New Business Development/Innovation

Pick Up

Development and PR for the New Product "Cinnamon Mochi". Achieved 250% increase in Sales on the Previous Year.

Next Creation Inc.Next Creation Inc.

Host companiesNext Creation Inc.

Fukuoka/Manufacturing industry/Manufacturing and sales of mochi (rice cakes)

InternsPaykary Maryam

Iran/University of Melbourne, Food Science and Technology


We wish to incorporate the ideas of foreign interns into our traditional mochi store that has continued for over 100 years since the Taisho period.

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
We have succeeded with acquiring excellent personnel through our initiatives to constantly reform not only the traditional working styles at Japanese companies, but also the working styles of women and senior citizens. In addition, we thought it necessary to cultivate a new market due to the changing food culture of young people and the decrease in eating mochi on a daily basis. This was the first time for our company to accept a foreign intern. However, by a foreign intern becoming involved with an traditional mochi store in Kita-Kyushu, such as our company's one, we have developed new ideas, cultivated new markets and connected these new ideas to our business. This is the reason we applied for the Japan Internship Program.


Details of the Internship

Turning the idea of "cinnamon" + "mochi (rice cakes) into reality! Facing the challenge of overcoming cultural barriers and interacting with the local community.

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
First, the intern learned the manufacturing process for mochi and then we exposed her to the marketing, new product development, and package design processes. As a result, we were able to develop cinnamon mochi, a product known for its health benefits, and finally made it into a product after practicing tens of times. Furthermore, as 40% of our sales are generated through the local market including neighboring residents, temples, shrines and community centers, interaction with the local community is very important. In particular, communication is essential at the time of storing mochi. The Intern also understood the importance of communication. She attached “Happy Birthday” cards in Persian language when delivering savory steamed rice to local residents, helped out at festivals, and actively interacted with the local community. As she did not have any understanding of Japanese language, she build solid relationships of trust using communication beyond words. The intern stayed at my house with my family as a homestay. As she was a Muslim, she was unable to shake hands with men or eat food prepared by men. At first, we had to pay particular attention to the details. However, through learning about each other’s culture and building a relationship of trust, we were able to break down the day to day barriers and overcome cultural differences.

Details of the Internship


250% sales increase on the previous year due to new product development, new customer cultivation and employee awareness reform.

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
The results of accepting the intern were well above our expectations. She had a bright personality and her willingness to learn about Japan helped with interacting with customers and the local community. In addition, we felt a large public relations impact when she created an opportunity for “people to visit the Takaishi Foods store to try unique delicacies devised by a foreigner”. Until now, the company only sold to regular customers. However, through her proposals and positive efforts, our staff began to cultivate new customers and reform the awareness throughout the whole company. Furthermore, she developed new products that were covered in newspapers and television programs, and our sales increased 250% compared to the previous year due to first time male customers and other customers who came through word of mouth. Also, intern-driven lecture course activities at the University of Fukuoka were met with an incredibly good reception, resulting in students interested in working for us approaching us, so this also lead to promotion for recruitment purposes.


From the Interns

"Understanding Muslim and Japanese culture" through deep experience through "work" as opposed to tourism and study.

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
I have really learned many things during my internship. In particular, I learned about Japanese management methods and business culture, the differences between the Japanese and American way of thinking, and the strength of the Japanese culture. I think that working and living in Japan through this internship program for the past two or three months and experiencing working together for the same goal is the best way for the Japanese and Muslim cultures to interact. Furthermore, I believe that the world would become a better place if everyone learned about the many different local cultures in the Japan. I was only able to safely get through this unfamiliar world due to the support that I received on the way from specialized organizations.

From the Interns


Hyakusenrenma, Inc.

Host companiesHyakusenrenma, Inc.

Miyagi/IT Service Development and Management (Inbound Tourism)

InternsRaditya Rendy

Indonesia/Bina Nusantara University, Computer Science

InternsLe Hieu Anh Thi

Vietnam/Foreign Trade University, Economics

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Konel Inc.

Host companiesKonel Inc.

Tokyo/IT Services

InternsNguyen Huynh Anh Duy

Vietnam/Vietnam/Siegen University, Mechatronics

InternsBhagat Apurva

India/Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, Mechanical & Aerospace

InternsSimanjuntak Theresia Gloria

Indonesia/Universitas Indonesia, Communications

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Nakayama Iron Works, Ltd.

Host companiesNakayama Iron Works, Ltd.

Saga/Manufacturing industry /Manufacturing and Selling Mobile-type Crushing Machine, Crushing Plant

InternsRusmiputro Raditya

Indonesia/Institut Teknologi Bandung, Physics

InternsMahardhika Alifian

Indonesia/Institut Teknologi Bandung, Physics

InternsPrayoga Gede Dalton Surya

Indonesia/Kyushu University, Applied Science for Electronics and Materials

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