Kabsa over sushi: Japanese man fully embraces Saudi culture

Published August 23rd, 2016 - 07:10 GMT
Akira has definitely embraced Saudi culture with open arms. (Instagram)
Akira has definitely embraced Saudi culture with open arms. (Instagram)

Japanese Akira Takatoriya visited Saudi Arabia in 2014 and was so fascinated by the Saudi culture and customs that he decided to bring some of what he experienced back home.


Pictures of Akira wearing the Saudi traditional clothes on Japan's streets and in public transportation have been the topic of conversation for many on social media.

Arab News traced Akira in the land of the rising sun and got to know how he fell in love with the Saudi culture.

Akira was a student in an exchange program organized by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Sheikh Abdullah Foundation in 2014.

He stayed in Saudi Arabia for 10 days, during which he visited Jeddah, Riyadh, Al-Qassim and Dammam, and "I loved them."

Abdul Latif Jameel invited Akira to Riyadh in March this year for four days.

During this last stay, Akira gave a speech at an event hosted by the company at the Four Seasons in Riyadh.

"Hospitality of Saudis" was the first thing Takatoriya said when asked what attracted him to the Saudi culture.

Asked why he wears Saudi traditional clothes in Japan, he said: "Most Japanese people don't know about Saudi and Gulf cultures. And I hope to know about more Gulf places and to make more Japanese people know about them too."

He said when people ask him in the street in Japan why he wears such clothes, he tells them: "You wear T-shirt and jeans, so are you an American? They say, 'No, I'm Japanese.' I reply: 'Yes, me too.'"

Akira even prefers to be called on social media "Shams Qamar," which is the Arabic for "Sun Moon," because he has admiration for the Arabic language.


When asked if he wished to leave a last comment, Akira said: "My Arabian friends! Let's eat kabsa together. I'm Japanese but I don't like sushi, and kabsa is great."

By Adnan Al-Adnan

Editor's note: Check out Akira's hilarious Instagram account for more funny images. 

Copyright: Arab News © 2021 All rights reserved.

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