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Saturday, October 28 • 5:20pm - 5:45pm
Award Lecture: Silver Prize

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Often having been developed for use by younger generations, most IT services and smartphone apps can be difficult to use for elderly people. In 2016, recognizing the need for apps that take into account the way seniors use smartphones, Masako Wakamiya began learning the programming language Swift, before releasing her iOS game “hinadan” in February 2017. She was selected to participate in the scholarship program of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 (WWDC2017). In his keynote speech, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced her as the oldest developer at the conference at age 81.
Despite having no previous experience in IT or programming, Wakamiya decided to buy her first computer after her retirement at the age of 60 so she could “connect with more people.” In 1999, as the internet was beginning to take off, she was involved in the creation of a website aimed at elderly people called Mellow Club, where she launched the Mellow Denshokan – a project to archive the accounts of those who had lived through the Pacific War. In 2005, the project was awarded the Culture Prize at the Japan session of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society.
Wakamiya believes that it is important to enjoy what you are doing, even when you face setbacks. She demonstrates that IT can be learned by anyone regardless of age or experience, and that through the use of technology anyone can get involved. This prize is awarded in recognition of her limitless energy for taking on new challenges and also the expectation of further success in the future.

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Masako Wakamiya

- Winner of the Rakuten Technology & Innovation Award Silver Prize -Masako Wakamiya is Vice President of the Mellow Club and Board Member of the Broadband School Association(NPO) At the age of 60, retired banker Masako Wakamiya (Marchan) was a caregiver for her mother at home. She... Read More →

Saturday October 28, 2017 5:20pm - 5:45pm JST
4F Main