MONTH

2021年3月

    • March 29, 2021
    • June 25, 2022

    What Created Godzilla (Nissan GT-R)

    Nostalgia for legendary cars Nissan GT-R (R32), Mercedes Benz 500E. These monster cars were born in around the same time (around 1990). When I was a teenager, my friend’s father owned them both, and they sometimes gave me a drive. I will never forget the impression I had when riding in the cars for the first time. The start-dash of GT-R was just violent, though it was not normal but souped-up to more than 700 HP. I felt like being in a vault when riding in 500E. As it may sound like nostalgia from an old-timer, I don’t think such legendary cars will never be made again. In 90’s, car makers could spend more budget on product development, and legal restrictions (crash safety, environmental conservation, etc) were much less. I know social conditions have changed a lot since then, but the root of the reason why I’m dissatisfied lies somewhere […]

    • March 25, 2021
    • March 29, 2022

    The Revelation of the Pyramids

    It’s a public project to create employment It only took 20 years to make the pyramid of King Khufu by using many slaves. Is there anyone who still believes all this? Some decades ago, the Japanese biggest construction company (Obayashi Corporation) seriously calculated and estimated the construction period. Even if they tried with all their resources without limitation, it would take 5 years! I always thought the above legend of the pyramid construction would be too short time for people from about 4500 years ago. Think about it for a second. Pyramids are too high-quality for low-morale workforces like slaves without heavy machines. In my opinion, the construction of the pyramids would be a super-long-term public project to create employment and to enhance the national prestige. In fact, it’s not my own unique view but becomes one of the common theories these days, though. The evidence of a super-advanced civilization […]

    • March 22, 2021
    • April 13, 2022

    Japanese Summer Festivals for Local Community Ties

    What we lost by the COVID Last year (2020), the COVID prevented the Tokyo Olympic Games from being held. There was one more thing it took away from us: summer festivals. The number of Japanese summer festivals is said to be more than 300 thousands. They are held everywhere in Japan every year in late August. It’s a magical time especially for kids. Cheap candies given after a festival dance, food stands, fireworks, etc. Kids enjoy together with friends, missing the last days of their summer holidays. The COVID robbed us of such a seasonal tradition and even a sense of the seasons. Before going on writing about Japanese summer festivals, I think I should explain a little about Japanese religious views because summer festivals are originally religious events. They are originally religious events In Japan, we believe the spirits of ancestors are back during summer, and summer festivals are […]

    • March 18, 2021
    • March 29, 2022

    New Japanese Office Environment

    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 Japanese offices In the first place, I think I should explain something more about the basic rules of Japanese offices. Executive desks are positioned at the window, closely facing to their team members. Private rooms are rare, only permitted for big bosses if space […]

    • March 16, 2021
    • April 13, 2022

    Chairs Upholstered with Japan Blue Jeans

    Japanese natural indigo Indigo is a dye extracted from a plant. As Jeans may be a synonym for indigo, it was once used to dye fabric all over the world, not only in Japan. You may think most of the jeans are still dyed in indigo blue. Nowadays, in most cases, it’s an artificial dye because natural indigo is difficult to handle. It requires a delicate adjustment according to the day’s temperature, moisture, etc. In exchange for the difficulty, the natural indigo of Japan provides more beautiful and deeper coloring. It has a long history Japan blue. Some of you may have heard this color name because it’s the signature color of the Tokyo Olympic Games. As having looked up the origin of the name, I’ve learned it is Robert William Atkinson, a British chemist who named it. The Japanese government invited him to Japan in 1875. He wrote in […]

    • March 12, 2021
    • April 13, 2022

    Be Idealists to Make Reality Close to Ideal

    The end of the world At the moment, I was 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. 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 my disappointment. After the earthquake According to the latest public opinion survey made by Japan’s public broadcasting station last […]

    • March 8, 2021
    • March 29, 2022

    Speed VS Quality

    Speed and quality are not trade-off Leap before you look. Haste makes waste. These are ancient proverbs, meaning opposite to each other. It seems a speed-vs-quality issue has been long bothering us human beings. Speed, however, appears dominant nowadays because of the rapid change of the times, maybe. Mark Zuckerberg, the star of the digital era, well expressed the priority of the present-day business “Done is better than perfect.” I’m always in haste like the devil but don’t deny the spirit of painstaking and slow work. I don’t think speed and quality are necessarily trade-off concepts. Rebel against speed supremacy In short, I think it’s a matter of conditions. For example, if it’s a free meal at a five star restaurant, I could wait in a line even outside under cold weather for more than two hours, but I’m sure I couldn’t if I have to pay out of my […]

    • March 4, 2021
    • March 29, 2022

    Small Businesses in Japan

    SME are lower in productivity? In Japan, most of the small and medium enterprises (SME) like us may disappear in the near future. The SME Basic Act defines SME are companies with a capital of less than 300 million JPY or with the number of employees less than 300. According to the definition, 99.7% of the companies in Japan are categorized in SME. Soon after the change of government last year, the current prime minister organized an advisory board, and has implemented economic policies based on the advice of the board. The board members always treat SME like an enemy. They claim SME are the main cause of low productivity, though I strongly object to it. The cause and effect are reversed They always bring up a gap in wages in order to substantiate the low productivity of SME. I admit there’s a wage gap by company size, but I […]

    • March 1, 2021
    • April 13, 2022

    The Uniqueness of Japanese Chopsticks

    Japanese chopsticks are unique One of the difficulties I have to face when going abroad is table manners. Among other things, it’s difficult for me to eat without chopsticks. How can you eat a lettuce salad only with a fork? I’m always frightened, worried if lettuce leaves may flip and dressing may splatter on my shirt. Even if it’s in Asia, things are still difficult. I can’t hold noodles with Korean chopsticks, for example. By the time I finish a noodle dish in Korea, my shirt will have a psychedelic pattern. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not so bad at using chopsticks. I feel invincible when I use my chopsticks. Japanese chopsticks are different in shape, material, etc. from those used in other countries in Asia. Fingers, a spoon, or chopsticks The world can be divided into three regions by table manners: 40% of people eat by fingers; 30% by […]