April 5th, 2010



Tokyo Stories is a blog and also a name I run my business as a user experience and design research consultant.

With a background in human factors and human computer interaction, Fumiko likes to make products and services more meaningful to people’s lives through research and design. She is a certified Human Centered Design professional and also a member of Reach, the global design research network, consisted of highly skilled and experienced companies around the world.

Fumiko currently lives in Tokyo, where she founded Tokyo Stories in 2008 and offers her experience and skills to both domestic and global customers. Themes she deal with vary by customer. In past two years, she has coordinated and or involved in design research on games for youth, ready-to-drink beverages for construction workers, apparel for women, knowledge management for the Japanese, to name a few. She is empathetic by nature and critical by practice; which seems like an important combination for the work she does.

Prior to her work as principal of Tokyo Stories, Fumiko has worked for Nokia in Finland, China, and Japan. When she completed her masters, the kind of job she does now, did not exist in Japan. So she left the country and joined Nokia in Finland. This was back in 1999. Since then, she has consistently worked as a user experience expert, in fields of research, conceptual work, design, and product development. An international corporate has taught her that you should consistently doubt what you consider as the common knowledge; Observe things, question things, and if you find the answer, believe and communicate them through. Many of these principles learned still stands as she runs the business today.

Why this blog?

Japan maybe a heaven of cool and weird gadgets, but it is also a country where they are strangely encapsulated by many technological constraints. Voltage is different (100V), standards are different; Quite often, even with the most advanced gadgets, many electronics come in a single UI language. All these circumstances make it difficult to determine, whether these devices truly bring a new value to our lives and perhaps, might even become more than a one-shot, quirky fun for a local market.

The idea behind the blog, is to shed a tiny light on what seems obvious and mundane that she encounters through her work and her everyday lives.

Although it has been a while since customer experience of products and services were recognized as a key for success, it is surprisingly uncommon in Japan to find design firms or research companies who could offer support for such nature. Together with clients and other experts in the field, she offers an individual or a team consultation work for both domestic and international companies who need support here in Japan. Please contact for inquiries to mail at tokyo-stories dot com.

Twitter: furbiko

Flickr: nihaogirl

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    Dear Fumiko

    I would like to use the picture from Setsuden – Tokyo Metro Way June 6th 2011 as illustration in an article. Am I allowed to do that?

    Best wishes

    Niels Peter Skou
    Research Consultant, Kolding School of Design


  1. BoBo  
    January 31st, 2012

  2. Hi Furbiko

    I have been following your blog for 3 years now. Recently it stopped update to Google Reader, and after I resubscribe it. All of the feed can’t display in full. I wonder is there anything you can do to improve that.

    Love your work, keep them coming.




  3. FumikoFumiko  
    January 31st, 2012

  4. Thank you Bo,

    It’s nice to get your feedback. I’m assuming there must be something wrong with the template I have been using. Thank you, I will work to resolve that and will let you know asap.

    Best regards,


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