who we are

our mission

Our mission at Five Senses Foundation is to promote traditional Japanese traditions by making them relevant within the context of today’s lifestyle.


How do we put this mission into action?

Five Senses Foundation connects people who want more authenticity, mindfulness, and creativity in their lives with the Japanese traditional arts through:


Akemi Sagawa grew up in Osaka, Japan. She graduated from Kyoto University with a law degree. She started her career as a financial analyst at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo. After obtaining a MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, she returned to Japan and worked at Microsoft Japan as the first product manager of Microsoft Word. In 1994 She moved to Microsoft headquarters to lead the launch of Windows 95 in the Asian countries.   After leaving Microsoft in 2000, she founded and ran Open Interface North America, a Bluetooth software company, and managed Open Interface’s acquisition by Qualcomm in 2007.

Akemi is an aficionado of Japanese arts and crafts. She teaches Sogetsu Ikebana flower arrangement and also a dedicated Urasenke School tea ceremony student. She serves as a Board Member at Japan-America Society of Washington StateIkebana International Seattle Chapter #19, and Chado Urasenke Tankokai Seattle Association.


Read the founder letter here.