Words from Past Students

Voice of working senios

Interview with seniors working in Yamagata!

I asked my seniors about the reasons for choosing Yamagata as a place of employment and their daily lives.


Tran Dang

From: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam/ 27 y.o. (born in 1994) / Tohoku Pioneer, Inc. Sound Projects Admin Department, OEM Department, OEM Products Department, Design Division 1st year (started in April 2021) Completed Tokyo Japanese Language School course/ Completed Nagaoka Manufacturing High School course/ Complete Yamagata University Faculty of Engineering, Information and Electronics course
How did you end up doing a study abroad in Japan?

After finishing high school I had two choices: attend a higher education institution in my home country or study abroad in Japan. At the time, I didn’t know much about Japan, but I knew that it was the developed nation nearest to me in Asia and that it was known for its technological prowess. I had a strong desire to grow and become independent, so after careful consideration, I decided to give priority to my future and study abroad in Japan. I’m currently in my 9th year since coming to Japan.

What did you learn at your study abroad location?

I’ve gone to three different schools before starting work. I struggled with studying Japanese for the first two years, but I was able to get used to it little by little through accumulating knowledge and experience at school and at my part-time job. Since then, I’ve learned three things, and the first one is “appreciate others.” Even in an unfamiliar place, if you can communicate with others, appreciate them, and help each other out, you will be able to overcome even the most difficult situations. The second is “appreciate time.” Throughout my busy days, I noticed that time was something that I could create myself. The third is “the importance of continuation.” In the process of studying there were times when I wanted to give up, but the thing that I have now is the accomplishment of keeping my goal and not giving up.

Why did you want to work in Japan (Yamagata)?

I could have chosen to go back to my country, but I decided to work at a company in Yamagata because I wanted to make the knowledge that I gained my own, here in Japan. I received great support from the university’s study abroad support officer, who shared information with me about companies that were hiring within the prefecture. At my current job, the fact that there are overseas offices where I could possibly work in the future, and the fact that I would be able to work in automobile interior design and production aligned with my aspirations. 

How is life in Yamagata?

There are times when there is a lot of snow, but the scenery of the four seasons is beautiful. Including the people and the climate, Yamagata is a place that fits my style perfectly, for both school and work.

This is my fourth year living in Yamagata, and I have been met with the warmhearted support of friends in teachers in university, as well as at my part-time job, and I have even been able to receive scholarships. Therefore, I would be honored to return the favor to everyone who supported me, as well as to Yamagata.

What types of work do you do? What really makes it worth it?

At work, I am mostly in charge of things related to the design of car speakers. I feel a sense of accomplishment when the speakers are completed according to plan. In order to design speakers, it is important to first understand sound. I participate in company trial listening sessions and analyze the music coming from the speakers, and I’m really moved when the sound is good. Working so that other people can feel this as well is what makes this job worthwhile.

Any words to those who want to work or study in Japan?

Studying abroad may be difficult at times, but the basic problems rely entirely on “whether you can understand Japanese.” If you are thinking of living in Japan, you should study Japanese as much as you can. Just by doing that, your time studying abroad will be made so much easier.

Company Intro

Tohoku Pioneer, Inc.
Head Office:Aza-nikko, Oaza-kunomoto, Tendo City, Yamagata Prefecture

The basis of business at Tohoku Pioneer is a sound enterprise that boasts speakers with the largest market share in the world. Emphasis here is placed in automobile electronics, which in the sound industry is a field that demands products that here to especially strict quality standards. Starting with Pioneer brand in-vehicle commercial models, Pioneer delivers a variety of speakers such as OEM models made for each automobile maker to the market from bases all over the world.

Foreign residents working here

There are currently 4 foreign residents in employment here, in charge of things such as design and procurement. They are able to communicate fully in Japanese with their coworkers and members of other departments and are the main person in charge of some projects.