There was a featured article in the Nov. 3 -Nov. 24, 2014 Working World magazine entitled “The Best Bosses Are…” It was very well-written and stipulated the ten traits of a good boss, which prompted me to write this article.

First of all, the important person pertaining to our jobs is Mr. Michael Komai, the publisher of The Rafu Shimpo. Without him, none of us would have a job. Mr. Komai is a kind and big-hearted person. He generously treats us to “snacks,” etc. from time to time. He thoughtfully thanks us with a monetary gift every Thanksgiving and Christmas. THANK YOU, Mr. Komai!

My two previous bosses at **The Rafu Shimpo,** John Saito Jr. and Ellen Endo, and my present boss, Gwen Muranaka, have overwhelmingly met the qualifications of a best boss. As noted, I took a sentence from each trait and commented on it.

During the decades I have been employed, I can honestly say that I did not have a boss I did not enjoy except for two, and they fired me! I can honestly admit the feeling was mutual, ha!


“A good boss facilitates innovation.”

Had NOT my first boss at The Rafu, John Saito Jr., motivated me, I would not be at here today. I was ready to resign after a week in October 1999, since the “newness” of the job was too much for me to handle. However, Mr. Saito encouraged me and gave me confidence to stick to the innovation of my job. I am so grateful for his confidence in me and I have now completed 15 years of employment.


“A good boss helps employees build confidence by giving assignments that require new skills and right-sized risk.”

My first assignment was the retyping of “The Horse’s Mouth” and I constantly wished and prayed that I could have a column of my own.

In 2012, my prayers were answered when Gwen gave me my own column, “Maggie’s Meow,” which has given me profound joy.


“Good bosses listen to their employees and show an interest in their opinion.”

John Saito Jr. was always there for me to answer any and all my questions and always greeted me with a warm “Good morning, Maggie” as he passed by my desk.

Ellen Endo acted as my “attorney” in a legal matter when as a pedestrian, I was hit by a car driven by a woman using a cell phone.

Gwen has never criticized or changed the subject matter or contents within my articles, indicating that she cares that it is my article.


“Good bosses can make hard choices and have the finesse needed to get people behind even sometimes unpopular decisions.”

Gwen was kind enough to forgo my responsibility regarding the Religious Calendar and had another staff person take charge, even though she had to make staff changes regarding working assignments.


“They articulate a sense of direction, map out the path and shepherd the process.”

Being an editor of newspaper, Gwen must have and does have this sense of a future state. She is aware of public opinions and readers’ comments of what is published in The Rafu Shimpo.


“Employees trust bosses they know to be intelligent, capable and have a demonstrated track record of acting in their best interest.”

John Saito Jr. and Ellen Endo were most intelligent and met the needs of Rafu readers and they, too, had a sense of direction.

Gwen has the keen intelligence needed to be an editor of a newspaper. I firmly believe it takes a “certain” type of person to be a newspaper editor and Gwen is truly this “certain” type.


“Every employee comes to the workplace with unique experiences, needs and cultural lenses that will require individualized attention and support.”

No matter how occupied John Saito Jr. and Ellen Endo were, they took time to meet my needs and advise me.

Gwen is accessible at all times and she has never said, “I’m busy now,” as a previous boss (in another workplace) once told me.


When I had surgery and was out of the office for six months, Gwen’s great passion made my life more bearable through extremely troubled times. She called me several times after working hours, picked up my medication and delivered it to my apartment, 14 miles from work. She took time from work and took me grocery shopping. This is indeed being passionate.

Gwen’s passion made it possible for other staff members of The Rafu to share in purchasing medication and delivering it to me and do necessary grocery shopping for me. I will always remember Gwen and the staff members for their kindness and love for me.



“Champions look for opportunities to catch their employees doing a good job.”

Gwen encourages me about my column and shares with me what positive comments readers have told her.

10. FUN

“Good bosses are willing to laugh and value a work environment.”

Gwen is a happy person and is willing to laugh with the staff. She is not the “bossy” type of person and enjoys a good time. She makes everyone feel like “family” and the seven English staff members love her.

In conclusion may I say to John Saito Jr., THANK YOU and Ellen Endo, THANK YOU. I THANK God for Gwen because she is so praiseworthy and such a Best Boss through these many years.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May you also have the good fortune to have a best boss.

Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist and can be reached at Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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