Joseph Leis ’18 Connects Japan and America


Joseph Leis '18The Asian studies Department recently heard from Joseph Shinji Leis ’18, who now works for Goken America, which serves clients in the automotive and aerospace industries, notably Honda Motor CompanyAlthough he originally was hired as a Japanese/English technical translator, his Portfolio has since expanded to include simultaneous Japanese/English interpretation, online journal writing, directing the company’s Japanese program, and teaching Japanese language. “My lack of engineering background and the industry jargon was a difficult hurdle to overcome in the beginning,” says Joseph, “but I now enjoy the more inter-relational aspects of my job, as I get to meet new people at every meeting at which I interpret and teach different business people who are preparing to go to Japan. I am grateful that I have a job that is related to what I studied, pays decently, impacts other’s lives for the better, and allows me to utilize my Japanese background.”

Joseph does not plan to remain in this field for the long term, however. With his brother, Benjamin Takeshi Leis ’22, Joseph has inaugurated a podcast about anime and manga entitled Tachi Yomi, which may be  heard on a variety of platforms such as iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. He also has developed an interest in chronicling the Japanese diaspora through a documentary film that will explore what it means to be “Japanese” through the eyes of ethnically-Japanese persons all over the world. Look for more news about this exciting project here over the next year or so!

UPDATE (November 7, 2019): Joseph has accepted a position as a Japanese/English translator and interpreter with PlayStation in San Diego, California!  He says, “As a kid, I remember dreaming of working in the gaming industry and imagining how cool it would be to be involved with the creation of games, but now that dream has come true. I am working with wonderful team members who are just as passionate as I am and the benefits certainly don’t hurt either.  Thank you to all my friends, family, professors, and mentors for your support. I would not have achieved anything in life if it were not for you. I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to all my co-workers at Honda R&D and Goken America. The time I spent at Honda was invaluable to me. I will not lie, it certainly was tough at times. But with the advice, training, and support from my coworkers, I was able to overcome many barriers and grow immensely as a professional. I am so grateful for the time and training invested in me and I will not forget all the lessons learned at Honda.”  おめでとうございます, Joseph!