Masa Yanagisawa

Director, Co-head of Japan Equity Sales - Deutsche Bank

Masa Yanagisawa is Deutsche Bank’s director of Japan equity sales and a Japanese LGBT+ rights activist.

He came out on the TEDxTokyo stage in 2012 while giving a talk on acceptance: “Wow, this is the biggest coming out in Japan,” he said, smiling shyly.

Yanagisawa has been honored by the Financial Times for his work with other members of the Japanese financial industry to develop LGBT+ friendly workplaces and raise public awareness, and he has been instrumental in helping secure corporate sponsorships for LGBT+ events in Japan, including the Tokyo Pride Parade.

In 25 words, describe how you came out:

I introduced my first boyfriend to my mother.

Who are your role models?

Boris Dittrich, a Dutch human rights activist.

If you could have any job other than the one you have now, it would be:

Diplomat.

The most important thing I have learned from a boss is:

Manage expectations well.

The most important thing I have learned from an employee is:

Be yourself at work.

The best interview question I have ever heard is:

What’s this company’s most important value?

My motto is:

“One life”

If you were planning a dinner party and could invite any five people from history, who would they be, and why?

My ancestors. I’ve always been interested in my roots

What would be the opening song in a movie about your life, and why?

“Happy,” by Pharrell Williams, because I always try to be happy

The six things I could never live without are:

Food, my home, family, good sex, money and a positive mindset

My favorite vacation destination is:

Spain