Jesús Salinas Vice: Mexico is on the other side of the globe from Japan. What did you think of Tokyo when you first came? Jesús: The biggest shock was how safe Japan is. Tokyo is the only place that is so safe despite being such a large city. Why did you decide to live here? Because Japanese people are so sweet. I’ve never felt so relaxed in another country. I had been to many countries before coming here, but I think Japan is the best. Tokyo is like a magnet: It’s so powerful and a lot of young, creative people gather here, which I think is cool. There are all these gadgets and products and all sorts of people doing all kinds of things. I think Tokyo’s fashion is the best in the world too. People have such great taste here. Mexicans really don’t know how to dress. I mean, occasionally there may be a few fashionable people, but you don’t really see them in town very much. And if you look different from the crowd in Mexico, everyone is like, “What’s up with him?” I don’t like that very much. Do you feel differently about Japan now that you’ve lived here awhile? I thought the quality of living would be much higher here but actually that’s not the case. Those bento lunch boxes that everyone buys at convenience stores, for example, are such bad quality. Before I came to Japan, I was in Canada, which has a very high standard of living, so maybe that’s why I feel this way. What’s the best thing about Mexico? The people are so kind. We have a saying that “My home is your home,” and really, people are so accepting of everyone. They have such open hearts. You have a unique fashion style. Are you influenced by anything in particular? Oh really? Thanks. Mexicans are naturally good with color, especially using vivid colors. Plus, I guess I’ve been influenced by all sorts of countries and cultures, and this is the result. Do you prefer Japanese or Mexican women? Mexican women are very straightforward and passionate. They’re very frank about the way they feel and say things like “I like you” or “Let’s go out” openly to people they fancy, which I think is great. But Japanese girls are more timid so I never know what they’re thinking. If you do go back to Mexico, what do you want to do first? I want to help out the fashion industry and build up the production side of things, like factories. Where do you want to live when you’re old? It depends where I base my family and my life, so I don’t really think about those things right now. It would also depend on which country my wife is from. But I like Japan, so staying here until I’m old wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
INTERVIEW AND PORTRAIT BY TOMO KOSUGA
TRANSLATED BY LENA OISHI