Interview #07Why Anime Shops Opened at Parco

Parco Co., Ltd.
Chihiro Tezuka

A Person Who Hates Digital Somehow Comes to Manage an EC Site

The work of the Entertainment Division, which Tezuka is affiliated with, covers all kinds fields including financing performances at Parco Theater and Club Quattro, purchasing movies for Parco’s joint establishment Cine Quinto, publishing books, and producing exhibitions held at Shibuya Parco Museum. Everything related to entertainment falls under their jurisdiction, and it is a place where people can display their talents in showing interesting things gathered from all over the world in a unique Parco style.

“The part I belong inside the Entertainment Division is the Development Group, this is where we produce exhibitions, cafes, and finance music festivals. The Development Team has about 10 members, and on the top of it is a person who purchased the movie Trainspotting, which was a huge hit in 1996 in Japan, too. I was a science person during my school years, and even during my time in college in Kyoto I was researching plant DNA. But at the same time, I also liked fashion and culture, so I also ran an art circle. If I remember correctly, the core members of that time were around 10, too. We would do things such as renting out a townhouse in Kyoto and hosting events or a cafe, running a band that mixed DJs with instruments since we liked dance music, and even shooting movies with the art students in the vicinity. Kyoto is a city where the college student community is well-developed, and unlike Tokyo, the campuses are big, too. There were fields and dorms, and various people from various universities came and went around. Maybe it was because the kind of life I had during college, but even though my childhood dream was to become a scientist, I came to think that if I was to work, I’d rather do something related to culture since I like it so much.”

The place he wanted to join most was Parco, or its Entertainment Division to be more exact.

“Even among some of the listed companies, Parco enjoys a high degree of freedom. Plus it gave the impression of a company with a strong cultural profile. You can do live performance projects and purchase movies, so I thought it would be a job similar to what I was doing in the art circle. Although I was lucky enough to get accepted into the company, the first place I was assigned was Hiroshima and not Tokyo. I was responsible for seasonal campaigns and the like, but I wanted to work in the head office so badly that I spent the whole time fretting, so I don’t remember a lot from that time (laughs).”

Although enjoying his private life, Tezuka couldn’t settle with his job at the Hiroshima store, where he worked for a few years. His next assignment, however, took him even further from the Entertainment Division he so longed to join, and that was the separate company of Parco City.

“This was a rare pattern among Parco members in terms of transferring. It was the so-called IT bubble era when every student aspired to enter the IT industry. However, I wasn’t interested in the internet or digital business of any kind at the time; I even hated the fictitious atmosphere of the internet, to be honest (laughs). Of course, I didn’t like webshops either, so I didn’t want to go there at all, but out of all places, I got assigned to the EC Division. However, it was also around the same time that Zozotown appeared, and there were signs that fashion EC would grow. It was after a few years of working there that I met a certain person around 2008, which became my first turning point.”