Akira Foundation was named in honor of our late father, Akira Yokoi. It is a non-religious and non-political charity, and fosters a meaningful ecosystem as professed in our tagline, “Social Bridge between Japan and Global Village.”
Naming our program after our late father captures his many characteristics, which our program vision and mission embody. During his remarkable life, Akira nurtured and empowered us, and even now, he continues to inspire us. Our program stands as a fitting tribute to him and his lasting impact. Indeed, the roots he provided us serve to support us while allowing us to grow.
History of the Name “Akira”
“Akira” is a Japanese word that means something enlightening, visionary and forward-looking. Other words commonly associated with its translation include: to bring out, to clarify, to demonstrate, to develop, to define, emerging, manifest, and visible. There are also overtones of human nature to this word: bright, clean, extravert, illuminative, shining, splendorous, vibrant, and wise.
Life of “Akira”
Our father left behind much more than just his name and its meanings. His life exceeded the very meanings of his name. He acted on “Level 5 leadership,” as Jim Collins stressed in his best-selling book, “Good to Great.” One of his hallmark feats, “the Kijan Project” in Indonesia (in 1970’s at Toyota Motor Corporation), presented his most personal challenge. But it also demonstrated what one person could do to advance interweaving societal values with economic development in an emerging part of our world.
The Essence of “Akira”
Akira Yokoi’s life blended “personal humility” and “professional will”. This combination positively affected many people and societies well beyond the business world. An outpouring of his courage, determination, empathy, and generosity is still alive in our veins. “Akira Foundation” symbolizes his legacy and our will to harmonize our being with others.
“Man is only a privileged listener and respondent to existence. … We are trying to listen to the voice of Being. It is, or ought to be, a relation of existence, responsibility, custodianship, answerability to and for.”