Our Team

Yasuhiro Watanabe

Co-founder, CEO

Yasuhiro is a successful venture capitalist in the Japanese tech space. After working for JAFCO, Japan's largest venture capital firm, he founded a venture capital firm called Incubate Capital Partners. His investment includes F@N Communications, Inc. (IPO in 2005), AIP Corporation (acquired in 2005), and Commerce21 Corporation (acquired in 2004). In 2007, he co-founded Studio Ousia. His dream is to become a samurai one day.

Ikuya Yamada

Co-founder, CTO / Ph.D.

Ikuya is a software engineer and a researcher working on natural language processing and machine learning. Previously he served as a director of Fractalist, which was a public mobile software company located in Tokyo. While he was in college, he founded Newrong, a software company acquired by Fractalist. He won several competitions held with top international conferences including WWW, ACL, NAACL, and NIPS. He received his Ph.D. from Keio University. He is also a visiting scientist at the RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project.

Tomotaka Ito

Software Engineer

As a teenager, Tomotaka got interested in how interactive web pages should be constructed. He has been programming since junior high school. While at university and graduate school, he did research projects in middleware for intuitive controls and service integration in the field of ubiquitous computing. His hobbies include visiting hot springs, driving, and watching movies.

Ayae Hirata

Marketing Director

While attending university, Ayae focused on public relations work for non-profit organizations and social ventures. She joined Studio Ousia wanting to help innovate the world through her novel ideas and vision. One of her hobbies is reading -- Her favorite authors are Gabriel García Márquez, Victor Hugo, J. M. G. Le Clézio and J. R. R. Tolkien.

Ryuji Tamaki

Software Engineer

Gaining interest in machine learning at graduate school, researched question answering and dialogue modeling. Participated in competition hosted by NIPS as an intern at Studio Ousia. After gaining his masters, joined Studio Ousia prior to working at a human resource management company. He likes to spend his free time weight training and viewing Kaggle Kernels and Discussions.

Sonse Shimaoka

Software Engineer

Sonse majored in NLP during college and graduate school from the curiosity for artificial intelligence. His research included named entity classification using Wikipedia. He received awards from academic conferences both in Japan and outside the country during graduate school. After working for a recruiting service congramarate, he joined Studio Ousia in 2019. He likes gaming, reading and watching films in spare time and also is a big fan of Elon Musk.

Takuya Yoshinaga

Software Engineer

Playing on the computer from elementary school, he turned his passion into research from university. In graduate school, he researched information retrieval methods. He is also interested in Anime, games and movies. He is recently into competitive programing. Fluent in Chinese.

Satoshi Taniguchi

Sales Director

BA in Policy studies from Keio University. Started 3 companies in Ed-tech field. Joined Studio Ousia to accelerate use of AI for better knowledge/information utilization. Does research and development of clinical apps for diabetes patients.

Masato Hagiwara

Software Engineer

Masato is a US-based independent NLP/ML engineer and consultant. He previously worked on NLP and search projects at Baidu, Google, and Microsoft Research. After working as a researcher/engineer at Rakuten Institute of Technology and Duolingo, he started his consulting business Octanove Labs, and joined Studio Ousia in 2019. Author and translator of NLP books including “Real-World Natural Language Processing”. He enjoys learning human languages (speaks Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English) and playing musical instruments in his free time.

Liyuan Xu

Research Intern

Liyuan is a member of Sugiyama-Sato-Honda Lab at the University of Tokyo. He is interested in theoretical machine learning, including the multi-armed bandit problem. He loves to watch videos of game playing on Youtube and plays board games such as Japanese chess.

Jin Sakuma

Research Intern

Jin became interested in mathematics and programming at his early teenage. He started living in the US at the age of 15 and graduated from the University of Michigan - Flint at 20. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate at Yoshinaga Lab. in the University of Tokyo, with a research interest of NLP, especially in multilingual models. He has the license of scuba diving.


Studio Ousia Inc.
Tokyo Studio

4F Otemachi Building, 1-6-1 Otemachi
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN



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