"Well, I would begin by quoting a simple statistic regarding my initiative. Despite, the rate of a  successful marriage for women in their 40's is believed to be as low as 4% these days, about 70%  of our clients have observed some major changes in their relationships. Moreover, it has been  almost five years since we have been practicing this, and there has not been a single report where  the client didn't notice a positive impact of our venture on their lives.  

Meeting Akiko Sugimura offering counseling sessions, group courses and individual  consultations, including long-term courses on partnership, marriage, self-actualization, and  entrepreneurial support.  

The significant portion of Akiko’s clients is women in their late twenties to early forties. Many of  them are in known professions such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, CAs, actresses, artists, and  executives of some listed companies., who in general aim to improve their lifestyles, marriages  and QOL as a woman.  

We sit with Akiko to explore her drive, vision and goal for her venture. 

Could you please tell us why you started this venture?  

"Taking a step back, being patient and humble at all times has been considered virtues for a  pretty long time in Japan. Kids are taught to behave themselves and follow the rules, both at  schools and homes. Undoubtedly, these are major disciplinary acts, but it is important to reckon  that these practices often prevent "self-disclosure."  

Speaking from personal experience, I have discovered that every time women ponder over their  marriage life, or building up their families in the near future, they hardly ever think about  "themselves," or their goals. I genuinely feel that realizing what you really want in your life is  exceptionally pivotal.  

Be clear about your life ambitions and dreams from the very beginning. "Knowing yourself" first  is essential, and that's exactly what I wanted to convey to the generation out there.  

The primary reason why I am into this activity is because I firmly believe that each one of us  have the ability to develop an axis of "me." This axis is flexible and accommodating according to  the prevailing times. This also implies that we can't just create a cycle of happiness for ourselves,  but even for those around us."

That's a valuable piece of information. Could you share some of the significant obstacles that  you had to overcome while working on this project?  

"If emotions are everything you focus on, you would lose sight of the true essence. Emotion is  merely an illusion as it is created based on our past experiences. They aren't facts or figures, but  just some feelings we develop regarding a person or a place. That's it.  

Some people think emotions are who they are in real, which isn't the case. Getting dominated by  emotions, such people often lose sight of the reality, their true nature and I believe that at such  point, it's essential to look at the time axis on a much larger scale of life. Sometimes, a bird's eye  view of your life is important. Indeed, it might be challenging to practice frequently, but I try  incorporating it into my training."

What advice do you have for people who want to experience your efforts?  

Well, I just want to say that you are the sole individual responsible for your happiness and  success. It's just your efforts which determine what your future would look like. You want to be  famous, want a car, and want to marry or want to be happy, whatever it is that you want, get it 

yourself! Change your habits, environments and lifestyles. Change how your minds work, build  up your relationships as these are the only ways that could make your dreams come true.  

That's so motivating. What kind of changes do you think your initiative will bring to people?    

"I believe my initiative would develop self-confidence and self-assurance to people who have  lower levels of self-esteem and self-worth. You would be relaxed and, actually, start enjoying  your life. You'd gladly communicate with people around you, and improve your existing  relationships. Happiness, peace and trust would be the words you would use to define your  married life. Feel the joy of loving and being loved.  

Not only would our venture enhance your relationships, but it would also make you feel happier  and more grateful for the blessing you have been showered with. You would realize your goals  and endeavor to achieve them."

That's absolutely amazing. So, what are your present goals?  

"Systematizing and spreading a simple method like "Kommari" which would help people foster  their minds, nurture themselves, and simultaneously develop healthy partnerships is what I aim  for. I will be delighted if my efforts are able to enhance one's confidence and communication. I  

just want to spread happiness all around the world, where each one of us has a broad smile  woven permanently on own faces."  

I must say that I am very much impressed by your initiative. I wish nothing but the best for your  future ventures. It was great having this conversation with you. 

Thank you for being here with us today!