• December 20, 2021
    • April 22, 2022

    Do You Know How Neo Got Stronger in the Matrix?

    The long awaited release of The Matrix Ressurections! “The Matrix Ressurections” was just released in Japan on 17th December, first in the world. Dodge this? No way! I will go to a theater this Sunday, the very first day of my year-end vacation. Due to its complex storyline, it has many different interpretations. Spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen any of the series! Since I knew that Neo (or a savior story) was also a part of the Matrix for AI to learn human thought processes and update its system, almost all the events in the movies came to easily make sense to me. To be honest, there’s one exception. Was Trinity’s kiss required to revive Neo, though he himself is the almighty Matrix? It’s “super compensation” that makes Neo get stronger It seems many people have the same doubt as me. You can find many different interpretations on […]

    • December 17, 2021
    • May 11, 2022

    What We Do on New Year’s Eve in Japan

    What we do for Christmas in Japan Almost all the cities are filled with Christmas decorations in this season, though the percentage of the Christian population is only 1% in Japan. As I wrote before, we are good at cream-skimming other cultures but may be wrong a little about Christmas. Guess what the Japanese Christmas specialty food. Surprisingly, it’s KFC! In fact, you can’t get it without a reservation in Christmas time in Japan. This is said to have started from a lie by a shop manager of KFC in 1970. He spread it around “Everyone eats fried chicken in Western countries in Christmas time!” He must have been a genius marketer, and KFC Holdings Japan, Ltd. owes a fortune to him. Year-end cleaning after Christmas You can see the distinctive feature of our cream-skimming skills right after Christmas day. All the decorations are quickly removed; people don’t even look […]

    • December 14, 2021
    • May 11, 2022

    The World Is Going Back to the Era of Magic

    Even now, many things are black-boxed to us Once upon a time, fortune-tellers, exorcists, or shaman offered prayers to forecast the weather, cure diseases, etc. That would look primitive, idyllic, and non-scientific to people today including me. Do you think we are progressing? I don’t know how Amazon knows my tastes, though I very often bought books as it recommends. I spend much time in using a PC and smartphone every day, but if they go weird even a little, the least I can do is just to curse and ask for help from a tech. What is the difference between the past and the present? As some sociologists have claimed for the couple of years, it seems the world is back to the era of magic. People want to see the process Most of the major restaurant chains employ a system called a “central kitchen.” It’s like a cooking […]

    • December 10, 2021
    • May 11, 2022

    What We Can Learn from the Best Chef in Japan

    A long ascetic practice is meaningless? Once, it was said that 11 years were required to become a full-fledged sushi chef. Young people had to bear up long working hours, which was taken for granted in the Japanese artisan industries. The pros and cons have been discussed for several years, and many people now come to think it’s just useless. They claim even high school kids can reach the level of a full-fledged sushi chef if they have good and fresh ingredients and a perfect recipe quantified in detail. As the metaphor of high school kids may be exaggerating, I think their claim would be logically correct. The best chef in Japan is a man of ascetic habits Kiyomi Mikuni is the most famous Japanese chef born in Hokkaido. He grew up in extreme poverty. Soon after graduating from junior high school, he started to work for a rice dealer […]

    • December 6, 2021
    • May 11, 2022

    Do You Know How to Make Snow Scupltures?

    We can never gain back lost systems or know-how More than 30 years ago, Japanese main railway operations were run by the government. Since the full privatization, many rail lines have been abandoned especially in rural areas like here in Hokkaido. If we only pursue efficiency, we probably should gather and live only in city areas. I’m going to hate to lose diverse regional cultures, though. Neoliberalism still tries to accelerate the shift from the public to the private sector. Such people seem to believe we can be back to a previous state if we fail, but things are not that simple. It’s really difficult or almost impossible to gain back lost systems or know-how. JSDF is an artisan group of snow sculptures Sapporo Snow Festival (SSF) and Asahikawa Winter Festival (AWF) are the two main festivals in Hokkaido in winter. They are unfeasible without support from the public sector, […]

    • December 3, 2021
    • May 11, 2022

    How to Make a Value Shift and New Hierarchy

    Toyota Prius was just in time for the 21st century Do you know the animation movie, Astro Boy? It was released in Hollywood in 2009, though it wasn’t a big hit. The origin of the movie is a Japanese classic comic book. The story was set in the future (the 21st century, the future as of 50’s). I’m sure almost all the Japanese people older than me (around 40 years old) can sing the opening song. Such a popular but old comic book character was used in a car commercial in 1997. Guess what car. It was Toyota Prius, with a slogan: “Just in time for the 21st century.” The commercial was great to impress many people older than driving age including me. Watching the commercial, we realized the gap between the coming 21st century and the one we dreamed of when we were kids. What Toyota Prius changed Indeed, […]

    • November 30, 2021
    • May 11, 2022

    Better to Buy Something Good That Will Last

    I’m sure the king of shoes is John Lobb The king of beasts is a lion. The king of fruits is a durian. What do you think the king of shoes is? I believe it would be John Lobb. It may have not yet become common sense like the rankings of animals and fruits, but I expect I’m not the only one who thinks that way. They are the symbol of strength, stylishness, and smartness, though it may be influenced a lot by James Bond. These days, I’m into YouTube videos of shoe repair, where I saw John Lobb shoes were repaired to be so beautiful as if they were new. I feel like I understand why they are called the king of shoes. We are forced to seek out the best price buy As I wrote sometimes ago, I’m not so interested in things and owning things. It would […]

    • November 26, 2021
    • April 23, 2022

    The Reason Hokkaido Is the Best Place to Ski

    One area in Hokkaido sees super rise in land price Ginza is the area in Tokyo well known as a luxury area. The above image is Ginza 4th block’s intersection. The area holds the highest land price record in Japan: about 500,000 USD/sqm. On the other hand, the average land price is less than 200 USD/sqm around here in Asahikawa, Hokkaido. However, if it’s about the appreciation rate of land price, the No.1 area is in Hokkaido. It’s Niseko. The land price increased at about 50% last year, staying on top in the appreciation rate of land price for these six years. Even during the COVID crisis, foreign companies have continued to buy land, and the boom of construction of luxury resort hotels has never stopped. It’s Niseko, developed by one Australian guy More than 20 years ago, Niseko was just a small town, where local poor college students like […]

    • November 23, 2021
    • April 27, 2022

    Do You Know the Color of the Universe?

    The world is still full of mysteries About 20 years ago, when my sister was still about 10 years old, she asked me “Why do clothes look dark when wet? Water is colorless though.” I’m sure she asked idly without thinking so much, but the question flustered me a lot. Now I know it was exactly the arrogance and ignorance of youth (or only me younger days). I was arrogantly surprised at that time to find that there are still things that I don’t know, even among daily little events. By the way, are you interested in the answer to the question? It’s because water is low in optical reflectance. It’s about half as much as that of glass. That may contrast with the impression you get from the sparkling surface of the seas and rivers, though. The color of the universe is beige: Cosmic latte Speaking of colors, what […]

    • November 19, 2021
    • May 13, 2022

    How to Perform the Strength Test of Chairs

    All the Japanese classrooms look exactly the same All the Japanese classrooms look similar at any time and place. My major in college is education. I had visited many schools and found classrooms looked surprisingly uniform. As some of you may say “Likewise in my country,” but I think the uniformity of Japanese classrooms is by far more than yours. The main cause would be the classroom desks and chairs, I guess. You can see the same sets in no matter which school you visit in Japan. There’s almost no difference other than scribbles on them. Classroom desks and chairs are exposed to tough conditions Funnily enough, what students do with the chairs is also the same: tilting their chairs back. I bet you’ve done this before. Tilting your chair back and sometimes falling when getting beyond the point of no return. Students of inquiring mind try to figure out […]