At 82, Wakamiya Masako Masters Programming and Launches an iPhone Game

From bank retiree to global tech sensation: Delve into the inspirational journey of Masako, an 87-year-old app developer, breaking age barriers and leading a digital revolution for seniors

At 82, Wakamiya Masako Masters Programming and Launches an iPhone Game

Wednesday September 20, 2023,

3 min Read

In Japan, where the population is rapidly aging, a vibrant spark of innovation has emerged, brightening the path for older adults venturing into the digital realm. Meet the brilliant Wakamiya Masako, an 87-year-old dynamo proving that age is just a number when it comes to technological ingenuity.

Not content with a quiet retirement after a four-decade-long banking career, Masako decided to bridge the gap she noticed in the tech market: a shortage of smartphone apps designed for the elderly. With a determined spirit, she set out on a mission to bring the joy of digital comfort to her contemporaries.

Imagine the surprise of many when Masako transformed into an adept app developer, thanks to a fortuitous encounter with Tesseract's president, Koizumi Katsushiro. Accepting his challenge to create an app herself, with his guidance, Masako dove headfirst into the world of coding. Within six months, she mastered the art, designing an app that would bring joy and connectivity to many.

Her creation, "Hinadan", is a delightful game rooted in the cultural traditions of the Hinamatsuri festival, inviting users to engage in a joyful puzzle involving the arrangement of beautiful Japanese dolls. The app serves as a delightful bridge to the digital world for older adults, garnering praise and recognition globally.

Masako's refreshing approach to later life, which includes stirring speeches at UN conferences and insightful books, has shattered age stereotypes. She embodies the essence of a fulfilling, innovative post-retirement life, encouraging a wave of seniors to explore the vibrant potentials that lie ahead, unhindered by age.

Masako didn't stop at app development. She turned the seemingly mundane Excel spreadsheets into canvases for art, igniting a creative spark among seniors and encouraging them to explore the artistic possibilities within technology.

As she travels across Japan sharing her empowering message, Masako leaves behind a trail of inspired and rejuvenated individuals. She's a living testimony that the golden years can be a time of exciting innovation and discovery, reshaping societal views about aging.

In Masako's vibrant narrative, stepping onto new paths is a triumph, a global anthem urging individuals to embrace life's later stages with fervor and an innovative spirit. As she aptly shows, life can indeed become more thrilling after 60, a beacon of hope and inspiration amidst Japan's shifting demographics.

As we stand at the threshold of a new era where a significant portion of Japan's population will soon be over 65, Masako is a radiant beacon of potential, illuminating a pathway of joy, exploration, and innovation post-retirement, painting the golden years with hues of excitement and hope.