• July 27, 2021
    • October 21, 2022

    Business Tips: Return to Local Wood Consumption due to Wood Shock

    We are still dependent on wood The “wood shock” has still cast a big shadow over our industry. As many of you know, it’s one of the social problems caused by the COVID. As more people tend to work remotely at home, the demand of housing and renovation rises abruptly. The trend is so abrupt that the supply of wood can’t keep up. Accordingly, the price of wood is going up sky-high. This knockabout reminds us of a simple and powerful truth: we are still dependent a lot on this old material (wood), even in the time when carbon, rare metals, nanofibers, etc. are hailed as future materials. We choose to coexist with nature Another thing coming up to my mind during the wood shock is the Epic of Gilgamesh. It is the oldest epic prepared in Mesopotamia about 5000 years ago. King Gilgamesh went to the forest of Lebanon […]

    • July 19, 2021
    • December 6, 2022

    Which Is Better, Leather, Suede, or Alcantara?

    Once fabric was more luxurious than leather Once upon a time, when the nobility used to use a horse carriage, leather was used for the coachman seat; fabric for the passenger seat inside the coach. Time passed, in the modern period when the main means of transportation was replaced by cars, the situation changed 180 degrees. Genuine leather is thought to be standard for luxury car seats across the world. In this current situation, I think the only option alternative to genuine leather would be Alcantara. Car lovers especially Ferrari fans highly coveted it. Alcantara is almost a synonym for luxury artificial leather. In fact, it is a name of a brand and also a company in Italy. The company is a joint venture with a Japanese major chemical company, TORAY. It was a Japanese scientist that invented the artificial leather. Alcantara, artificial but eco-friendly material Some people may be […]

    • March 18, 2021
    • October 14, 2022

    Japanese Culture and Traditions: Typical Japanese Office Environment Has Changed

    Changes due to remote work Do we still need an office? This discussion gets lively everywhere because remote work becomes common due to the COVID. The anti-office people are arguing there’re many advantages: productivity improvement by concentration improvement; more effective use of time by no commuting; stress-free from relationships at work. Before the COVID, I had a lot of business trips and was rarely in the office. Funnily enough, I once worked remotely but now work here in the office, against the times. Let me share what I, unfamiliar with working in the office for a long time, think about the discussion. The basic rules of typical Japanese offices In the first place, I think I should explain something more about the basic rules of typical Japanese offices. Executive desks are positioned at the window, closely facing to their team members. Private rooms are rare, only permitted for big bosses […]

    • March 12, 2021
    • September 26, 2022

    Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011: Be Idealists to Make Reality Close to Ideal

    The Great Tohoku Eearthquake was like the end of the world At the moment, I was in the building of the Ministry of Finance in the middle of Tokyo and thought I was going to die, staring out a window. Street lamp posts widely swang like a metronome needle in a slow tempo. After the quake subsided, someone turned on the TV. In silence, we just uselessly watched everything was swept away by the tsunami. This is about the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake that occured exactly 10 years ago. As most of you may still remember, the real nightmare came after the quake. We had to battle with the melt down of the nuclear power plant (NPP) destroyed by the tsunami. Even though we somehow survived through hell with support from all over the world, the current Prime Minister, in his policy speech last October, declared to build new NPPs, to […]

    • February 23, 2021
    • October 15, 2022

    Business Tips: How to Survive Meetings and Make You Look Smart Out There

    A hardship destined for Japanese workers You won’t read to the end of this article because the average human attention span is down to only eight seconds. It’s one second shorter than that of goldfish. I remember I read many articles mourning over the short human attention span when the above survey result was released some years ago. Today, it’s not about human attention span but about meetings that I hate. I don’t mean I hate unproductive meetings. I hate them because meetings themselves are basically unproductive. As a hardship destined for workers in Japan, I’ve endured a lot of meetings. In addition, we spend a lot of time to prepare meeting materials. What is even worse, a preparatory meeting is sometimes held beforehand. There may be more poor people who have to hold a pre-preparatory meeting. Anyway, we should limit meeting time to eight seconds for productivity. Tricks to […]

    • February 16, 2021
    • December 6, 2022

    Marketing Tips: We Tend to Soon Forget Products Disappearing from the Market

    Survivorship bias The headquarters of our company is in Hokkaido, the northern most area of Japan. The area is still the kingdom of brown bears. When I was a kid, my father often took me to rivers deep in the mountains to fish, always exploding firecrackers to avoid bears. He often told me “When you encounter a bear, don’t run, act dead.” It’s a kind of superstition widely believed here, but I always doubted it, saying to myself “How do we know that’s correct? We can’t listen to people who failed.” Later on, I learned it was survivorship bias. It is the reason why autobiographical books of successful people are good for nothing in most cases. Survivors survive because they just happened to survive fortunately. In most cases, success stories are difficult to be reproduced. So many things are forgotten As this may sound a little strange, everytime seeing removal […]

    • January 28, 2021
    • October 13, 2022

    Psychology Trivia: Buy Less, Choose Well, Make It Last (Vivian Westwood)

    A shift to adulthood in perspective The political turmoil over the US presidential election seems to have settled down, but there still have been a lot of related news. In the aftermath of the election, I found a name that hasn’t been seen for a year or two. It’s Greta Thunberg. I didn’t mean to discuss the rights and wrongs of her words and actions. As a matter of fact, her speech at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 made her world-famous. To be honest, my inner reaction left a strong impression on me, rather than the speech itself. At that time, I listened to her speech on the side of people who are criticized and responsible to the environmental problems she posed. I’ve finally realized I become an adult, though it’s too late for my age. Roles of youth and adults In my youth, the same as many other […]