Higher Collectively: How One Man’s Mission to Promote Anime is Inspiring Neighborhood & Accessibility in Japan

Yuuki Shishido has all the time been enthusiastic about supporting his area people. 

For years, he dreamed of proudly owning and working a Japanese anime retailer, however residing in a small city with a dwindling inhabitants the place small companies have been struggling to get by meant his hopes appeared unsure at greatest. That’s, till he started promoting on eBay in 2007. With a world market at his fingertips, Yuuki discovered a world of anime followers hungry for collectible collectible figurines, books, CDs and DVDs. He additionally discovered that his clients have been simply as enthusiastic about sustainability and recommerce.

“In Japan, anime items are sometimes made in bulk however lose recognition after a number of months and are thrown away,” he defined. “I’ve all the time discovered this follow wasteful, however introducing anime items which have misplaced worth in Japan to consumers abroad restores worth to those collectibles whereas thrilling followers worldwide.” 

A collection of anime goods for sale in Yuuki's storeA set of anime items on the market in Yuuki’s retailer. 

As Yuuki’s eBay retailer grew in recognition, he started to seek for methods to contain members of his group within the enlargement of his enterprise. After establishing a bodily location in Asahikawa, the second-largest metropolis in Hokkaido, his need to assist create financial alternatives for traditionally excluded individuals led him to attach with a incapacity outreach program. He now works with eight individuals in his retailer with varied psychological, mental and studying disabilities. 

To match his coworkers’ strengths with their talents, Yuuki has developed quite a lot of completely different duties with various ranges of intricacy. For instance, those that get pleasure from repetitive work assist with packing supplies, and people with good dexterity fold origami paper cranes as items for purchasers. 

“I wish to assist every individual discover how they’ll contribute by specializing in their strengths, pursuits and targets,” he defined. “Particularly in small communities with dwindling populations, I imagine we are able to discover a option to work with various kinds of ability units and create a greater society.” 

Yuuki's coworkers help with cataloguing inventory

Yuuki’s coworkers assist with cataloguing stock. 

Yuuki is also enthusiastic about selling accessibility and inclusion by means of his eBay retailer and sells merchandise made by native artisans with disabilities. A kind of artists, Miai, has a psychological dysfunction that forestalls her from going outdoors or connecting with the world, however she nonetheless needed to showcase her artwork. Together with her permission, Yuuki offered 4 of her unique drawings on his eBay retailer, with one purchaser writing again, “I can’t wait to see what anime or character this artist will create sooner or later!” 

Sharing that information is one among Yuuki’s favourite eBay moments. 

“eBay and people 4 consumers gave a lot greater than cash to Miai,” he stated. “They gave her the hope and braveness to pursue her ardour. She nonetheless helps me with my enterprise, and we smile day-after-day.” 

Throughout the pandemic, Yuuki has additionally begun promoting hair pins made by the employees members of an area theater in an effort to draw clients again to the present enterprise. And, in fact, he continues to frequent native flea markets and recycling outlets searching for anime collectibles for his retailer.

“Since eBay has allowed my enterprise to thrive, I wish to present as a lot assist as I can to the native outlets which are nonetheless struggling,” Yuuki stated. 

Yuuki and his wife Hanae in front of their store

Yuuki (left) and his spouse Hanae (proper) in entrance of their bodily retailer. 

Promoting on eBay connects Yuuki not solely to his group, but in addition to historical past. He sees his retailer as an extension of a 400-year-old Japanese custom often called Ukiyo-e — a type of conventional portray that served as one among Japan’s earliest types of mass leisure and promoting. 

“I take a look at anime items because the modern-day Ukiyo-e,” he stated. “And by promoting collectibles to the world by means of eBay, I really feel like I’m persevering with that 400-year custom, which evokes my ardour for what I do.” 

That zeal, inspiration and custom are just some the reason why Yuuki and eBay are higher collectively — and why we’re smiling proper together with him.