• February 4, 2022
    • November 3, 2022

    Fight Lookism! No Two Wood Pieces Are Alike; Diversity Makes It Beautiful

    Can you judge apples by appearances? Apples are the most popular seasonal fruit in Japan in winter. You can see a lot of them piling up everywhere. My wife always goes straight to an apple stand in any supermarkets, though I don’t know whether it’s because my wife really likes them or just because they are cheap in this season. Anyway, I eat many apples in winter, apart from whether I like it or not. Her way of selecting apples looks like some magic ritual. With a serious look on her face, checking them from every angle, mumbling something, she carefully picks out the ones she thinks best. I don’t want to deny her efforts, but I can’t see any big difference in taste between what she and I chose, to be honest. Even careful selection is no guarantee It is said that about 30% of agricultural output is thrown […]

    • February 2, 2021
    • October 13, 2022

    Psychology Trivia: We Need Stories to Memorize

    Time exists because of the story memory technique As I wrote before, the definition of “time” is not completely settled in physics and philosophy. To be more precise, the existence of time is often an obstacle to prove the laws of physics. Apparently, it is doubtful in physics. Recently, I read an article by a neuroscientist. It said we felt the existence of time because we memorize as stories all sorts of things that happen in our lives. The story memory technique itself has long been known. The most famous one would be the memory palace method. Although I couldn’t understand even a half of the article, unfortunately, it has reinforced one of my beliefs: we need stories to live. Significant objects I suppose the famous marketing research “Significant Objects” is an example to show an aspect related to this human nature. It’s an experiment devised by Rob Walker and […]

    • January 26, 2021
    • October 15, 2022

    Psychology Trivia: We Can’t Be Free from Confirmation Bias

    There is no fate but confirmation bias According to my speculation, most of us feel a sense of destiny when we decide to buy something, especially when it’s big-ticket items such as houses and cars. We may happen to see some articles saying “Now is the best time to buy!” Or we may remember our horoscopes we saw in some magazine. No offense, but there’s no such destiny in our buying behavior. It’s confirmation bias. Me? Of course, always biased, the same as before. I have been trading stocks for years. In most cases when I place orders, I feel like I found secret signs that only a genius can see. Guess what happened next? I stopped facing the reality (the decreasing balance of my brokerage account). Be wary of confirmation bias. Swallow your pride and face up to reality Destiny doesn’t guide us to significant information. We always seek […]

    • January 18, 2021
    • October 15, 2022

    Heros Are Ordinary People Who Make Themselves Extraordinary

    Status quo bias Have you ever experienced the Japanese commuter rush in the morning? No? Lucky you. While living in Tokyo, I had endured the cruel treatment every morning for more than three years. On the platform of any station in Japan, door positions are marked up. Seeing long queues at the marks on the platform, morning commuters sigh at the thought of a great trip ahead. Strangely enough, people in respective morning commute queues were always almost the same. Me? Yes, always in the same queue without a rational reason. I don’t think other people also would have had a particular reason. Every morning, the usual faces in my queue reminded me that I was firmly caught up in the status quo bias. It seems human beings really dislike changes. Today, I didn’t mean to criticize from a height, saying “You should change,” but try to defend the human […]

    • January 14, 2021
    • September 27, 2022

    b8ta Launched in Japan: Now Is the Age of Just-Looking Customers

    What is b8ta? The epoch-making business was born in the Silicon Valley in 2015. It’s b8ta, and finally arrived in Tokyo, Japan last year. Let me explain their business model in very short. The shop of b8ta is divided into some compartments. Brands display their products at the compartments by paying a certain amount of money to b8ta. The monthly fixed rate includes everything, like the costs of staff, inventory management, logistics support, POS, etc. The highlight of their system is detailed marketing data provided to brands. The number of customers stopping at a product, how long a customer picked up a product, not to mention demographic data. Many latest sensing devices watch all the customer responses, and b8ta provides those data to brands. This concept of their business impressed me most. The main purpose of b8ta shops is not to sell products. They call their business as RaaS (Retail […]

    • November 10, 2020
    • October 13, 2022

    Psychology Trivia: The Measure of Intelligence Is the Ability to Change

    What is the standard of beauty? Modesty is such a holy word in Japan. We hardly ever hear people brag about even their relatives, not to mention themselves. It is considered as a virtue to be modest or humble. However, the magic of love or the curse of youthfulness seems to drive us crazy sometimes. When I was a college student, there was a friend who boasted a lot about his girlfriend. He always said “She is gorgeous and looks like XXX (actress name I forgot).” One day, I saw him walk with the girlfriend. It was the first time for me to see her. She was just different from what I imagined from what he had said to me. Since then, human evaluation criteria especially in beauty has been in my research list. As I wrote before an article about beauty, this article is a little different from the […]

    • November 6, 2020
    • October 15, 2022

    Business Tips: Great Expectations Are Hope That the Sun Also Rises

    The wane of the king TOYOTA Elon Musk started TESLA in 2003. Only 17 years from then, he finally snatched the world top position from TOYOTA in the total market value. The news made me feel the big change of the times and somehow remember a scene from the movie “BACK TO THE FUTURE.” Doc said “No wonder this circuit failed; it says Made in Japan.” Marty said back “What do you mean, Doc? All the best stuff is made in Japan.” I imagine if someone came from the future to the present time, s/he might be surprised to see cars are still made in Japan. Today, rather than just mourning the economic downfall of Japan, I’d like to express my appreciation for the heritage inherited from our ancestors. The dawn of the Japanese manufacturers When I first saw the movie, I was just under 10 years old, not a […]

    • September 16, 2020
    • October 12, 2022

    Japanese Culture and Traditions: Big Brother Is Always Watching You in Japan

    A popular Japanese joke On a ship with people from various countries, you’re the first to notice the ship is sinking. What to say to make the people escape and jump in the water? To American people: “Jump, and you’ll be a hero!” To British people: “A true gentleman/lady would jump.” To French people: “Do not jump!” To German people: “The regulations say we must jump.” To Japanese people: “Everybody else has already jumped.” This is a very famous joke in Japan. I think it expresses one of the Japanese characteristics very well. In most junior-high and high schools, teachers tell us to behave the same as everybody else. At home, parents scold their kids, saying “No one would do something like that!” The only exception is when they beg for the same things as their friends have. If kids say “I want a new bicycle. My friend had one […]

    • August 19, 2020
    • October 13, 2022

    Economic Psychology Trivia: The Internet Narrows Your View

    The bounds of human imagination Do you think you can create an imaginary creature which is completely different from existing ones in this world? A unicorn looks like a subspecies of horse; a dragon is just a big lizard with wings. You see? They are imaginary but not so creative creatures. I think this question well expresses the bounds of human imagination. It’s very difficult or almost impossible for us even to imagine something we’ve never known. Today’s topic is a trap we’re likely to encounter in this information overload era. Echo chamber enhanced by the Internet When I was a college student, it always took time to write essays because I had to struggle with many books for evidence. Now, Google can make surveillance more quickly and accurately. It’s definitely true we can easily get much more information on the internet, but here is a trap we need to […]

    • May 26, 2020
    • October 24, 2022

    Psychology Trivia: What Is Beauty? How Do You Define Beauty?

    Functional beauty? Unfunctional things are not beautiful? When I was younger, I loved sports cars. That was normal for newly licensed drivers in the good old days, but things have changed a lot with the times. In Japan, most of the young people are no longer interested in cars, let alone sports cars. Moreover, ordinary engine cars are getting replaced by electric cars year by year. Sports cars are threatened with extinction. Speaking of sports cars, I strongly believed at that time that they were a symbol of beauty, because every detail of sports cars is designed only for speed. They are collections of correct answers as a means of transportation. In other words, sports cars are functionally correct. The young me simply thought that would be the reason why they look beautiful. Indeed, such an easy logic once comforted me to some degree but later provoked some smoldering questions. […]