Finding My Identity

Rika Yajima
Founder&CEO of aeru company

How can you connect the next generation to Japanese traditions? Many people may have these thoughts, but how many actually take action to achieve this? Rika Yajima was attracted to the charm of Japanese craftspeople and their traditions, and at the age of 19 she began working to transmit Japan's traditional culture and industry to a wider audience. "Many adults today do not know our traditional culture, so we just need to give people an opportunity to learn about it while they are still children!" From this idea, Yajima established a company called aeru while attending Keio University. Aeru provides daily goods for babies and children, made by artisans across the nation, allowing them to interact with these craftworks. Creating a new lifestyle through Japan’s traditional handicrafts—Rika believes this is how culture is maintained, and with her assistance the country is progressing slowly but surely toward this goal.