Stick to the High Road



I grew up with the songs of the Beatles because my mother is a big fan of them (Now, I just remember her face like a demon crawling out of hell when I shot some of her LPs with my airsoft gun). When most of my elementary school classmates were obsessed with Japanese pop idols, I listened to British heavy metal, LA metal, etc. Especially if you’re from the same generation and have the same taste in music as me, I believe you would understand how big impact the band left, not only on the world music scene but also on the whole society. It’s Nirvana. Their advent is exactly destructive creation, though I personally think it was too powerful and destructive.

In the previous era of Nirvana, rock musicians were supposed to wear gorgeous stage costume, and my guitar-heros competed in speed and technique. They looked like something in a totally different world, dissident to the existing order. As entirely different from them, the members of Nirvana were dressed in rags even on stage, and didn’t seem to care about errors and off-pitches in play. Once, rock ’n’ roll was condemned as devil’s music, but gradually became the high road of music. As time goes by, the anti-establishment attitude of rock music became an establishment, ironically. Nirvana gave a final blow to it by taking an anti-establishment stance to the anti-establishment icon. Rock was dead.

Conde House Tokyo Shop

To tell the truth, I was excited by the advent of Nirvana at that time, but now feel nostalgic for the days when rock stars performed glamorously, the way they were expected to. Sometimes, it’s easy to create new things. All it takes is just to refuse the existing order. Contrary to common understanding, it may be more difficult to stick to the conservative and authentic way, though bad tradition should be abolished, of course. In order to survive harsh market conditions, we’ve been changing and introducing all kinds of new management methods in accounting, marketing, QC, HR, etc. Such changes are necessary, but still I believe our authenticity is shaped by craftsmanship and product quality that are essential for us to meet market expectations.


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.


Photo Credit: https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-43319021