Name: Ghib Ojisan (Ken)
Born in Osaka, grew up in California, and now staying in Singapore, YouTuber Ghib Ojisan made a name for himself with videos detailing his experiences about living as a Japanese person in Singapore. From Yishun to SG’s culture and history, his YouTube channel has achieved phenomenal success among Singaporeans.
- What are your other hobbies besides creating videos?
Making videos is my job and my biggest hobby, so it’s quite difficult to answer this question.
But when I’m not making videos, I like to eat, read books that can help improve my life (like “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie), watch Netflix with my wife and play video games like Monster Hunter Rise or Pokemon Arceus.
- What is your favourite TV/Netflix show?
I have a short attention span so I like thrillers like Hush where every scene gets me hooked.
- What is your favourite hidden spot in Singapore?
One of my favorite hidden spots is Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. The park there is so beautiful and every time I take a stroll there, I feel alive and that life is good. I think it also has one of the best-located McDonald’s in Singapore.
- What is your favourite type of food, and where do you recommend getting them in Singapore?
I love eating dumplings and noodles, such as the one at Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao. I feel grateful living in Singapore because delicious options are everywhere. I’ve recently been into Peranakan food which is very difficult to find in my home country – I would recommend this place called Godmama for that.
- What do you like and dislike about living in Singapore?
I like the weather. Daytime can be hot but morning and evening temperatures are amazing – it’s just right. I also like the fact that earthquakes seldom occur. I’m from Japan and was always scared of earthquakes.
There’s also no pollen that will cause terrible allergic reactions for me. It’s hell living in Japan from March to June because I get allergic and sneeze every ten minutes, have itchy eyes and have continuous flow of mucus.
The people in Singapore are also very friendly and chill, so it’s easier to make friends and have a casual chat with anyone. Nothing I really dislike, but maybe the service can be better?
- Three words people use to describe you.
They call me down-to-earth, and a Japanese YouTuber with a hilarious Singaporean mother-in-law.
- Three words you use to describe yourself.
Probably easy going, freedom loving and “rough” (I don’t really care about small things). I don’t have a typical Japanese-type character, but maybe it’s because I was brought up in the USA.
- Who are other YouTubers or TikTokers that inspire you?
I don’t watch TikTok but YouTubers like Mike Chen, Mark Wiens and John Daub really inspire me. They are my mentors, even though I’ve never met any of them.
- What’s the most memorable moment in your career?
April 2019 when I had my first viral video on YouTube. It now has 10 million views, 10,000 comments and 145,000 likes – which is surreal to me.
This video changed my life and gave me hope that I could become a YouTuber and not have to work for someone anymore.
I’m fortunate and grateful this video gave me everything I wanted. And the funny thing is – it was not edited at all and I never thought this video would go viral. Perhaps it’s because most musicians play music in their room or studio but this was on the street and some folks even tipped me, so it’s heartwarming and something new back then.
Life is hard to predict. But that’s what makes it interesting.
- Which video are you the proudest of?
I’m proud of this video because firstly, it’s a collaboration with STB! The thought alone is crazy because I’ve always seen myself as a normal, not-so-interesting guy.
Secondly, I was able to incorporate many hidden spots in Singapore in one video. That’s my mission – to showcase the ‘not-so-flashy’ side of Singapore.
Thirdly, I’m also proud of it as many viewers liked it!
- Which video did you regret the most publishing?
I don’t regret anything because I’m a strong believer of ‘there’s no such thing as failing’. What I might have thought as failing opened up new paths in my life.
- How do you think your personality differs one-screen and off?
People might think I’m bright and always smiling but I’m actually quite shy. It’s difficult for me to approach someone. A lot of schools approached me to give presentations, and even got invited by TED to give a talk, but I gave them a miss. If I really had to, though, I’d probably give a talk along the lines of “How To Become A Content Creator”.
- Do you have advice for those who aspire to be content creators?
Find your niche. Find out what’s special about you and implement that in your content.
- Has anyone ever come up to you about your videos?
All the time. Kind words like ‘What you are doing is great. Keep it up’. I make videos to ultimately put a smile on people’s faces. So having people smile at me and appreciate my work makes my day.
- What is one fun fact your viewers don’t know about you?
I actually like pursuing a healthy lifestyle. People think that I always eat unhealthy food because they only see me on screen devouring hawker food.
But when I’m not filming, I start out my day with a 10-minute walk, drink water with fresh lemon squeezed, cook at home, eat plenty of veggies and work out in my home gym.
- What is your signature dish that you cook at home?
Spice Curry (it’s a lesser-known type of curry from Osaka), dumplings, Spaghetti Bolognese, and Japanese hotpot.
- What job do you think you’d be in if you weren’t a YouTuber?
Blogger. I started out my freelance career as a blogger and I quite liked it. I liked being my own boss, being able to work anywhere and having control of my own life.
- Any interesting projects that you’re currently working on?
I’m in the midst of brainstorming what kind of content I can make in Japan. I’m flying back for a month soon. Super excited because it’s been too long. I’ve been abroad for 2 years and 3 months.
- What’s the first thing you want to do when you go back to Japan?
Go inside a conbini (Japanese convenience store). Take my wife to my favorite Ramen place – Nagi at Shinjuku Goldengai and Kinkuemon at Umeda, Osaka. Go on a vacation with my family.
This post is part of our Content Creator series. If you’d like to be featured, or have a nominee in mind, please drop us a note at email@example.com.