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    • December 6, 2022
    • December 7, 2022

    Japanese Culture and Traditions: Factory Tours for School Educational Trips

    Our general impression on the sea of trees in the foot of Mt. Fuji Even if you have not been to Japan before, I believe many of you have heard the name of the highest and most beautiful mountain in Japan. Yes, it’s Mt. Fuji, or Fujiyama, but do you know that the sea of trees around Mt. Fuji is very famous as a suicide spot. As I studied the reason, I found it was because of a TV drama that was very popular in 1960s. What a big influence! Even now, when we hear the name of the sea of trees, what comes up first in our mind is suicide. Now that you’ve known that the sea of trees is a famous suicide spot, the above image may look very creepy, but it was well-known as a beautiful scenic site before the TV drama was aired. Recently, I just […]

    • November 30, 2022
    • December 5, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Japan is the Kingdom of Planetarium

    When did you last go to the planetarium? If you haven’t been there for a long time, like since you were a kid, you should go. It would be much more fun than you think. When a show starts in pitch darkness, I always get overwhelmed by a huge number of stars that look to reach to my eyes, and feel like being hurled off into space. Planetarium shows remind me that I rarely look up at the night sky. In fact, we can’t see such a sky full of stars in real life because of the city lights, though. I went to the planetarium two times this month. The first time, I fell asleep as soon as the show started. I know. It’s so embarrassing even for me to confess this after talking passionately about the attractiveness of the planetarium, but I’m the type of the person who will […]

    • November 24, 2022
    • November 25, 2022

    The Effective Use of Waste: We Donate Our Waste Leather

    Rosso Corsa. These Italian words mean the signature red color of Ferrari. When I was into Ferrari, I heard some myths about color mixing to realize Rosso Corsa. Some said the color of the primer (base coat) must be yellow to realize the passionate red, while others said it was just pink to develop the surface red brighter. It was still the dawn of the Internet, and I just enjoyed such dubious rumors. One day, I came across a book reporting the restoration of 365BB (a classic Ferrari car), and saw a picture of the signature red layer peeled off. Under Rosso Corsa was just greenish gray, the common color of primer. I learned the truth is boring. Since then, I have become interested and studied a little about car painting. As you may easily be able to imagine, the painting process of automobile factories is under automation and strict […]

    • October 25, 2022
    • October 25, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Hokkaido Is the Kingdom of Bread

    Many good bakeries in Hokkaido “How old are you?” “How old do I look?” Humans have made progress and finally landed on the Moon in 1969, but we continue to return a stupid question to a stupid question as above. When are we matured enough? Is this only in Japan? There are still more stupid questions very often exchanging between Japanese people including me like “Are you a cat person or a dog person?” “Which do you prefer for breakfast, bread or rice?” As some people may be surprised to hear the last question, Japan is not a rice country any more. The annual purchase volume of bread and rice becomes roughly even. Especially among other prefectures, our hometown Hokkaido is famous for bread because here is the kingdom of the agricultural (wheat) and dairy (milk) industries in Japan. There are many well-known bakeries, and one of the major groups […]

    • October 18, 2022
    • October 24, 2022

    How to Deal with Methane Emissions from Cows in Dairy Farms in Hokkaido

    Japan Customs and Coast Guard are different and separate organizations, but they very often work together especially at a sea port. For that reason, when working as a Customs official, I sometimes went for a drink with Coast Guard officials. One day when we were at some Japanese-style bar and I ate mantis shrimps, one of them said with a grin “Be careful to check if there’s human hair in it. When finding a drowned body in the sea, we always see them swam the body.” After hearing that, I can’t eat mantis shrimps. What decides our likes and dislikes is genetic and environmental factors, and negative memories as above are one of the major environmental factors. I believe you, too, have had that kind of experience. We can see how unstable and sensitive our sense of likes and dislikes is. Sorry in advance if I make you feel bad, […]

    • August 8, 2022
    • October 14, 2022

    Marketing Tips: Is a Dyson Vacuum Worth It? How Is It Unique?

    Dyson, the only entertaining vacuum cleaner in the world The only vacuum cleaner in the world. This sales copy made me pay for the highest-grade Dyson vacuum cleaner, though I’m not interested at all in home electronics and so much in cleaning itself. Sales copies seem to control our behaviors like this. Anyway, how do I like it? I’m completely satisfied with the product and take off my hat to their innovations. Mind you; it’s not about technical innovations. To be honest, I don’t think it’s very useful or more sophisticated than other vacuum cleaners in terms of functions. What I evaluate most is it’s just fun to use. I believe this is the core achievement of their innovations. In other words, Dyson has re-defined vacuum cleaners. Dyson vacuum clearners are not so good in usability As most of you may know that, Dyson vacuum cleaners don’t have a dust […]

    • July 21, 2022
    • September 17, 2022

    The Economics of Superstar: Billionaire Architects Will Emerge

    The e-sports industry grows to make million-dollar players Do you like video games? Me? I have no interest at all. When I was a kid, almost all the classmates had Nintendo Entertainment System, but I didn’t. No matter how hard I wished for it, my parents didn’t give the nod. Alternatively, I sometimes went to my friends’ houses to play video games, but it was not so fun because the friends were much better. When I was a college student, Biohazard was released. I bought PlayStation myself to play it. The time came when my dream came true, but probably it was too late. I didn’t get into it. Due to the background like this, I had no idea why e-sports are so trendy and how they can make sense as a business, until I learned the popularity of gameplay videos. It was unbelievable for me that there are many […]

    • July 13, 2022
    • September 2, 2022

    Won “Best of the Best” of the Red Dot Design Award!

    What is the attraction of the sport? Japan has more than 6000 high schools, about 4000 of which have a baseball team. Every summer, there’s a championship to decide the best team in Japan. Many people get excited, and fortunes are moved. On the other hand, people called a man with good sense raise voices against the trend, like “Don’t prey on the innocent effort of high school kids.” To be honest, I doubt if high school kids are such innocent, though. Another common criticism is “Too much emphasis is attached to high school baseball.” I think it’s valid. All the championship games are broadcast on TV for more than two weeks, which never happens in other high school sports. Of course, it’s not because most of the media tycoons are baseball fans but because high school baseball is much more popular than other high school sports. It’s the simple […]

    • July 4, 2022
    • October 14, 2022

    Economic Psychology: What If You Were the Last Person on Earth?

    What would I do if I were Will Smith? I like sci-fi stories (and movies). I think they are excellent thought experiments to create a completely different world, which always stimulate my interest. For example, “1984” by George Orwell is the story of what if the world is completely ruled by totalitarianism. “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” (the movie was titled “Blade Runner,” and I really like it) elaborates an imaginary world where androids evolve their intelligence to become more human than humans. The starter of this article is “I Am Legend” starring Will Smith. As most of you know, it’s the movie portraying the last man on earth. If you watched the movie, I believe you’ve imagined “What would I do if I were Will Smith?” In fact, I did many times and was shocked every time to find the simple fact that I can’t live long by […]

    • June 28, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: When Did We Forget How to Make Friends?

    Kids are the master of communicating with new people Last week, I went to Tokyo for business and found all the people in the subway train (in my view) just looked at their smartphones silently. I saw such a scene every day when I lived there, but I realized it was a weird and creepy view where people perfectly make the same posture with no expression on their faces. I don’t mean to loudly criticize it. On the contrary, it can be said to be the symbolic situation to show Japanese politeness. We just sit tight so as not to bother each other, but sometimes I can’t help thinking that this may be a big opportunity loss. The stranger sitting next to us by chance could be a good friend. Do you remember kids are the master of communicating with new people, and we all once were kids? I clearly […]