit function.

"When I see reviews and emails from people who are using my app, I feel happiness because the app I made is useful to someone, even a little"

Keisuke Furuta


Nakagami, Okinawa



When Keisuke moved to Okinawa to attend college, he started working in the trading business and noticed many lost sales opportunities, due to not being able to convey detailed product information in foreign languages. When he was 19, he had a lightbulb moment and decided to become an entrepreneur to fix the problem. His app, Payke, enables people - usually tourists - to scan a barcode and find product information and reviews. It’s been downloaded in over 130 countries and is available in 7 languages so far. He has plans for overseas offices and a new best-price feature, so people know that they’re getting a good deal.

"There's an old Japanese merchant's philosophy that means 'be good to three parties' – that’s become our motto. Payke is good for the person who makes, the person who sells, and the person who buys"

Shigeo Nakamoto

Wana Kijiji Apps

Okinawa, Okinawa



Shigeo decided to pursue programming after working in Tanzania and realizing he wanted a job with international opportunities. After finding that Japan’s Geospatial Agency had old aerial photos of the country and wanting to share them with his father, Shigeo got the idea for Old Satellite Map. It allows people to see satellite photos from the 70s and compare them with the current day. It’s particularly popular among older generations who like to revisit places from their younger years. Noticing how much people enjoy the nostalgia element, Shigeo added a feature for discussion around places and memories. He also plans to make a new function available so people can share pictures from past decades.

"Google Play creates an environment where you can easily develop and release titles. Plus, new audiences were able to find and download my app easily when it was first launched"

Stories from Kyushu & Okinawa

Koki Kimura


Shibuya, Tokyo



When the internet first emerged, Koki was certain that it would one day transform how we communicate — and he wanted to be a part of it. So he joined the IT industry and was soon hired by the Japanese social networking company, MIXI, to be in charge of their game releases. Passionate about connecting people, Koki’s games are multiplayer - like the hugely popular title Monster Strike which marked its 10th anniversary in October 2023. With his strong belief in the power of communication and gaming, Koki and his team continue to look for new ways to deliver surprise and excitement through live-ops and big collaborations.

"My games made me value the beauty of interacting with people. I thought there was value in playing games with friends, and proving that has given me a strong sense of confidence"

Takashi Inoue


Chiyoda, Tokyo



Takashi made it LIFULL’s corporate philosophy to create a society where everyone can attain comfort and happiness. Driven by his passion for changing the real estate industry, he later created LIFULL HOME'S which is now one of the largest real estate and property sites in Japan. When smartphones came on the scene, he and his team built an app to make finding new homes even easier. Takashi believes access to information is key to helping people find their perfect place. LIFULL HOME'S will continue to take on new challenges, including improving the app, and providing a tailored experience that can match the needs of every property hunter.

"For many people, finding a home is not something they experience very often in their lives, that’s why we want to help. It’s about making people’s daily lives better"

Yota Yanagihara


Minato, Tokyo



Living in England as a young child, Yota quickly discovered a love for games. He was particularly drawn to Japanese role-playing titles as a way to feel safe, express himself and explore his cultural identity through the story — an experience which inspired him to create games as an adult. He wants to ensure that they offer exciting and heartening experiences to players through their titles. Wright Flyer Studios successfully created an inspirational RPG, Heaven Burns Red, with the famous game studio "Key", known for creating great storylines that remain in the player’s heart. Next, he plans to release more titles and make Wright Flyer Studios one of the best game studios in the world.

"Games have always been there with me, during the good and hard times. My aim is to create games that can make someone's life better"

Mikiko Michie

Jiro Amatatsu


Shinjyuku, Tokyo



As a professional nutritionist, Mikiko would meet with clients one-on-one to give them healthy eating advice, but she wanted to help more people than she could fit in her schedule. So when her parent company launched an in-house startup program, she jumped at the chance to make an app for her services, even though she didn’t have any prior developer experience. Teaming up with marketer, Jiro, she created Asken: a diet and nutrition platform that gives people detailed information about healthy living and nutrition via an interactive AI dietitian. Moving forward, they hope to expand into the US and Asia, launch a program for pregnant women and new moms, and add nutritional plans tailored for children and the elderly.

"Issues with food can last a lifetime – we hope that our app will become a lifelong partner to people that look after their health and diet"

Anna Nakajima

Mizuki Nakajima


Minato, Tokyo



Twin sisters Anna and Mizuki founded their mobile gaming company coly, because they wanted to create games that would appeal to women. Neither of them had a background in tech, but they saw a gap in the market, quit their jobs and started working from their studio apartment. Promise of Wizard, their fourth game, is full of beautiful anime imagery and deep, character-driven stories that have won them legions of fans. Women make up not only most of their player base but also 70% of coly's team. Anna and Mizuki value real connections with fans, so coly started expanding its offline business with collaborative cafes. By taking on new challenges, the twins aim to continue growing their games around the world.

"The company is like an orchestra. Everyone has different jobs, but every day they do their best to work together and create a unique experience for players"

Rina Akimoto


Minato, Tokyo



Rina came from a farming family but, on her parents advice, went to university and joined an IT company instead of taking over the family business. Years later, when she revisited her former farmstead and saw the fields abandoned, she wondered if there might be other producers in the same situation. Visiting farmers all over the country, Rina learned they couldn't make stable profits because they weren't able to set their own prices. So she created TABE CHOKU - a platform where farmers can sell online to consumers. Shoppers can order high-quality food straight to their door and try out growers’ recommended recipes. Rina aims to keep helping deepen the relationships between buyers and producers through the app.

"It's difficult for farmers to make a profit as they don't decide the general market prices. So we created a platform where producers could set their own prices and sell their products"

Takeshi Ishii


Toshima, Tokyo



Formerly a venture capitalist, Takeshi left finance to join the gaming space ー for him, an industry bringing something exciting to the world. About a decade later, he founded his own game company Altplus. A major title from the group, Hypnosis Mic - Alternative Rap Battle, is the game version of the popular original character & music project under the same name Hypnosis Mic, and players can enjoy its new rhythm senses and original stories. They enter a world where conflict can only be settled through rap battles. Takeshi enjoys making social games that promote community and entertain fans with high quality graphics, sounds and tailored communications. Altplus is now exploring several new fields like the metaverse, live gaming and in-person events.

"Our goal is to make fun and long term games. We have achieved operating a few titles for up to 10 years"

Stories from Tokyo