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Pascal Masse

Tour Leader

Born in Lille, northern France, Pascal was, thanks to his adventurous parents, fortunate to start travelling at an early age. Starting with trips to Spain when he was seven, by the age of 18 family explorations had taken him to most countries around the Mediterranean, several African nations, North America and the French-speaking Caribbean. However, Pascal’s first introduction to Japan was through the samurai and anime movies that became popular in France during his formative years. His interest in Japanese culture piqued, he studied Japanese history, read James Clavell’s Shogun,series and took up karate.

While studying Political Science and International Relations at L’Institut d’ Etudes Politiques at Aix-en-Provence, Pascal eagerly took up the opportunity to learn the Japanese language. He visited Japan for the first time in 1996, spending the final year of his studies as an exchange student at Meiji Gakuin University in Yokohama. Thoroughly enamoured with the experience, it instilled in him a strong desire to return to Japan, live in its community and better understand its society and culture.

Initially, however, his plans were frustrated by the requirement to complete compulsory military service and subsequently a career in the finance industry. The latter eventually led him to Singapore, where he worked in asset management for eight years. During this time, he travelled to Japan on business twice a year, while exploring Asia whenever he could take time away from work.

Pascal finally fulfilled his long-held desire to move back to Japan in 2006 when his company opened a new office in Tokyo. He and his Japanese wife have made their home in the city, where Pascal has been able to pursue his long-held interests in Japan, with a special focus on Edo (1603–1868) culture. Instead of karate, he now practices masaki-pryu, an obscure martial art using chains developed by the samurai guards of the shogun at Edo castle, now the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. He also enjoys making miso paste, Japanese home cooking, reading about Japanese history, watching US and European Netflix series, stand-up paddling and surfing. When he is not leading tours, Pascal uses his language skills in French, Japanese and English as a translator and interpreter and his financial acumen as an equity day trader.

Pascal joined Walk Japan as a Tour Leader in 2017.