Kanako Murayama


Independent Agent


How to raise an infant using only cloth diapers, the joy of a kitchen without a microwave, and why friends call me “Coco.”


When you visit Kanako’s LinkedIn page, the first thing you notice is her unusual thumbnail picture—a dancer doing an airborne full splits with perfect form. And you think, “Oh, cool. Kanako is into dance.” And then you find out that she is the dancer. Which, let’s face it, is way-y-y cooler. But you won’t catch her saying so. Indeed, Kanako is driven by a passion for doing unto others, and keeps a smile on her face while she’s about it. Asked what gets her up in the morning, our Fukushima/Kanagawa native wryly responds, “My son…or my cat.” But her compassion really shines through her work in the world of recruitment, where she has earned a reputation for quality and brilliance—traits that made a bond with The Agency inevitable. “Birds of a feather,” she says. “The people here care about each other, work hard, and enjoy their own lives. This is a healthy company.” On her “me” days you may find her browsing Ginza’s promenade for the latest in fashion footwear or catching some vitamin D at a paradise beach. But otherwise we advise you to look up. Because Kanako is a high flyer we don’t expect to be spending much time on the ground.

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Values: A message to our awesome tribe

Years from now, you may not remember the particulars of deals you closed at Zensho (or what the returns were). You will remember your colleagues and how it felt to work with them. The imprint you left on the world.

We invited you to join our tribe because you impressed us as someone who shares values intrinsic to our culture. But just to ensure we’re totally on the same page, here they are, spelled out in black and white and trimmed in our corporate colors.

Freedom is Zensho’s central pillar. Beyond the mere state of being free, for us the word carries with it a sense of obligation: “Freedom to…” What follows should define you as a person. Of course, to provide your business community with amazing service, but also to engage and give back to the world. And that’s where Autonomy comes in. Unlike the general implications of self-rule, ours leads not to detachment but to a broad and radical sense of interconnectivity. One that enables each of us to commune with others in infinite ways. Together, these two values empower you like nothing else on earth, and they’re here waiting for you.

So, what do we ask in return?

Transparency means not only having open books, but being one yourself. No secrets or ulterior agendas. It is to share personal and industry information without seeking to leverage it for profit or motivate others in any way. Its cousin, Clarity, is about including precision and context in the communication process. At Zensho, we always try to anticipate the details a fellow partner might need and supply them up front.

Which leads us to…

Collaboration. That is, to cooperate meaningfully. Because only through recognizing individual strengths can we thrive as a whole. For us, collaboration requires presence as we listen and respond, evolving toward a collective goal represented by the name of our charity initiative: Ayni (reciprocity). This can’t exist without Collegiality. How we care for each other and the tribe as a whole, share both opportunity and responsibility with open hearts – that’s what empowers us to excel as a firm.

With these six in place, our seventh value happens all by itself.

Harmony. When your environment manifests balance between all people and things – even forces that oppose each other – life just flows. Living completely becomes a state of being. After all, that’s the very meaning of Zensho.