The Meaning Behind Willwind

Naoko Tomita shares the inception story of her company, Willwind, and delves into the meaning behind its creation.

Willwind: carry our will on the wind

Nick: Let’s switch to your company. Let's start with the meaning and message behind the name, which is Willwind, so would you like to talk about that?

Naoko: Yes, thank you. Well, the name of the company Willwind means to carry our will on the wind and pass them to the future. And I have a logo here.

Nick: Yes, I see the logo, the leaves.

Naoko: These leaves represents the meaning of ‘Rich and fertile golden land, blue ocean, and green forest,’ which I want to preserve and pass on to future generations. And I founded this little company, it's still little, I'm doing with my sister and my partner, in 2005.

And currently, we support companies and individuals to understand the importance of sustainability as SDGs. And to come up with our regenerative business ideas through workshop or Zen school session.Nick: That's fascinating. So I see ikigai often relate to nature as almost like a universal source of ikigai being connected to nature, I think everyone loves to connect to nature. So that must be very fulfilling work, but also challenging?

Naoko: Yes, it is. We are so divided from the nature these days. So we're getting that sense.

Nick: Does that relate somewhat to Shinto or Shintoism, this idea of connecting to nature, and I think, in the West, and this has probably influenced Japan, thinking the West, we feel we can control nature, and we try to control nature. And that sort of causes problems.

But my understanding of Shintoism is, there's a synergy—a connection between man and nature. So is that how you relate connecting to nature?

Naoko: That's how I do. Well, my family is Shintoism, but we're not really religious person. But yes, the nature, for me, I'm a part of nature. And I think that comes from the Shintoism or type of thinking.