Psychology Trivia: The Ability to Change Is The Wisdom of Humanity


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, and she was… she was different from what I imagined from what he had said to me. She was so different that I couldn’t greet them. 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 one. I’m focusing more on a subject to evaluate things, rather than an object to be evaluated.

Our tastes have changed with times

The point of the above story is that evaluation criteria can change. I’m sure everyone would have the similar experience like this. Old photographs of an ex-girl/boyfriend give you a different impression from what you had before. According to the abstract of the column I recently read, beauty is originated from a pleasure feeling. The article continued that psychological pleasure was more important among our pleasure feelings, and that relationships with others created psychological pleasure in us. What feels psychological pleasure is our ego. It is designed flexible to maintain various human relationships. Consequently, our evaluation criteria in beauty are likely to change.

Our special table collection. The table top has strong characters such as knots, knobs, etc.

Some decades ago, wood with unique grains such as knots and knobs was still regarded as defective material. Nevertheless, we started to use it for our specific table collection for the effective use of resources. Our founder strongly believed it’d be human ego to judge wood only by its looks. Initially, complaints sometimes came in, but now the table collection has grown to one of the mainstay items. As you might guess, it’d be the result of the product concept going with the times. To be more precise, according to the above theory, people’s evaluation criteria in beauty have changed due to environmental consciousness. I know this article has turned out like a so-what conclusion, but I hope you will like our furniture made of wood with natural characters as shown in the above image.

A corporate logo, the letters of C and H are combined to look like a tree in a circle

Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.