Stella Kaoruko

Back to Contents of Issue: August 2000

If business smarts and a reputation for strong psychic powers is a winning recipe for finding a charismatic guide to your destiny, then Stella Kaoruko is the person you need to be in touch with. Unfortunately, you may not be able to reach her. From Monday to Friday, Stella spends her daytime hours at Work@Inc. designing computer applications and new fortune telling products. Saturdays are set aside for consulting sessions with her students and new clients. Evenings are reserved for face-to-face consultations over dinner with high-powered business clients and politicians. She finds these face-to-face sessions the most satisfying because she can observe the whole person, listen to their voice and words, and interact with the client directly. This is when she can bring her extra-sensory powers of clairvoyance into full play.

Stella believes that individual destinies are hardwired into the stars and planets. Astrology starts with the "bricks," the basic building blocks: everyone is born in a specific place, on a certain date, and at a certain time. The connection between these factors and the planetary alignments shapes our destinies. Business, Stella maintains, is the same. Investor moods shift for unknown reasons and markets respond. "Compared to what the stars tell us," Stella asks, "is there any better explanation for the movements of the stock market today? Everybody needs advice and what I offer is about as scientific as it gets." So what does Stella do in her free time? To recharge her spiritual batteries, she travels abroad frequently, especially to Hawaii for relaxation and the mainland USA for the stimulation. Ronald A. Morse of Reitaku University in Tokyo spoke with "Stella" at Work@Inc. just after she got back from Korea.

When did you first become aware of your spiritual powers?
I have had exceptional spiritual encounters since as far back as I can recall. I began studying astrology and fortune telling at age 14. At age 18, when I was in Los Angeles for language study, I had a vivid, mystical Poltergeist-like encounter that reaffirmed my psychic powers. To bring this into focus, I studied with known leaders in the field, mainly with one Western-trained astrologer named Genko Ishikawa.

By age 23, I was ready to test my ability in practical situations. It was then that I studied economics, because I wanted to be as confident about business affairs as I was about my spiritual insights. Today, all of that effort is paying off here at our company.

So when did you get started in business?
At age 32, I established the Amenty Company to develop fortune telling-related arcade game software for Sega and other companies. This line of business is no longer very profitable. The next step was to set-up Work@Inc. to develop Internet software. Work@Inc. is a content provider. This "bricks2clicks" move allowed us to integrate my special astrological talents with the capabilities of in-house software designers and twentysomething computer experts. With everyone working from the same script, we can move swiftly and efficiently in meeting market needs and new product development.

With the ISPs, our focus was on Tarot Cards, which, like the astrological details of one's birthright, provide a vehicle to link the world around us with the spiritual forces shaping individual destinies. I am now designing my own Tarot Cards. Users pay each time they access one of my Internet fortune-telling sites.

We also provide customized versions of this Internet model to corporations for use on their own home pages. This allows customers who access the corporate sites to explore how their preferences relate to the products offered on the sites. Users can tailor their product choices through self-analysis right on the site. Now, I am focused on information software services that reach mass markets. Since May, my fortune telling services have been available on the NTT DoCoMo i-mode Internet browsing service and on J-Phone.

What else are you experimenting with?
In June 2000, I started "Kaoruko's Fortune Café" in Korea in the Korean language. This is a cellular phone venture between SK Telecom, which has 50 percent of the Korean mobile telephone market, and Hyundai. I hope to be operating in China and the United States before too long.

In August 2000, we are shifting back to astrological fundamentals by offering a multi-menu site based on birth dates and the movement of the stars and planets. By next year, we will be working with NTT DoCoMo on W-CDMA, which means that visual and sound effects can be included.

I also write regular monthly columns on telepathy, spiritual power, and the sixth sense in and Monique magazines. Ebook online publishing is also hot and, before long, we will be providing personalized 365-day fortune calendar diaries that can be ordered over the Net or in book stores.

Who accesses your sites?
Of the 35,000 DoCoMo users who checked out my site in May, 20,000 signed up for the monthly service. These are people in their early 20s to early 30s. Sixty percent are women, but access by men concerned about business matters is growing very rapidly. Of the 10,000 J-Phone users who accessed my fortune telling site in May 2000, 7,000 contracted for it on a monthly basis. J-Phone users are in their late-teens to early 20s. Seventy percent of the users are women.

What do you think motivates people to access your sites?
First and foremost, Japan is in the midst of a lifestyle revolution. These "digital" young people are at the center of a new future that they don't really understand. And because of the fragmentation of the family, younger people no longer have anyone to turn to for advice. Group cohesion is also weakening, leaving people with a sense of abandonment. Then there is the technology angle. The mobile phone, which they are comfortable with, permits use 24 hours a day with a high degree of personal privacy. Beside that, the Japanese have a long tradition of curiosity and trust in palm reading and Chinese fortune telling. Add all of this together and bingo -- you have a natural marketplace for the kind of services we provide.

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