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Getting to know Persefoni: Meet Ryohei Kawai

"Once in a Lifetime"

Interpreter for Fantastic Beast star Eddi Redmayne
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Published May 23, 2022

1. And you may ask yourself, "Well... how did I get here?" (Tell us your journey?)

I got hired by Persefoni by a stroke of luck. After working for many years as a freelance interpreter for clients, including some big showbiz names, and for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics & Paralympics for the most recent 2 years, I was “almost” hired by one of the world’s biggest entertainment entities from the US. As I was about to email them back saying I would take the job offer, my phone suddenly pinged. That was from a recruiter whom I had never heard of before (I didn’t even register with that agency). He introduced me to Persefoni and suggested I apply. Which I did. I don’t precisely know why I did it, but I know I was highly intrigued by Persefoni’s website and was very interested in the CEO’s Japanese-sounding name. The fact that I’m pretty conscious of being sustainable and am vegan(flexitarian) myself contributed to my decision to apply as well. Anyway, I applied for Persefoni thinking I would probably get turned down, but went through two interviews. Both those two interviewers (who eventually became my teammate and my supervisor) made me feel at home in a way I had never felt before in my professional life. I thought that if they are so incredibly nice, the company must be great, too. And the upshot of those interviews was that I become the second hire of the Japan Team. I feel incredibly fortunate.

Man United Press conference
Man United Press conference

2. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. (What do you do at Persefoni?)

I’m an interpreter, mainly bridging communication between my US/UK teammates and Japanese (potential) customers/partners. I translate documents, homepage contents, and platforms from English to Japanese as well.

3. And you may ask yourself, "Where does that highway go to?" (What are your hopes for your time at Persefoni?

That’s very simple. I want to contribute to Persefoni as much as I can. It’s important for me to practice gratitude and remind myself daily how fortunate I am to be able to stand where I am now. I try hard not to take anything for granted and dedicate all my professional expertise to the company. I’m committed to serving my teammates, developing more as an interpreter/translator, and seeing where the journey takes me.

Ryohei with singer Ed Sheeran
Ryohei with singer Ed Sheeran

4. And you may say to yourself, "My God! What have I done?" (Why is Persefoni a great home for you?)

I believe in Persefoni’s operational principles established by the founders. I also have full trust in my fellow teammates. As the so-called climate crisis is probably the biggest current phenomenon worldwide (and probably the most important as well), I feel fortunate to be part of this dynamic wave in helping to mitigate its effects. As Persefoni is one of the leading players in the climate-tech solutions market, I am very grateful to be able to continuously learn new things firsthand from the front row.

5. And you may find yourself in another part of the world... (Tell us about your life/hobbies away from work?)

I enjoy interpreting more than anything else in life. It actually gives me such a rush (yes, I’m aware that I’m peculiar like that). That’s probably one of the reasons why I have published about 10 books so far about English communication for Japanese English learners. Apart from seeking the thrill of exchanging languages in my head, a 10k-run every other day, meditation, and coffee keep me sane. I also enjoy watching sports with my children and reading detective stories. Please do let me know if you have any recommendations (one of my favorite authors is Anthony Horowitz).

Ryohei's books being displayed at the bookstore
Ryohei's books being displayed at the bookstore
watching baseball at Tokyo Dome
watching baseball at Tokyo Dome

“Once in a Lifetime" is a series of articles designed to help our customers and partners learn more about Persefoni's truly passionate team. We're not just building award-winning software ... together, we're helping to decarbonize our planet.

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Interpreter for Fantastic Beast star Eddi Redmayne
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