Women in Podcasting in Japan & the Shows to Know in 2021
English-language podcasts by women living or working in Japan. From lawyers to environmentalists to startup founders, coaches, consultants, and more.
Here are the English-language shows of 2021 worth knowing about by women in podcasting in Japan.
Get ready to refresh your listening times with these amazing finds.
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Note: Shows are listed in alphabetical order.
Natsumi Ito is co-founder of Water Design Japan, Inc., a clean-tech startup in Tokyo. Ito, at 27, has lived a third of her life outside of Japan. In the show, she switches between English and Japanese as she shares stories and thoughts on entrepreneurship and startups, as well as global news, climate change, and other topics relevant to those living or working in Japan.
Hosted by Brittany Arthur, co-founder and director of Design Thinking Japan, Business Karaoke Podcast focuses on modernizing the dialogue around business in and with Japan. Recent episodes include “Podcasting is Curiosity and Active Listening; Not So Much the Mic with Jayne Nakata” and “Steering Startup Founders to Greater Investment with Ari Horie.”
Through conversations with professionals and executives in Japan’s business scene, Lydia Beukelman’s show covers culture points, insights into current trends and conditions, and mindsets essential in a Japanese business environment. Beukelman is a Japanese language and culture instructor. The show includes good-to-know Japanese vocabulary for language learners at the start of each show.
Hosted by Dr. Jackie F. Steele, CEO of enjoi Japan K.K. and president of FEW Japan, the show uncovers the benefits of sharing one’s expertise, experiences, and worldviews, and the abundant opportunities for fostering innovation by “thought partnering out loud.” Recent episodes include shining a light on men as feminists and harnessing EQ and IQ for increased innovation in the workplace.
Established in 2020, Jennifer Shinkai’s podcast focuses on real-life stories from guests who have found and integrated their ikigai. Shinkai is a Tokyo-based, British-born facilitator and coach. Episodes discuss practical ideas for how you can meet each day with joy and start living a life of purpose. Topics include “Could your hobby become your ikigai?” and other ikigai-centered discussions.
Lawyer on Air! is hosted by Catherine O'Connell, principal & founder of Catherine O’Connell Law and Lawpreneur. This show features inspirational inside stories from guests about what it’s like in life, and in the law, for women lawyers in Japan. Recent episodes covered how to take a leadership role in your law career, top law career advice for Corporate Governance specialist lawyers and Outside Board Directors, her advice for young lawyers, and more.
Coach Sarah Furuya interviews a carefully selected group of people who have “built, created, lost, grieved, started again, moved, traveled, celebrated, and delighted in life.” Furuya moved to Japan in 2001, her guests include those based in Japan as well as those abroad. A show for those who are tired of surface stories and are after frankness and depth.
Hosted by Donna Burke, talent agency owner, singer, and actress for video games and anime, along with co-host, Endigo, an established YouTuber and musician. Together, they share stories and interview guests from the music, video game and anime world. Recent episodes include how Donna performed at a private party for Hugh Grant, dressed as a chef, and other escapades.
Host Joy Jarman-Walsh talks about sustainable innovation from Japan. This show features people in Japan doing great things. Past guests include organic farmers, sustainable fashion designers, educators, photographers, writers, artists, marketers, AR-VR experts, entrepreneurs, activists, volunteers, and innovators.
Bilingual Brit Helen Iwata is a speaker, writer, and coach with a three-decade career in Tokyo. Iwata hosts the Sasuga! Podcast, which helps women discover how to excel in their work minus exhaustion, with practical techniques one can start using immediately. Episodes also feature conversations with inspiring guests, plus answers to questions on how to bring more joy to one’s work and life.
Jayne Nakata interviews women from all walks of life who are making life in Japan work on their own terms. Recent guests include an interview with a pack rafting and canyoning entrepreneur and a Japanese mom on the challenges of being a good mother in Japanese society. Nakata is an NZ-expat and a veteran podcaster and podcasting consultant based in Fukushima.
Author Thersa Matsuura hosts this show that features Japan’s folktales, superstitions, oddities, and language quirks. Matsuura started the Uncanny Japan Podcast in 2017 and releases a new episode twice a month. Her fluency in the language and her immersion in the culture allow for well-researched episodes, often accompanied by the seasonal sounds of life in Japan.
Special thanks to Jayne Nakata, the creator of PodLaunch with Jayne, a consulting service that helps beginning podcasters get launched, for her help with this article.
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