Rodrigo Kendy Yamashita


Lives of the Nikkei scholarship ‘Dream Come True Project’ students~Rodrigo Kendy Yamashita

Why did you decide to study in Japan?

I decided to study in Japan for its advanced science and technology compared to Brazil, where I was born and grown up, and also for the fact that it is the country of origin of my grandparents.

How was your life in Japan?

Since I came to Japan at the age of 17, I was not dependent on my parents from the beginning of my life in Japan, and actually, I have spent my whole adult life only in Japan, not in Brazil.
Living in Japan is wonderful. Cities are clean and safe, the public services are good, the people are polite, and it is a safe country. The strange thing is that even though they are living in such a wonderful country, many Japanese people are very stressed and pessimistic. It is umbelievable for me who grew up in Brazil where people are very optimistic. As I started working for a Japanese company, I am further finding strange things and I am still often surprised by Japanese society.
I have lived in Japan for 14 years, and fortunately, I have never been sick or injured. I cannot live in luxury but I’ve never had financial problems.
When I was in the doctor’s program, I met my wife and in June we will have our first child. I expect that my life in Japan will even be a happier one.

Tell us about your past study or research.

When I was in university, I was involved in a research on fiber optic sensors.
While optical fibers support modern societies through the telecommunications, they are also capable of measuring mechanical strain or temperature. In my research, I aimed to develp the technology to construct a system to detect defects by embedding optical fibers in structures such as buildings and aircraft and measuring strain along with optical fibers.
As I work for a company today, I am involved in the design and development of automotive parts.

Did your consciousness as a Nikkei change in any way through studying in Japan?

I think it has not changed so much.
I was very influenced by joining the NFSA, as I did not know that there are so many people like me, even outside Brazil, who have affection both for the country in Latin America where they were born and also for Japan.

Tell us about your plan after graduation.

After I declined the Nippon Foundation scholarship when I became a researcher of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), I completed my doctor’s degree program and continued my study on optical fiber as a researcher of School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo until the end of my contract.
Later, I started working at Furukawa Electric Co., where I have been involved in the design and development of automotive parts.

Please give a message to students who are considering studying in Japan.

I believe Japan is a very good place to live. If you study hard, I am sure that you will have chances to work on the most advanced technology in the world in quite a few areas.