Public eye #7

Tiger Hagino (27) along the Megurogawa river

Public eye #7

Tiger Hagino, music company employee

Do you come here often?
TH: I do indeed. Naka-Meguro’s quieter than busy Shibuya. I like it.

Where do you get your hair cut?
TH: At a salon in Shimokitazawa called Fruits. The Japanese stylist who used to cut my hair when I lived in London recommended it. In the UK, this is called a ‘bowl cut’; it’s a style that British people think is typical of Japan. However, in Japan, people ask me “is that how English people get their hair cut?”

I like your hat and tights. Where do you buy clothes?
TH: I often go clothes shopping in Daikanyama; I also like buying second hand clothes in Shimokitazawa. Second hand clothing shops in Japan have a great range of American clothing; I’ve bought clothes from second hand clothing shops in the UK, but in terms of variety, they don’t really compare to those in Japan. Although, I’ve only recently come to Japan, so for the time being I’m actually more interested in shopping for furniture at places like Loft – I love that place.

When did you arrive in Japan?
TH: I moved just three weeks ago. Until then I was in London for three years, Edinburgh, in Scotland for six years and before that I spent some time living in the countryside. My dad’s English and my mum’s Japanese.

Why the move to Japan?
TH: I spent my first year of elementary school, and my second year of junior high school in Japan; then last summer I came again to watch the Fuji Rock Festival. Whilst I was here I thought I might like to work here and began talks with a Japanese company. I figured that since I’m half Japanese I’d like to learn more about Japan; plus I love the food and I’m interested in improving my Japanese.

What kind of work do you do?
TH: I work at a music company called Hostess. I work in advertising and I also liaise with overseas record labels and managers.

Do you have any music recommendations?
TH: A group called the The XX. Check them out.

Do you enjoy your job?
TH: It’s really fun. Up until now I’ve only worked in English companies and since things are done differently here, there’re a whole lot of things I have to learn. Although, on the flip side, my speed in typing mails in Japanese is getting gradually faster. One of the differences between working here and the UK is the language; English doesn’t really make use of honorifics, or polite speech, in the same way that Japanese does – learning how to use these correctly is tough.

What are your favourite Japanese foods?
TH: I love Japanese bento lunch boxes; I’d love to learn how to make them myself. When I lived in the UK, my mum would make them. The bento lunch box is really Japanese. English lunch boxes pretty much consist of a ham and cheese sandwich along with something like a biscuit – and that’s it. On the other hand, here, they consist of a perhaps a little something from last night’s evening meal; perhaps with a single umeboshi [pickled Japanese plum]… the time and care taken in preparing a Japanese bento lunch box is beautiful. I also really like yakiniku –yakiniku restaurants have such tender meat; the best meat I’ve ever had was in Japan. If anyone thought to open a proper yakiniku restaurant in the UK they’d definitely do well. [Laughs]

More from Tiger:

‘Tiger is my real name. [Laughs] I’ve two sisters – an older sister called Ryuko and a younger sister named Murasaki, or ‘saki-chan’ for short.’

‘I’ve only been back in Japan for three weeks, however, I feel relaxed here, as if I’ve been living in Tokyo for a long time already. However, the deposit and the key money you have to pay to rent somewhere is so expensive. Houses in the UK are generally bigger, so it’s not uncommon to share somewhere with a friend.’

‘Lately, I’m totally into toy cameras! I’ve got one named ‘Golden Half’; I take pictures of things that can only be found in Japan – it’s brilliant. I can’t wait until cherry blossom season.’

By Akiko Toya
Translated by Brin Wilson
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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