Episode 46

Published on:

29th Jan 2024

Game Changers: Bridging language gaps in Japan rugby through translation with Doug Picken

Doug Picken is an exceptional individual with unique insights into the world of rugby translation and the cultural intricacies of Japan and New Zealand. In his position as a translator for the DynaBoars rugby team, Doug helps his team to tackle the linguistic and cultural differences daily. We love his passion for wearing the jersey in promoting Japan rugby and his dedication to his podcast, Japan Rugby Weekly, a favourite of the Jandals team and many listeners too! Ikimasho~!

SHOW NOTES (These will become a blog post as well as go into Anchor/Captivate). 

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In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How Doug started as a translator finding himself at the “Mighty Dynaboars” 
  • What makes a good rugby translator and what can get you fired (!)
  • The number one thing that helps Kiwis have a long successful career in Japan
  • The importance of the company in professional rugby in Japan
  • Doug’s podcast, Japan Rugby Weekly, and why we love it

About Doug

Doug was born in Aizu Wakamatsu, Fukushima and spent time between Japan and New Zealand (Rotorua) growing up. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science

Double majoring in Statistics & Sports and Exercise Science from the University of Auckland Doug moved to Japan in 2015. He worked as an English teacher before getting his first translating job in 2017 in Fukuoka at the Coca-Cola Red Sparks Rugby Team.  Doug has also helped the Sunwolves in 2019 and 2021 before moving to Sagamihara to join the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Sagamihara Dynaboars. He is also host of the wildly popular Japan Rugby Weekly Podcast.


Japan Rugby Weekly: https://redcircle.com/shows/japan-rugby-weekly 

Heiden Bedwell Curtis: https://www.jandalsinjapan.com/episode/eighteen 

Jamie Joseph: https://www.jandalsinjapan.com/episode/twenty-six 

Jandals in Japan is brought to you by Catherine O’Connell Law and PodLaunch with Jayne

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Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@jandalsinjapan 

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About the Podcast

Jandals in Japan
Bringing The Land of the Long White Cloud to The Land of the Rising Sun
The best show about New Zealanders doing business in Japan, bringing The Land of the Long White Cloud to The Land of the Rising Sun
How do you build a brand in Japan and nurture a loyal customer base?
What do you need to have in your tool belt if you are thinking of coming to Japan to launch a business here?
Japan is often considered to be in the "too hard" basket but we are here to open up the black box of doing business in Japan.
We will share stories from successful Kiwis selling their products and services here in Japan.
They'll tell you their tips for success and pitfalls to avoid.
They'll share their challenges and what they did to overcome them.
They will tell you things you can't find in textbooks or on the internet.
We will also be sharing the latest intel and insights on Japan from our on-the-ground presence
And you'll hear some super business culture and other tips from us sprinkled throughout.
Grab a glass of sake and let's get into it.
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About your hosts

Jayne Nakata

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Jayne Nakata is a Southland girl who arrived in Japan in 2002, planning to stay just two years. 20 years later she is still living in Fukushima Prefecture with her Japanese husband and two children. When the triple disaster hit in 2011, Jayne made the commitment to stay in Fukushima and contribute to rebuilding the area. She is the host of the award winning podcast Transformations with Jayne, which is a favourite with international women living in Japan. She is also the double award winning podcast producer and manager for PodLaunch with Jayne.

Catherine O’Connell

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Originally from Christchurch, Catherine O'Connell has lived in Japan since 2002. Catherine has over 20 years working at brand-name Japanese corporations as legal counsel. In 2018, Catherine launched her own boutique law firm in Tokyo, which has become become a multi-award-winning business. She is Vice Chair of the Australian & New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Audit & Supervisory Board Member at TOYOTA Motor Corporation & FUJITSU Limited. As well as the Jandals in Japan Podcast, she hosts the award-winning Lawyer on Air Podcast.