Kota Kojima

Accountants, by my definition, work hard and… well, that’s about it. They work hard. Accountants will always be needed, their job rarely ever changes, and their career path is predictable. So what type of person does this profession attract? The SAFEST type. White bread eating, helmet wearing, stock market loving, measure twice before cutting, humdrum types. Luckily, there’s a soul in this world who breaks the accounting mold and actually knows how to live life to the fullest: Kota Kojima.

Like his samurai ancestors before him, Kota spent his formative years in Japan, training in martial arts and earning his black belt. He moved to California at the ripe young age of 7 where he began taking responsibility for the functionality of his household. Kota faced the gamut of challenges that comes from moving to a new country. He learned how to plan the family finances, pick classes in his new school, and assimilate into a new society, all in a foreign language. By the time high school rolled around, Kota had progressed into a complete badass and was renowned in his school and community as the star running back.

Kota’s all about pushing his limits. That’s how he became Monta Vista High School’s poster boy and that’s how he landed a CPA job with KMPG, 1 of the top 4 accounting firms in the world, straight out of college. I remember hurdling past my own self-perceived limitations when we hit the gym together at our alma mater.

About a year ago, Kota decided to embark upon a rigorous journey; to climb to the base of Mt. Everest. How a 22-year-old formulates this type of plan, I’ll never know, but I’ll also never admit my admiration because I enjoy ripping on him for not making it to the highest peak (which costs $30,000). Needless to say, this kind of campaign takes a pair of big brass balls.

Like young Marco Polo, Kota also has a burring passion to explore the world and learn from different cultures, snatching up any chance to seek out new grounds. He’s backpacked around Europe, circumnavigated the globe, explored the emerging countries of South America (where he was held up at knife point, but that’s another story), and recently, he and I road-tripped around Costa Rica with our 3 good buddies. Thanks to Kota’s motivation, I caught my first fish — a big ol’ tuna which inevitably lead to my first homemade sushi experience, I felt the surging adrenaline of a matador while a roaring bull was mere steps from me inside the bull-fighting arena, and I popped my Yoga cherry. Yoga, by the way, rules, and I can’t wait to get my downward-facing dog on again.

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Kota’s been my P.I.C. for a series of occasions which I cherish as some of my finest memories. He has a knack for getting himself and his friends into lively situations filled with adventure, some slight danger, and opportunities to break past one’s limits. At Outside Lands in 2011, I saw one of the greatest shows of my life; Muse. The reason for its awesomeness: Kota running-backed his way to the front, the very first row, of the 50,000 festival-goers to solidify our amazing location.

Kota x Kojima doesn’t blow money on lavish status symbols or on trendy fads. Instead, he appreciates the company of others and enjoys good conversation over home cooked meals and barbeques. And good conversation is abundant with this guy due to the wealth of knowledge and stories he’s accumulated from decades of traveling and reading books. Go ahead, find out for yourself and give him a shout.

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