Interview with Samuel Yuen, CEO of SeiRogai, Inc. for Minato Kumin News: “Showcasing the True Charms of Japan”

SeiRogai, Inc. CEO Samuel Yuen Interviewed by Minato Kumin News

In this article, Minato Kumin News (Minato Citizen News) interviewed Mr. Samuel Yuen, the CEO and Co-Founder of SeiRogai, Inc., a firm specializing in media production, advertising, branding, media technology, and business consultancy. Mr. Samuel Yuen shared his thoughts and motivations behind the founding of the company, as well as the goals and future projects of the business. SeiRogai, Inc. is dedicated to media distribution services, focusing on bridging communication between Japan, Southeast Asian countries, and the global audience through its unique media production techniques and business advisory. The goal is to showcase the “true charms of Japan” in an accessible manner to users around the world. The company is likewise committed to internationalizing Japanese brands to a larger audience through state-of-the-art media production, consolidated network connections, and cross-cultural business perspectives. The company’s innovative services are Global Virtual Travel, a platform that offers 360-degree virtual tours to promote local tourism, and SeiRogaiTV, an online distribution platform that connects Southeast Asia and Japan. With the motto “Media & Entertainment With a Purpose”, SeiRogai, Inc.’s focus is to help local businesses establish themselves in foreign markets, maximizing global impact while supporting regional revitalization.

The link to the original Japanese article can be found on this site:  https://kumin.news/minato/articles/484230

Another compelling interview was conducted by Minato Kumin News with SeiRogai’s COO, Rachel Leng. Her discussion not only complements Mr. Samuel Yuen’s insights but also adds a distinct layer about SeiRogai’s endeavors. The interview can be read on this link: https://seirogai.com/interview-with-rachel-leng-for-minato-kumin-news/

A Closer Look at Mr. Samuel Yuen

Originally from Australia, Samuel Yuen is an NY Film Academy graduate in the United States, and an experienced international film producer and entrepreneur. His diverse international background and experience in productions molded and perfected his skills as a filmmaker, director, international advertising consultant, and entrepreneur. Samuel has over 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising, especially in the production of TV shows, TV commercials, advertisements, documentaries, and other media projects. In 2019, Samuel co-founded SeiRogai, Inc. (“SeiRogai”). He also actively serves as General Secretary and Advisor to a former Senator of Tourism and member of Thailand’s Royal Family.

Building Bridges Between Japan and the World

Priest Horie of Zojoji Temple (left), Ms. Rachel Leng (center), and Mr. Samuel Yuen (right).

How did you get started in this business?

“We want Japan’s regional culture, craftsmanship, and local specialties to be widely known around the world.” I have lived and visited many countries in the past, but I have never been to a country with a culture as diverse as Japan. As I have observed, many foreigners who come to Japan tend to visit only well-known destinations like Kyoto, Tokyo, and Osaka. The reason is not that they seek only famous tourist spots, but rather that information about other hidden and unexplored local destinations in Japan is not reaching people overseas.

My diverse international background and experiences enabled me to portray unique perspectives of different cultures through various techniques and media outlets such as television shows, commercials, advertisements, and documentaries. In anticipation of the initially scheduled Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and the increasing attention and demand from people and companies overseas, we decided to establish SeiRogai, Inc. in 2019. I wanted to use my skills and knowledge to serve as a bridge between Southeast Asia and Japan.

To share our story, during the establishment of our company, I was struggling to create a name that held significant meaning, resonated with the Japanese people, and was easy to pronounce globally. Amid the overwhelming stress, I developed stomach pains. Immediate relief came in the form of Seirogan, a storied medicine that has graced Japanese households for over a century.

As I contemplated the Seirogan label, inspiration struck: “What if I change the ‘n’ in Seirogan to an ‘i’, creating “Seirogai”? This small tweak – substituting the ‘n’ with an ‘i’ – gave birth to SeiRogai, a name rich in meaning. ‘Seiro’ in SeiRogai sounds similar to ‘success’ or ‘seiko’ in Japanese, while ‘gai’ represents ‘street’. In Japan, “shoten-gai” refers to local shopping streets, vibrant hubs where a variety of stores, local shops, and restaurants meet the community’s diverse needs. These streets symbolize a dynamic, communal spirit, fostering connections and a strong community bond. At SeiRogai, this concept is at our core. We aim to be a one-stop solution for all our clients, guiding them on pathways to success, much like the bustling, supportive atmosphere of a shoten-gai.

Additionally, the spirit of Seirogan is subtly infused into our logo, featuring a round medicine ball. This incorporation pays tribute and symbolizes the profound significance and heritage its meaning has imparted on our company and identity.

What types of services does SeiRogai offer?

SeiRogai provides one-stop support for companies and local governments in communicating and developing their businesses domestically and internationally. Our forte lies in Media Production, aligned with my international training and experience, and Marketing, Branding, and Advertising, which falls within the expertise of our Co-Founder Rachel Leng, an alumna of Harvard University and has substantial experience gained in Japanese investment firms and overseas think tanks. We also launched an online content distribution service called SeiRogaiTV which specializes in bringing Southeast Asian TV series and movies to Japanese audiences. SeiRogai also offers another service called Global Virtual Travel.  It is a unique virtual tour platform using our proprietary VR 360o filming technology. It was designed to showcase Japan’s fascinating landscapes, cultures, specialties, and crafts and reflect our goal to ensure that people around the world get to explore such beauty and charm to the fullest.

This platform offers a new style of Digital Transformation (DX) tourism service, allowing anyone to immerse themselves with or without using VR goggles, making it even more accessible and approachable to all computer and smartphone users. We strive for accessibility to provide equal opportunities for users, irrespective of their financial or physical constraints, allowing them to immerse themselves in foreign cultures from the comfort of their own homes. Unlike regular TV shows that, even with a large production crew, are unable to fully immerse the audience, our VR filming technique requires a way smaller crew and provides a 360-degree view of the landscapes. The virtual tours are visually enticing and come with commentary on each location’s history and culture, adding an extra layer of context and immersion through a compelling storytelling. On top of that, we are currently working on releasing an e-commerce page where visitors can book trips to Japan and purchase the local products featured in the virtual tours. Our first collaboration tour project with Fuchu City and Ōkunitama Shrine is now available exclusively on SeiRogai’s Global Virtual Travel platform.

Okunitama Jinja Virtual TOur
Fuchi City and and Okunitama Jinja Shrine 360° Virtual Tour can be viewed online on Global Virtual Travel website. URL: https://globalvirtualtravel.com/japan/tokyo/fuchu/

Our latest project is the Virtual Reality Tour of Zojoji Temple in Minato City, Tokyo. ‘Sanmon Gate’, the main gate of the temple, will be rebuilt in the future, so our VR project is a great opportunity to show the Temple’s original state. The Buddhist sutras (‘Daizokyo’ texts), kept at Zojoji Temple, are an emblematic cultural property of Japan from over 800 years ago and are deemed one of UNESCO’s ‘Memory of the World’ documentary heritage. These contain approximately 12,000 printed items that were originally carved onto wood. They not only provide the foundation of contemporary Buddhist research but also offer valuable insights into Kanji culture and the printing techniques employed during that period. Since there are no original copies available overseas, we aim to preserve Japan’s cultural heritage and traditional crafts through digitalization. We aspire to extend the cultural richness to a broader audience worldwide. In fact, our virtual tour has received considerable attention coming from people in Southeast Asia. Moreover, Zojoji Temple gained popularity among Americans after appearing in the 2013 movie, ‘The Wolverine’, where the main character was filmed on the grand staircase of the temple. When SeiRogai’s Zojoji Temple VR tour was announced, it received tremendous attention with over 29 million views on foreign news outlets, and attracted the interest of many foreigners.

Zozoji Temple 360° Virtual Tour can be viewed on Global Virtual Travel website.

Sharing Captivating Stories

Mr. Samuel Yuen (left) and Ms. Rachel Leng (right) delivering a speech at an event organized by Enterprise Singapore.

What kinds of clients does SeiRogai provide consulting to the most?

We often consulted by companies who seek advice on business strategies for overseas expansion, and by local governments who want to promote the beauty and charms of their regions to the rest of the world. SeiRogai was selected as a recipient, under the “eligible start-up business” category of the “Vision for a Digital Garden City Nation (also known as DIGIDEN), conferred by the Japan’s Government Cabinet Office, under the purpose to provide incentives to companies and local governments that use digital technology to solve societal issues while leveraging the appeal of Japan’s local regions. Among all companies eligible for the grant, SeiRogai is the only company that has foreign representatives and is the exclusive provider of inbound VR services in this program.

What are your recent endeavors?

To tighten our relations with Southeast Asia, we are currently collaborating with the Republic of Singapore. We recently produced a video commissioned by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), which was held at in collaboration with JustCo., Asia’s leading collaborative workspace provider. The video outlines the Singaporean Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Agency’s lines of actions supporting Singaporean businesses’ insertion into the Japanese market.  Many Japanese and foreign companies attended the event, and the video attracted a great of deal exposure. If you are a Japanese company interested in doing business with Singapore but unsure of where to start, please get in touch with us. We not only have close ties with the Republic of Singapore but have established good relationships with local Singaporean companies, as well. We actively support Japanese companies’ expanding their business overseas. Additionally, SeiRogai is a certified JAPAN Brand Development Support Partner and we are committed to assisting companies in their efforts to expand overseas.

Mr. Yuen and Ms. Leng receiving an explanation about the three editions of Buddhist canon from Mr. Kobayashi, the chief priest of Zojoji Temple.

What do you keep in mind when you do your job?

My commitment to connect Japan and the world remain unchanged since SeiRogai was founded. As a filmmaker, I hold a particular interest in collaborations between Japan and countries overseas from a creator’s perspective. Notably, there are filmmaking techniques considered common in Japan but that are fresh and innovative from a foreigner’s perspective. In that same way, there are media production techniques used abroad yet to be experienced by Japanese audiences. This clash of diverse cultural perspectives holds the potential for numerous fresh concepts, and imagining such possibilities excite me. This is what drives our company to continue showcasing Japan’s true charms to the rest of the world. If you are curious about our company’s mission, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Post-Interview Commentary

The writer from Minato Kumin News (Minato Citizen News), who interviewed Mr. Yuen, shares:

“Mr. Yuen’s multicultural background and experience in the world’s top entertainment industry brought him to Japan. There is no doubt that just like the Seirogan Japanese medicine, SeiRogai, Inc. will play a pivotal role in providing solutions and improving the overall well-being of companies and local governments through their top-notch services.”

Contact Information

Name: SeiRogai, Inc.
EN Home Page: https://seirogai.com
JP Home Page:https://www.seirogai.jp/

More To Read:

No more posts