Student Blog

Alumni Interview Vol.11 “Famous YouTuber, actress from APU? Meet Akari Nakatani”

4min read

Akari Nakatani is a well-known YouTuber who lives in Viet Nam and recently also starred in a famous Vietnamese movie called “Em va Trinh, '' which reached a turnover of 100 billion VND (around 57-59k Japanese yen). Akari was actually a half Japanese – half Taiwanese student APU student between 2011 and 2016 (she went one-year on exchange). She decided to move to Viet Nam to live right after her graduation and became a YouTuber, sharing content about languages, cultures, and people in Viet Nam with more than 170k subscribers!

Akari's YouTube channel

To begin her story, during university, Akari first met a Vietnamese friend named Phuc in the Aikido club, and soon became close friends. Phuc is actually the current owner of Couponos restaurant in Beppu. Her destiny with Phuc was the beginning of Akari’s interest in Viet Nam. From Phuc’s way of life and attitude, Akari gradually became interested in the country where her friend was born and raised.

On the occasion of her return to APU, let’s have a short talk with Miss Akari!

Welcome back to APU, Akari.

Q: What was the plan when you decided to move to Viet Nam? Or your biggest motivation?

I actually had no plan; I just wanted to be happier. I came to Viet Nam because I wanted to to live in a foreign country, and then I thought of doing YouTube. I also tried to do something that comes to me naturally, and I am fortunate enough to be an actor now.

Q: Did you start doing YouTube because you like it? Why?

Yeah. To be honest, the decision of my coming to Viet Nam right after graduation is already an uncommon choice, especially for a Japanese person. Then, I thought that I can share about the cultural differences between Viet Nam and Japan with everyone! Moreover, doing YouTube is also a way for me to practice Vietnamese. And I hoped that I may be able to earn money this way!

Q: What was the hardest experience you had in APU?

Hmm, maybe it was jealousy. I don’t know if that is the right way to say it. I had been hanging out with Phuc a lot, and she is super active and always smiling and inspring people around her. Thus, many people liked her. Meanwhile, I was really shy, passive, and not independent. Although I always tried my best, I never could reach her level. She is always cheerful, active and gets complimented. So yeah, I felt a bit jealous, but I believe was motivation for me to develop!

Q: Do you have any advice for current APU students?

・For learning a new language: Try to learn from zero.
For example with Japanese students, if they want to have a good pronounciation, they shouldn’t learn in a Japanese way with Japanese sounds. It’s better to forget about Japanese pronounciation. This way, I think you can learn better and faster.
And another way is to create an environment that immerses you in the language. My Vietnamese improved unexpectedly since I lived with Phuc’s family in Viet Nam.

・For student life: Especially for those who’s still wondering what should they do in the future
Your answer may be right there already. In my case, I was not sure what I wanted to do in the future until my 4th year. For Japanese students, they usually start job hunting even in their 3rd year and many students already get jobs when vacation ends. However, at that time, I spent all of my summer vacation helping Phuc with opening her new restaurant, which later turned out really successful. That is to say, if it’s me in the old days, if I hadn’t met Phuc, I might have also done normal job hunting and been a person who complained about many things around me.
However, Phuc has always shown that no matter what we choose, we have a chance to exceed our expectations by thinking and acting with genuine enthusiasm.
Looking back at my APU life, I realized the best option was right in front of my eyes all the time. It was just that I didn’t notice it.

Let’s live in Viet Nam!

Thank you so much for sharing and for your thoughtful advice Akari san! Your stories will definitely inspire and motivate students to try new things and find out the right path for them. We wish you the best for your career and future!

You can check out Miss Akari’s youtube channel here!

Thu Anh DO
Thu Anh DO

Hi guys! I’m Thu from Vietnam. Now I’m a fourth year student majoring in marketing. My hobbies are talking with people, watching Kdramas, and eating! Besides that, I’m also interested in advertising and design, so I’m trying to learn more about these subjects. ^^
Nice to meet you all !

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