Class of 2003
How many years did you attend YIS?
I attended from 1989, when I entered Kindergarten, until 1999 when I finished Grade 7.
Where are you based now, and what is your occupation?
I live in Honmoku, coincidentally. At the moment I am working for Taisei Corporation on the construction site of the new YIS campus in Kominato-cho.
That is quite the coincidence. Tell us about how you got involved with the project.
My father's construction company works with Taisei regularly. I have been working with them on various projects since I came back to Japan in 2010 to work with my father's company. As the new campus project developed, Taisei came to realize that I had been a student at YIS, so they asked me to join the project because of the close connection. I work on certain engineering aspects of the construction such as the foundation and installation of rain pipes, and on the interior fittings as well.
Nic Hamada in front of the scaffolded South Building on the Minato-cho campus construction site.
You and your twin brother were enrolled at YIS together. Tell us about your family background and how life brought you to YIS.
My grandfather on my mother's side was a sailor who came to Japan. He married a Japanese lady from Wakayama Prefecture, and started a family. Their daughter is my mother. She went to Scotland when she was younger, but came back to Japan after several years there. She married a Japanese man, and they started our family. My brother and I originally went to a pre-school before coming to YIS in kindergarten.
Nic Hamada's yearbook picture while in Kindergarten at YIS.
Where did you go when you left YIS?
When we left YIS in 1999, we went to a town in northern Scotland named Thurso where we grew up and finished our schooling. Thurso was a world away from Yokohama. It's a small seaside town, but very local in culture and attitude. We certainly stood out among the crowd. The school certainly didn't have the international atmosphere and outlook that YIS had. After I finished high school, I went to the Edinburgh College of Art. I stayed in Scotland for one year after graduating, then came back to Yokohama to help my dad with his company.
How did you adapt to that transition?
Manga helped actually! I've always loved reading manga. I continued to read them when I was growing up in Scotland as well. We'd come back to Japan regularly, so I would get my fill of Japanese culture through manga and other things, and I would take manga back to Scotland with me. When I came back to live here, the transition wasn't too shocking. I did need to improve my business Japanese and kanji writing skills, however. But I was thrown right into the deep end when I started working for my dad's company. I was learning something new everyday.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
My 16-month old son does. I am married to an alumna from Christian Academy Japan. The two of us are busy taking care of Joe, our son. Aside from family, I am involved in martial arts, particularly Brazilian Jiujitsu. And of course, manga. Our foreseeable future is in Japan. So I will be able to see the new YIS campus open, and the students attending their new school.
Do you still keep in contact with friends from YIS?
Yes, quite a bit. I am in several chat groups with friends from my school days here because we continue to have a close relationship. Those friends attended my wedding a few years ago. Despite having left YIS before graduating, we kept in touch. And remember, I had left before the days of chat groups, instant messaging and video messaging.