Settling into the stylish interior of ELLE CAFÉ with a pot of fragrant tea, this month’s guest Jana Kinoshita-Charles is right at home. A French-born former ballerina, she exudes a grace that perfectly matches the atmosphere of the cafe. Jana is fan of Japanese traditional crafts- she initially chose to study Japanese at University because of an interest in kimono. However there is more to Jana than meets the eye.
Talking about her work with Peace Nobel Prize Prof. Yunus’ Social Business, Jana proves to be focused, hard-working and community minded. Self sufficiency is an ideal she values, striving to bring solutions to communities with social problems. Jana hopes to one day create her own Social Business, incorporating a multitude of talents and hobbies: ballet, yoga, life-coaching, global management and fashion. She loves sharing her knowledge and passions with those around her.
Choosing from ELLE CAFÉ’s range of Theodor Paris teas, Jana orders the “MÉLANGE Ô” – a black tea flavored with lotus, jasmine, rose, bergamot and fig. Whilst drinking the tea, the selection of ELLE magazines hanging on the wall trigger memories of her home in France- where every Monday she would run to the post-box to pick up her Mum’s weekly delivery of ELLE magazine. Even now, she uses articles from ELLE in her lessons at the French-Japanese Institute of Kyushu, sharing examples of fashion, or with her husband when they cook together. Jana is a busy woman with great ambitions for the future. She tells us that the most important thing she has learnt over her seven years in Japan is to “Never say never”.
Hakata Hankyu ELLE CAFÉ
4F Hakata Hankyu, 1-1 Hakataeki-chuogai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Open: 10:00 ~ 21:00 (last call 20:30) ELLE CAFÉ ONLINE
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn159, Mar. 2012)