Raw Japan Community

Learn about yourself through Japanese language, art and people.

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If it's a fit, jump inside the community.

Lifetime (get everything forever): $500

Annual (get everything for 1 year): $300

What you get every month for one year

1 artist

  • 1 season (one live stream) focused on one local Japanese artist.

Each monthly season includes:
  1. Virtual tour of artist shop or studio.
  2. Interview about artist's background.
  3. Live footage of artist creating their "art" 

Local artists include: painters, writers, potters, architects, audiovisual creators, musicians, pro video directors, photographers, sake producers, vloggers, miso producers, textile artists, kimono designers, chefs etc.

1 ebook

  • Read one of my novels based on my 6+ years living in Japan.
  • Escape into local Japanese history and culture from your home.
  • Experience all the emotions that come with living abroad in a different culture.

1 online community

  1. Access up to 5 live calls per month to learn Japanese language, art and culture from Japanese people.
  2. Meet other culturally curious people from around the world.
  3. Ask Japanese artists, entrepreneurs, and everyday people the questions you never could on your trip due to time, language barriers or level of relationship.

Who am I?

I was scared.

“Hotel. This hotel,” I said pointing to the paper in my hand. 

The bus driver simply waved me off. He had a job to do. 

I returned to my seat for the third time defeated. 

I was on a full bus barreling down the Hiroshima streets in the darkness of night.

It was my first time traveling by myself. I was 19 and had zero Japanese skills.

I was lost.

The bus continued to get emptier at every stop.

I began to panic. I started to beat myself up.

"I should've looked at the bus signs more carefully." 

"Why didn't you confirm with the bus driver before getting on?" 

"Stupid."

But none of these thoughts turned into action.

I was frozen in my fear.

Finally after a good hour of driving in the opposite direction of my hotel, a passenger motioned for me to get off the bus with them. 

We stood in the cold for a minute or two while he looked up my hotel address on his phone. 

Once he found it, he simply started walking. So I followed.

For 2 hours. 

In the middle of night.

With almost 50 lbs of luggage (did I say it was my first time abroad?).

After more self-doubt and fear, coupled with sleep deprivation and a sore body, we arrived.

When we got to the hotel, the man simply bowed and left. 

A massive pressure dissolved from my chest. But in its place arose confusion. 

"How could he have walked so far in the middle of the night after what must have been a long day...without speaking to a stranger he just met on the bus?" 

I never got to share my gratitude with him. But that man's help was the start of a long list of lessons I continue to learn here.

Now, I’m based in Fukuoka after living in Japan for 6 years.

I know Japanese people in almost every niche you can imagine. But it didn’t come without work. 

I began my journey to Japan as a child taking karate in my home country, the US. 

10 years of practicing discipline and focusing on building inner character encouraged me to visit Japan as a university student. 

I traveled to all of the major regions in my early twenties. I met entrepreneurs, farmers and everyday Japanese people in the countryside that contributed to their community through their work. 

Working alongside them through the volunteer program called WWOOF, I gained insight into my own mission.

I am here to connect people.

We are here to connect. 

Across borders, culture and ethnicity.

Now, I connect local Japanese people with a global audience. I do it through my novels and my online community, Raw Japan.

It’s my way of fulfilling my mission and contributing to the communities that grew me, back in the US, Jamaica and Japan.

If you feel connected to Japanese language, art or culture, join the community on this page.

If it's not a fit, no worries. 

I look forward to diving in deep to Japan with you.

Meet some of the Japanese changemakers inside

Meet Airi, a kimono designer.

Airi is local to Fukuoka prefecture and has been living and breathing kimono since she was young. Listen to her interview if you love traditional Japanese culture.

Meet Natsuko, a glass jewelry designer.

One of the established entrepreneurs in Itoshima, Natsuko runs two shops. One with her husband and her own near the beach. Her glass accessories (some with aroma) span beyond Japan.

Listen to her interview if you love Japanese originality.

Meet Naoko, a professional travel agent.

If you want 30 years of experience when it comes to travel, Naoko is your guide. She can construct a tour specialized to you. So that you take all the life lessons with you back home.

Listen to her interview if you plan on traveling to Japan!

Meet "Mr. Otaku"

The man in the middle is a game streamer on Twitch and an anime specialist. Listen to his interview if you love Japanese pop culture.

Meet Shimoda and Sedohara, community designers.

These two entrepreneurs opened a co-working space for Itoshima creators and artists to connect.

Listen to their interview if you're interested in Japan's affinity for community.

How to join:

1. Buy at the top of this page

2. Read your email and follow the directions

3. Enter the online community, introduce yourself and watch your first season!

What customers feel about Raw Japan

"I got the result I was expecting. I got glimpses into the culture and outlook of Japanese citizens and a better appreciation for the language itself."

"I bought the Raw Japan Box for a very simple reason. I have always been heavily interested in Japanese culture. The historic culture of the samurai to today’s culture. I looked at this subscription box to learn about and receive more information about today’s culture in Japan.

Most box items dealing with Japan deal with the otaku and anime cultures. I have been involved with both of those already and I wanted something different to see another side of Japan.

I wanted a feeling of a small slice of Japanese culture. So that I could develop a better overall understanding.

I was driven by curiosity and my intense desire to learn more about Japan.

In the end, I got the result I was expecting. I got glimpses into the culture and outlook of Japanese citizens and a better appreciation for the language itself.

I've noticed that I now have a better appreciation for the artistry and different styles techniques in Japanese art.

There wasn't just one specific feature; I liked and enjoyed everything about the Raw Japan Box.

I've gained a better understanding and appreciation [since subscribing to the Raw Japan Box].

I would recommend Raw Japan Box to anyone who is interested in learning and developing an appreciation or deeper appreciation for Japan. It is an excellent vehicle to see into some other aspects of Japanese culture."

Jeffery Watson, USA

"But Brandon has some kind of super power that makes you feel comfortable and forget about all your fears 😆 Since that day I really try to speak more Japanese."

Very interesting experience. I had no hesitations on joining this experience because this was what I was looking for on my trip to Japan. A nice evening with some nice people, exchanging they culture, history and life experiences. What I liked best about this evening was the moment we got to introduce our self in Japanese, even though I was very nervous because I haven’t spoken any Japanese since I came to Japan. But Brandon has some kind of super power that makes you feel comfortable and forget about all your fears 😆 Since that day I really try to speak more Japanese. Thx Brandon This experience made me even more curious about the Japanese culture then I was before and get to know other people and exchange knowledge. I would definitely recommend this experience for anybody looking to have a nice evening and learn about each other’s culture.

Stephanie, Luxembourg 

"I would give it a 10 out of 10. Thank you, Brandon, for letting me see a different side of Japan for these 12 months that I had the Raw Japan Box."

I bought Brandon Chin's Raw Japan Box in May 2019 because I thought it was a very different product that what I am used to. It was about hidden Japanese treasures, and I loved Japanese pop-culture for a long time, so I thought I would give it a try.

In fact, after buying the book and keeping it on and off for the 12 months it has been active, I have to say that I really enjoyed the box for as long as it lasted. In fact, I got some things that I didn't know existed in Japan.

One example was the Hakata dolls that Brandon sent to me one time. I loved them so much that I currently have them on display in my bedroom all the time. Plus, Brandon told me that these items were important to a lot of Japanese people, and this was one of the things that made me want to learn about Japan even more.

In fact, Brandon also allowed me to attend weekly live calls to speak to real-life Japanese about what they liked about Japan. I attended these live calls on and off for the
past year, and I enjoy talking to Brandon and everyone else that attended them each time I was to attend one. It was nice to see so many happy faces, whether it be Japanese people or other people, and learn about their background.

I also got to learn some new things about Japan thanks to these live calls. The Japanese people were able to share some lesser known treasures about Japan that I never knew about, and it made me happy to be able to talk to actual Japanese people about Japanese things in a private live call with up to 10 people. I won't be able to hear about these things at all if it was a Japanese live stream with 100 other people, since I might have to compete with other people to get my questions answered, and most likely, they will not be noticed at all.

Next, Brandon also customized some of my boxes with
items that I liked. For example, he sent me some manga
books from a list of pop-culture anime that I liked, and since I knew that I would be receiving something that I know I would like, it made it fun for me to expect the box
every month it came in the mail.

Finally, during the time I had the box active, Brandon Chin showed some very good customer service skills. Whenever I received a damaged item in the mail in one of my boxes, Brandon took care of it very quickly, whether it's sending me a replacement item, or subscribing something
else in place of it. Plus, he always replied to my e-mails very quickly, usually within a few days. Compared to other businesses that might not reply in a few days, he was a man to take care of any problems that arise with the box professionally and accurately.

Overall, I enjoyed the Raw Japan Box for the amount of time that I had it, and if it ever came active again, I would definitely order it again. It was definitely worth the money that I paid for it for the year it was active.

If I were to give a rating for the box, I would give it a 10 out of 10. Thank you, Brandon, for letting me see a different side of Japan for these 12 months that I had the Raw Japan Box.

Daniel S., USA

"But Brandon connected me with them very well by socializing us not only by translating but also by actively leading topics."

As a neighbor traveller, I visit Japan very often from S.Korea. For 2 days in Fukuoka that's what I planned this time.

I didn't mind going to the countryside by bus because it's gonna be great chance to enjoy sightseeing and to make new relationship with Local and other travelers at the same time! I took a bus about an hour to reach the beach of Itoshima.

I walk for a while on the beach and then took a bath in Onzen(Japanese hot spring). After that we sat together on the dinning table with Real local food featured by Sashimi and so on! We watched the show, seems like a crossover between Old Japanese pop and J-mask play or something.

Actually I didn't expect to join the local tour by travel agency. So I was little curious about how the single host manages the Airbnb Experience and figured out the combination with his socializing skill and tour program Wonderful. My proficiency of Japanese language is not good enough to make conversation with local people even in elementary level.

But Brandon connected me with them very well by socializing us not only by translating but also by actively leading topics. I hope my photos will tell you what I've mentioned all true. On the first itinerary of the 1st day achieved I my priority goal of my trip. I recommend you this Experience strongly.

Heetak Jasper, South Korea

"Yes, I would recommend the tour to a friend! Because I enjoyed seeing the more rural side of japan and the different crafts."

One hesitation I had about joining the tour is, I didn't know if it would be as exciting as a tour in the city, but now that I have had a tour in Osaka, I realized this tour was much more relaxing and enjoyable for me because I wasn't in super crowded and noisy places. I enjoy nature and the countryside a lot.  

I realized that I really enjoy the countryside more than the city. I found Itoshima to be very fun, but in a way that wasn't overwhelming and draining.  

The feature I enjoyed the most about the tour was my excellent translator/tour buddy, Brandon!  

As for what I wanted more of, perhaps I could have met a few more local people? The tour was great, so I don't know what I would change.  

I benefited from the tour by seeing the culture of Japan in the countryside. Also, I got to keep handmade souvenirs!  

Yes, I would recommend the tour to a friend! Because I enjoyed seeing the more rural side of japan and the different crafts.

Paige Havener, USA

FAQs

Is there a guarantee?

Yes. 

If you attend 2 live calls within the first 30 days, and want a refund, I will refund you in full. 

The reason I ask that you attend 2 live calls is because I only want people who are dedicated to discovering more of themselves through Japanese culture. It takes time and effort.

If you're not willing to dedicate time and effort, then this community isn't a fit for you.

When are the live calls?

There are 2 types of live calls.

1 call is once a week. Each one is an hour long.

  • If you want to speak Japanese with locals, join the call on Friday evening 8 PM JST.

1 call is once a month. It ranges from 1 ~ 3 hours.

  • If you want to speak to Japanese artists live during their monthly "season", join the call once a month.
  • We decide as a community when to have the call. it also depends on the artists' availability.

How many live calls are there in total?

If you attended all the calls, there would 5 calls per month.

  • Japanese Language call = 4x/month
  • Artist call = 1x/month