Humans of Waseda: Casey Okamoto

Name: Casey Okamoto

Department: School Of International Liberal Arts

When did you start modeling?

I started modeling a few years ago while on my gap year. My friend had just started a modeling agency and my brother introduced me to this world and I am grateful for what I do ever since.

How do you feel about the norm that many half Japanese have taken up modeling and how would you differentiate yourself from them?

Modeling is just one aspect of what I do. I believe there is so much one can do but due to the fear of failure one resolves to choose one of many things they want to do. But not me, I want to do everything I enjoy while I can. I love to cook and I don’t just want to cook as a hobby I would love it to be my profession along with my other fields of interest, It amazes me how much good we can bring in this world through entertainment, that is the ultimate goal. To show people the happenings of the world through entertainment. I want to be remembered, I want to do something through the platform I am blessed with. I have a voice like everyone and I will only be heard if I do something people would acknowledge. I am a funny guy and everyone would describe me as one. I love to make people laugh, that ultimately makes me happy. I would always choose to be a funny guy than a cool intimating one. I love modeling and I am very enthusiastic about it but it is only one facet of what I do and one day I will be well-known through which I can fulfill my dream, that is spreading happiness. 

How was your experience studying abroad and was the Fashion Week one of the reasons you chose Paris?

There are four main fashion weeks Paris, New York, Milan, and London. My decision for my study abroad was influenced by this factor. Fashion week for men happens twice a year, one in January and another one in June. I was able to get into the Fashion week in June but I failed to get into an agency and I always contemplated why I didn’t get it. But then I realized maybe I wasn't Japanese enough. I cut my hair and I lost more weight but it did not do much. When I auditioned and represented my country Japan, they never accepted me as a Japanese because they were expecting someone with distinctive Japanese features and I did not have that. That is when I realized how much the Japanese market and the French market differed. Here in Japan, half Japanese are very popular and are widely accepted all over the country. But whatever the reason may be, I am not going to stop trying because I failed, I am going to try again and again till I get it. Dreams are powerful but the drive to fulfill them is even more. One day, in the future people would see me as a model but for me, the struggle is what I would be grateful for because that led me to where I would be.

Do you get a lot of compliments on your looks and how do you react to that kind of popularity?

 I say 「ありがとうございます 」, I can’t say 「いえ、そんなことないです」because that would be an insult to what I do. I am good looking and I know that I own that and it is not a bad thing but what matters to me is how I am inside, what I am doing every day to make myself a better person and people around me love me for how I am inside and that is what I care about more. 

Something you do other than modeling?

Like I said I love to cook, I love Indian curry and I love making cakes and pastries or all kinds of sweets. I once made a set of 100 cookies and distributed them around the school. Actually, I upload my recipes on a website called Cookpad. I emailed them last week and asked them if they would like to collaborate and they said yes. So, I am very much looking forward to that.

Any Advice you would like to give people reading this?

Do everything you can while you can because 

Why not?

What do you have to be afraid of?

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