• Hamamatsu Intercultural Center
  • Hamamatsu Foreign Resident Study Support Center
  • Hamamatsu Foundation for International Communication and Exchange
Hamamatsu Intercultural Center Hamamatsu Foreign Resident Study Support Center Hamamatsu Foundation for International Communication and Exchange

Interview of Local Foreign Residents 【Mr. Wu Deshang】

Looking Beyond Nationality and Career; Grateful for First Business

 “I shocked even myself when I landed the job. It was like “Is this even real?”” says Mr. Wu Deshang, Managing Director of Maranatha Co. Ltd., looking back on the memory laughing. Wu’s first job was in the symbolic center of Hamamatsu – Hamamatsu Castle Park – Wall Greening. The job involved planting shrubbery and making walls of the park, from the car park to the garden walls themselves, covered with beautiful plants. He made stunning displays full of shrubbery and greens, with beautiful bright colors; pinks and whites and yellows.

“To tell you the truth, I think it’s more accurate to say that I “got” this job rather than “earned” it, in terms of my business achievements and skills.” Wu goes on to say that at the time, he had no accomplishments to speak of to show his then potential employer. “The people at Entetsu Assist, the company that was in charge of managing the park, listened to my pitch so politely. They didn’t falter over the fact that I was a foreign resident or that I didn’t have much experience as a start-up. They were sincere and reacted as such to me. I was so happy with that alone.” The very next day, Wu received a call saying that Entetsu Assist wanted to proceed to contract him.

“I really wanted to show them how grateful I was that they had given me this chance, so I really endeavored to provide them with my best work. Also, I remembered to keep in mind the Japanese methodology of the 5S’ (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain) that I had learned from working in a Japanese company, and I kept my workplace “shining” clean after I had finished the project.” That honest way of working has been extremely fruitful for him. Thanks to the relaxing atmosphere created in the park, all visitors visit happily, enjoying the greenery. Not only that but also the relationship between the Entetsu Group and Wu’s company continues strongly on to this day, two years after he started his company.

Wall Greening at Hamamatsu Castle Park

Impressed by Japanese Hospitality – Delivering Happiness through Plants

When Wu – native to Shandong Province in China – was in his 3rd year of university, he partook in an exchange program, studying in Fukui Prefecture in Japan. He first felt culture shock when he arrived at the airport! Wu explains “At that time, I spoke virtually no Japanese at all. I had no idea where I could take the bus, so I said “Bus, Bus!” to someone; and that person turned out to be a taxi driver. But, not only did the driver bring me over to the Bus Depot, they put me onto the bus which was going where I needed it to go. This would never happen in China! Buses are a taxis competition, right? If it was in China, the taxi driver gets you into the back of his taxi and says “Okay, that’ll be a hundred dollars”. And that would be considered normal!” Wu was struck by just how hospitable Japanese people were.

During his study abroad, Wu studied Mechanical Engineering. Through his classes and talking about Robotics with friends all in Japanese, his language skills improved vastly. Following this, he started job searching, and got a chance to work at Suzuki Motor Corporation in Hamamatsu City. This kicked off his corporate life, and so with his Malaysian wife, the pair started a peaceful life together.


But Wu had been thinking that he wanted to start up his own company by the time he reached 30. So he consulted with his boss, but his boss was worried and told him “Surely you’re not going to quit your job now, with this COVID-19 situation!” So Wu also decided to consult with his parents, who were running at a plastic manufacturing company in China. “With the environment and everything, working with plastic is getting harder. You need to change your plans!” But Wu was determined “It’s because of the current COVID-19 situation that everyone needs to be cheered up! It’s now or never!” His parents also ran a farm, so Wu was raised perpetually close to plants. He knew that growing and working with plants is tough, and there are many challenges. But he also knew the sense of accomplishment from growing plants, the energy he needed, the beauty of flowers.

Wall Greening at Maisaka Furniture

Hamamatsu’s Warm Support of Start-ups – Touched by the Mayor’s Words

 After much consideration, Wu decided to give up corporate life, of course after consulting with and getting permission from his loving wife. 2 year ago, he started up his business, with Wall Greening as its first pillar. But the thing that Wu struggles with the most? Keigo, or honorific language. “Seriously, it’s so hard! It’s the hardest thing for me. I’m sure that I’m still making language mistakes while I’m doing business, but I hardly catch my mistakes either, so it’s hard to fix that!” he laughs. “But, despite my mistakes, the reason that I am still able to work is all thanks to my customers. They always help me and I am very grateful for them.” He concludes.

He also was inspired by the kind environment that was in Hamamatsu when he first launched his company. “This city is extremely warm hearted in giving financial support to start-up ventures. I’d like to tell you a short story from when I participated in an event for start-up ventures that was held in Hamamatsu.” He says. “There was even a high-school student amongst all the participants. There were also many people who definitely couldn’t talk about their main job at that event. Amongst all that, The Mayor of Hamamatsu, SUZUKI Yasutomo came to that event, and he spoke to me! I genuinely couldn’t believe it, I just felt so reassured by that!”

Visit to the Mayor of Hamamatsu

Supporting Small Businesses –Hamamatsu as the Base to Launch Across Japan


Due to the effects of the COVID-19, the shipping period for imported products has become extremely delayed, and the fees for importing those goods are about 20 times higher than they were prior to the pandemic. “People have told me “Just shut up and go home if you don’t like it” just because I’m not Japanese. However, there are many people who support me, like Entetsu Assist and my bosses at Suzuki Motor Corporation, so I know that not everyone is like this.” He maintains, “Even if I continue to be hit with many obstacles, I would like to continue running a business here in Japan, and being supported by my friends in Japan”.

Currently, Wu is establishing the second pillar of his business – Elevated Cultivation. His movable strawberry wall has been very popular at events so far. Enquiries into his products have even come from both Shizuoka City and Aichi prefecture. Wu finishes, “Hamamatsu is such a good place to live, so I think that I’d like to continue living here with my family and working with my clients.”

Wu Deshang (呉 徳尚)

From: Shandong, The People’s Republic of China. Came to Japan in 2011 as an Exchange Student. He then moved to Hamamatsu to work for Suzuki Motor Corporation. Quit his position in Suzuki in 2020 to open his own Wall Greening and Next-Generation Farming venture –Maranatha Co., Ltd.