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Married Couple who are Lawyers—30 years since Meeting at Chuo University

Yoshiba & Akisada

Kazuhiro Akisada
Lawyer, Yoshiba & Akisada Law Office

Hiroko Yoshiba
Lawyer, Yoshiba & Akisada Law Office

We first met during our first year in the Department of Law in the Chuo University Faculty of Law, which means that 30 years have passed since we met. Since we got married in 1998, it will soon be 20 years since then. We’ve had a long and happy relationship.

We both belonged to the same research laboratory during our time at university. Also, during our third and fourth years, we studied together in the seminar on code of criminal procedure taught by the late Professor Toyo Atsumi. The education of Professor Toyo still live on in our hearts even today.

In this article, we would like to discuss what it is like for a married couple to work at the same law office as a lawyer.

Bringing work home?

Yaki-tori restaurant Ippo in Nishi-AzabuYaki-tori restaurant Ippo in Nishi-Azabu
Our law office is located in the Nishi-Azabu neighborhood of Minato City, Tokyo. Our home is within walking distance of our office. Almost every day, we walk to work together and walk home together. Although we sometimes have dinner at home, we also often eat at yaki-tori (skewered chicken) restaurants or Chinese restaurants on our way home. We both work as Visiting Lecturers in the Chuo Law School and teach evening classes once every two weeks at the Ichigaya Campus. Akisada teaches a class entitled Creating Legal Documents and Yoshiba holds a class called Legal Clinic. After teaching, our custom is to have dinner at a delicious seafood restaurant near the school (Akisada: The restaurant also has a wide variety of Japanese sake). Usually, we don’t go to our law office on days off. Instead, as much as possible, we try to do work which can be done at home. Of course, our two beloved cats always watch over us as we work (Yoshiba: The older sister cat is named Yuzu and the younger sister is named Mikan).

We handle a large amount of cases in the area of corporate law. For each case, we decide which one of us will be in charge. Even so, since we are almost always together, we also discuss our respective cases while at the office and at home. As a result, we have a thorough understanding even of cases which we are not assigned to, and always know the status of our respective work.

Although it may seem that our work and private life are blended together, we have built this lifestyle over a period of many years and it matches our personalities quite well.

Sharing housework?

Mikan is in front and Yuzu in backMikan is in front and Yuzu in back
Since we both work, we try to divide housework as evenly as possible. The specifics of who does what have been decided naturally during our 20 years of living together. We cook together (Akisada: My wife was very busy for 3 years when she worked as a criminal defense professor of the Legal Training and Research Institute, so I diligently cooked by myself then.). Nothing is more enjoyable than cooking together and enjoying drinks with our meal. Akisada likes Japanese sake and Yoshiba prefers beer (Yoshiba: My favorites are pale ale and the German brew Weizenbier). Our cats always stay close by, playing with each other and lying down while they listen to our conversations.

How do we spend our days off?

We relax at home on our days off.

On our days off, we usually stay home. Although we sometimes work at home, we usually just relax and play with our cats.

We sometimes make whirlwind trips.

Koala looking right at the cameraKoala looking right at the camera
On three-day weekends and holiday periods such as Early May Holidays, we often go on trips together. In particular, ever since Yoshiba was appointed as an outside director of a corporation listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, we have started making more trips abroad. Even so, we don’t have the time for leisurely travel and have to go on whirlwind trips of about two nights and three days or three nights and four days.

Recently, we visited Brisbane in Australia. Although we had never been to Australia, we really wanted to try holding a koala and quickly decided on going to Brisbane. We usually make such decisions while chatting and drinking beer or Japanese sake at home together—real spur-of-the-moment decisions!

Regarding our trip to Brisbane, we arrived at Brisbane Airport early in the morning, left our luggage at our hotel, and immediately hurried by taxi to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Upon holding a koala, we were surprised at how heavy it was; about the same weight as holding both of our two cats at once.

We also went to the Longmen Grottoes!

The grand Longmen Grottoes—UNESCO World Heritage SiteThe grand Longmen Grottoes—UNESCO World
Heritage Site
We also went to Zhengzhou in Henan Province, China last year. Zhengzhou is where the company for which Yoshiba serves as an outside director has its factory, and we wanted to visit the city at some time. Zhengzhou is located along the middle of the Yellow River. It is said that the city once served as the capital of the Yin Dynasty. One attraction of Zhengzhou is the Shaolin Monastery, which is famous for its martial arts. Also, the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located about 100 kilometers west of Zhengzhou (the suburbs of Luoyang). It is said that construction of the Longmen Grottoes began in the Northern Wei Dynasty (around the end of 5th century). Visitors are sure to be overwhelmed by the history and grand scale of the grottoes.

How does our lifestyle sound to you?

We hope that this article gave you some insight on our work and lifestyle as a married couple.

Of course, we work very hard. On the other hand, on our days off, we try to rest our minds and bodies as much as possible. Also, when we have time to travel and enjoy life, we make the most of the opportunity.

We got married after meeting at Chuo University and studying together. We work at the same law office and now serve as lecturers at the Chuo Law School. Our life together is cheerful and we get along great with each other. Looking back, our happiness in life is yet another blessing we received from Chuo University.
Kazuhiro Akisada

In 1989, he graduated from the Department of Law in the Chuo University Faculty of Law.
In 1998, he was employed at Gakusyu Kenkyusha Corporation. (current Gakken Holdings Co., Ltd.)
In 1999, he passed the National Bar Examination.
In 2001, he was registered as a lawyer.
From 2007 to 2010, he served as a Visiting Lecturer in the Chuo University Faculty of Law.
From 2007 to 2012, he served as a Concurrent Lecturer in the Komazawa University Law School.
From 2009 to 2013, he was appointed as a Part-Time Judge at the Tokyo Summary Court. (Civil Conciliator)

Visiting Lecturer in the Chuo Law School
Intermediation Commissioner for the Nuclear Damage Compensation Dispute Resolution Center
Hiroko Yoshiba

In 1989, she graduated from the Department of Law in the Chuo University Faculty of Law.
In 1994, she passed the National Bar Examination.
In 1997, she was registered as a lawyer.
From 2002 to 2009, she served as a Concurrent Lecturer in the Chuo University Faculty of Law.
From 2012 to 2015, she was appointed as a Professor of the Supreme Court’s Legal Training and Research Institute. (Criminal Defense)

Visiting Lecturer in the Chuo Law School
Member of the Information Disclosure and Personal Information Protection Review Board of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
Member of the Kawasaki City Information Disclosure and Personal Information Protection Review Board
Member of the Kawasaki City Administrative Complaint Review Board
Outside Director of Unipres Corporation
Inspector at Nakanogou Credit Union