• May 24, 2022
    • October 14, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: What Is Good about Travel by Train?

    Trains are still the king of transportation for tourism Which transportation do you think is best for your trip? By air, sea, or road? According to a report by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the share of travel by train is highest in the domestic market in Japan. The number-based share of travel by train was about 70% in 2020, and has been increasing year by year, along with a trend that young people turn away from driving. It’s not only about the Japanese people. Almost the same thing can be said about tourists from overseas. The share of rail transportation for such tourists to move around Japan is about 55%. For your information, the second is public bus service with a share of about 30%. The advantages of train transportation over other means I don’t know if it’s the same in your countries, but there are […]

    • February 1, 2022
    • October 12, 2022

    Japanese Culture and Traditions: A Hero or Villain? The Truth of Godzilla

    Godzilla becomes an academic research subject in Japan In my childhood, I memorized even the height and weight of many monsters in Godzilla movies, let alone their names. I’m sure I would have annoyed many people around me by proudly showing off the knowledge, and also my parents would have wanted me to apply the same level of passion to study. Godzilla is a super movie content known to everyone in Japan and many people even outside Japan. It can be said the most popular Japanese movie series especially outside Japan. Mmany people, like film critics, marketing professionals, and even university professors have published study on it. The explanation that sounds most feasible to me is “Godzilla is the metaphor of nature.” Indeed, it has destroyed many cities many times, but has shown no animosity or hatred to humans, though making no apologies as well. Godzilla makes us remember a […]

    • 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 […]

    • December 22, 2020
    • October 21, 2022

    Business Tips: Empathy to Others Is the Key to Survival in Business

    The business world is a battlefield where wolves are killing each other? In the movie “Wolf of Wall Street,” Jordan Belfort sounded off “I’ve been telling you guys not to take no for an answer, to keep pushing, to not hang up the phone ‘til you get what you want.” In the movie “The Founder,” Dick McDonald regretted making a business partnership with Ray Kroc, saying “There’s a wolf in the hen house.” The business world is a battlefield where wolves are ruthlessly killing each other. Many people would think like that. At least, I did. When I worked at the Ministry of Finance, what unfolded right before my eyes was exactly that. One mistake can lead to the end of a career. The mistakes of others taste like honey. IT giants are not wolves As naturally imagining the same dramas would happen in Silicon Valley, I was surprised by […]

    • December 18, 2020
    • October 13, 2022

    Economy Trivia: He Is Rich That Has Few Wants

    International Division of Labor In these past few years, I’ve come to see many conveyor-belt sushi restaurants in any place around the world. I don’t know the price range of those restaurants overseas. In Japan, conveyor-belt sushi restaurants are thought to be cheap, like fast food restaurants. About 30 years ago, sushi was still a special treat even for Japanese people. It was only a birthday and the last day of the year when I could eat sushi in my childhood. It’s not only about food. I believe you can think of many other examples similar to this. Do you know how these changes happen? Because we get rich? Due to productivity improvement? They may be partially correct and wrong. I believe the main reason would be “International Division of Labor (IDOL).” This spell will come back to bite us. The result of a harsh international competition If you’re interested […]

    • December 11, 2020
    • October 13, 2022

    Direct Marketing: The Restoration of Humanity and Communication

    The benefit of direct marketing Until last year, before the COVID pandemic, I traveled around the world and saw many people on business. Now, my life (work) style has changed significantly. I just go to work and straight back home. Although people around me would feel the same way, I’m fed up with seeing the same faces at work and home every day. This big change has told me a lot. How much I like my past life (work) style, even though that was always a series of all-night trips. How much important changes and communication with people are to me. I may ask too much for life, but we social animals are not satisfied only with food and drink. Would you agree? If yes, direct marketing is highly recommended for you. Marketing finely tuned for each customer In my definition, the key point of direct marketing is two-way communication. […]

    • December 4, 2020
    • September 25, 2022

    The Secret of Memory: Why Memories Are Always More Beautiful Than Reality

    Our memories are glorified When I was a kid, my father often took me to rivers, lakes, etc. to fish. In one of my unforgettable memories was a small river. There were some small waterfalls aligned in a row. I fished a lot! Oddly enough, my father always says he doesn’t know such a place. To make matters worse, he says I’ve never fished such a lot. Since then, I’ve been interested in this psychological phenomenon where our memories are glorified. I know brain science has already found out the structure. That is very simple: we make minor changes every time recalling memories. We recall good memories more frequently because feeling good. Consequently, good memories change more and better. That makes sense but is just boring (and difficult to be associated with our promotion), and so, let me share my own theory. Because our life is non-reproducible It’s like this. […]

    • November 24, 2020
    • September 25, 2022

    What Is a Home? Where Is Your Home?

    The definition of a home Where are you from? Because of my work (overseas sales), I’ve exchanged this question many times with many people around the world. There have been many people living outside their countries of origin. Some of them said they would be back after retirement; others said they would stay out there for the rest of their lives. Every time this question comes up in conversation, I’ve got more and more interested and come to think deeply about the definition of a “home.” Is it a place where you were borne, you lived longest, or your parents live? How do you define it? Where are you from? A home is a place to go back to By the way, do you like TED talks? I do and one day happened to find a good definition of a “home” in one of them thrown by Pico Iyer. He […]

    • 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 […]

    • November 3, 2020
    • January 1, 2023

    The Charm of Hokkaido: Hunger Is the Best Sauce

    A home is a place to long for from a distance A journey itself is worthless, but it’s what we learn from a journey that counts. It is a part of the subject of my previous article. As some of the readers may notice, it is inspired by the words of Marcel Proust. The above image is not him but Marcus Tullius Cicero, by the way. Marcel Proust says “The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” I have lived in many places so far, and so, I feel like I can have some new eyes, hopefully. Today, let me introduce a funny characteristic of local people of Hokkaido that I can find from a distance through my new eyes. Hokkaido is the northern-most part of Japan. Because of a long winter, we Hokkaido people are under the spell of snow even […]