People in Japan are swooning after discovering the many talents of this foreign-born gardener who gave up his original nationality to become Japanese.

With such a blend of traditional culture and modern conveniences, it’s not uncommon for people who visit Japan to fall in love with the country and dream of one day making a life here. What is uncommon, though, is choosing to become a naturalised citizen, given that it involves renouncing your original nationality, as dual citizenship is not permitted by Japanese law.

For some, though, this is a step they’re keen to take, especially when specialising in a traditional Japanese profession. That’s the case with Swedish-born Jakob Sebastian Björk, who became an apprentice gardener in the field of traditional Japanese gardening, and the Japanese master who taught him the craft gave him the name “Tatsumasa Murasame”, a title he now proudly goes by after becoming a naturalised Japanese.

In Japan’s largely homogenous society though, Murasame doesn’t fit the stereotypical image of a Japanese person, so when Twitter user @kuroda_xxx brought Murasame’s story to light recently, the tall, blonde bodybuilder quickly blew people’s minds.

The tweet above takes the liberty of mentioning a few key points about the Japanese landscaper:

  • He wanted to live as a Japanese person so he became naturalised; he is now Japanese
  • He’s incredibly good looking
  • He has incredible muscles
  • He has an incredible occupation – gardener
  • He has an incredibly cool name “Tatsumasa Murasame”, which was given to him by his master

It’s true that his name, which consists of the Japanese words for “Passing Shower” (Murasame), “dragon” (Tatsu), and one character from his master’s name (Masa), is a pretty cool one to have, but that’s not all that’s impressing folks online.

▼ Murasame and the master who named him.

His unwavering dedication to the art of traditional Japanese garden design has been attracting a lot of attention, even landing him appearances on a number of television programmes.

今、日本の文化は海外で人気があるから外国人や、日本人には「海外で日本庭園を造って庭師をやればいいよ。」ってよく言われる。 確かに金銭的な意味で考えると、ささっと海外行って、庭師をやったほうが儲かる。 だけど庭師になるために翻訳や語学教師をやめて年収じっさいかなりさがったし、お金目当てで始めた仕事ではない。 日本庭園は日本の文化、日本固有の物だからこそ、日本でちゃんと残して、守っていくべきだと思う。 いつかは何かの形で海外でもやるかも知れない けど、基本としてはこういう考えがあります。 I often get told by foreigners and Japanese alike that I should work with Japanese Landscaping abroad. Well, it is true that I would make a lot more money from it.. But when I quit doing teaching and translating to become a gardener apprentice I didn't do it for the money. I believe that Japanese landscaping, being genuine Japanese culture, should be preserved in its traditional state here in Japan first of all. I can't deny that I maybe will be involved in some project doing this abroad in the future, but this is a core belief of mine that I will carry with me. #japan

A post shared by Tatsumasa Murasame 村雨 辰剛 (@tatsumasa.murasame) on

▼ Here he appeared on a show called More Japanese Than a Japanese Person.

▼ Murasame has also modelled for Tokyo Graffiti magazine, dressed as a “Neo-Tokyoite”

ネオ東京人 @tokyo_graffiti 4月号

A post shared by Tatsumasa Murasame 村雨 辰剛 (@tatsumasa.murasame) on

▼ And he’s a keen bodybuilder who competes in bodybuilding competitions.

▼ Helping him with his workouts at home is his adorable tortoiseshell cat.


A post shared by Tatsumasa Murasame 村雨 辰剛 (@tatsumasa.murasame) on


A post shared by Tatsumasa Murasame 村雨 辰剛 (@tatsumasa.murasame) on

Murasame’s main passion, though, is gardening, where he uses traditional tools and techniques to prune Japanese pine trees…


A post shared by Tatsumasa Murasame 村雨 辰剛 (@tatsumasa.murasame) on


A post shared by Tatsumasa Murasame 村雨 辰剛 (@tatsumasa.murasame) on

▼ Set up New Year’s Kadomatsu decorations…


A post shared by Tatsumasa Murasame 村雨 辰剛 (@tatsumasa.murasame) on

▼ And maintain bonsai plants.

#Bonsai maintenance #盆栽 手入れ中

A post shared by Tatsumasa Murasame 村雨 辰剛 (@tatsumasa.murasame) on

▼ Warning: thirst trap alert!

To keep up with Murasame’s many passions and pursuits, be sure to check out his accounts on Instagram and Twittter. While there’s no doubt that the hardworking landscaper has a bright future ahead of him, if he’s ever in need of a change of pace, we’re sure these guys wouldn’t mind hanging out with him!

Source: Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Instagram/tatsumasa.murasame