• June 29, 2021
    • October 25, 2022

    Marketing Tips: Be the First Penguin! Only Passion Drives the World Forward

    Beyond the logic I repeatedly and knowingly tell my assistants to think logically at work. On the other hand, I must admit the world filled with believers in logical thinking like me must be super boring. In Japan these days, the word, EBPM, becomes popular: the abbreviation for “evidence-based policy making.” From my experience of working as a government official, I can understand it could be the principles of behavior for government agencies for accurate budgeting. Negative effects, however, may be larger to improve people’s lives. First penguins are not logical Think about it. Bill Gates (Microsoft), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Jeff Bezos (Amazon)—these people couldn’t have had firm evidence for their business because they developed what had not existed yet. In order to drive the world forward, EBPM is not enough or even an obstacle, and on the contrary, we need human pathos or passion. Another good example would be […]

    • June 28, 2021
    • June 7, 2022

    Biei Walk

    Which season do you like best? My favorite is autumn. After the extremely hot days of summer, everything is dyed in red, like wearing makeup. Of course, the autumn leaves soon wither, but their short lives make the autumn scenery look more attractive. Walking on the street in Biei town, Hokkaido, you can see photogenic spots everywhere. Even if it’s not a famous spot, the contrast of red leaves and the indigo sky always makes you feel like walking in a famous painting or movie; so beautiful that you will never forget it. I like to travel around Japan and actually visited many places. When it comes to the natural landscape in Japan, I’m sure Hokkaido is second to none. Why don’t you come and see for yourself? You can take beautiful pictures anywhere like a pro!

    • June 23, 2021
    • September 20, 2022

    The Playground of the Gods in Spring

    I think one of the best things about living in Asahikawa city in Hokkaido is nature right next to us. Mountains, rivers, forests, and the vast sky always enrich my body and soul. Daisetsuzan National Park is a prime example. The native Hokkaido people, the Ainu, have called it ‘Kamuy Mintar’ meaning the playground of the gods. On my way to work, I sometimes find myself checking it up through my car how those gods are doing up there. The park covers Mt. Asahidake, the highest mountain in Hokkaido. Even though the summit is so close to the spring sun, the deep snow on the mountain stays for long where we can enjoy both the snow and the bright sunshine showering down and reflected by snow below. One day in mid May, 2016, I went for the very first snowshoeing at the park, together with my colleagues who love mountain […]

    • June 22, 2021
    • October 13, 2022

    Fake and Real Leather: Can You Tell the Difference?

    Genuine and artificial leather Do you know how to distinguish genuine leather? Japanese import tariff on leather and leather goods is very high in order to protect domestic industry. When I worked as a customs inspector, it was important and also difficult to distinguish genuine and artificial leather declared to customs. Some of you may say “I can tell by the smell,” but that’s not correct. The smell generally believed as leather smell comes mainly from oil used at the final process. Some genuine leather doesn’t have the smell. How to distinguish real leather The quick trick customs inspectors use is to put a nail mark on leather (behind declarer’s back, of course). When it’s genuine leather, it remains longer (sometimes forever—I’m sorry, importers). Unfortunately, this trick is not always effective. Correct leather thickly polyurethane-painted and furthermore embossed shows almost the same reaction as artificial leather. The introduction has become […]

    • June 18, 2021
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: CondeHouse Headqaurters Shop in Hokkaido

    I think we can devide business organizations into two types by hiring method: job-description type and membership type. The former organizations clearly define the tasks that they want their employees to fulfill. Accordingly, employees focus only on their own tasks. On the other hand, in the latter organizations (most of the Japanese companies), each of employees is required to be a member of an organization. In other words, we most of the Japanese people have to do all sorts of tasks. For about a month, our headquarters shop had been under renovation, and finally it was done last week. I’m in charge of overseas sales, but I was also engaged in the renovation as a member of the company. I was slaving for the planning division: moving, disassembling, and assembling furniture; adjusting the positions of lighting, etc. Today, please enjoy some images of the result of our sweat, blood, and […]

    • June 16, 2021
    • June 7, 2022

    My First Impression of Hokkaido: Biei Blue Pond

    What comes to your mind when you hear Hokkaido? Freezing snow, lavender fields, the ginkgo street of Hokkaido University? For me, it’s the Blue Pond in Biei town. When deciding to work in Hokkaido, I made some preliminary research and saw the photos of the Blue Pond on the internet. The beauty took my breath away and made me decide to go to Biei town. I never forget the day when I first visited the Blue Pond. That day, my work finished earlier. Having said that, it was already two o’clock in the afternoon, though. The autumn sun sets so quickly. I got on a bicycle and climbed up the long slope leading up to the Blue Pond. As it got colder and darker, I kept on pedaling the bicycle, shivering and regretting a little. After more than two hours of riding, it finally came up in front of me. […]

    • June 14, 2021
    • October 25, 2022

    Japanese Culture and Traditions: Japanese Swordsmith and Furniture Craftspeople

    Something in common between Japanese knives and furniture Just before entering the furniture business, I worked in the fishery industry and often took overseas clients to the biggest fish market in Tokyo. It was now-closed Tsukiji market. They were wonderful days when I could have good sushi together with the clients at the company’s expense. Besides a sushi restaurant, there was one more place many of the clients were looking forward to visiting. It’s a Japanese knife shop. In the market, there were many knife shops packed with foreign tourists. When I took my clients to such shops, they innocently asked me to interpret their questions to the sales staff. To tell the truth, that always made me sweat with fear because the staff’s explanation didn’t make sense to me at first even in Japanese. Over time, I learned a lot about Japanese knife crafting, and now feel like it […]

    • June 11, 2021
    • December 24, 2022

    Marketing Tips: No Point in Continuing Business Without a Mission

    Our conscience as a manufacturer Do you know the TV program “What would you do?” (WWYD for short) from the US? It’s a situational hidden-camera program starting from 2008. I really like it. Such programs are common even in Japan, but their contents are much lower in quality. Japanese poor ones just make fun of people by setting some embarrassing situations. They’re rather similar to “Just for laughs.” I found such programs fun at first but was soon tired. On the other hand, WWYD cuts to the core of social problems such as discrimination, poverty, etc. to show both dark and bright sides of human nature. People’s goodness stands out more by bringing to light the darkness in our hearts at the same time. Today, I’m writing about our conscience as a manufacturer. Please watch WWYD before going on reading, so that this article can sound more convincing, I hope. […]

    • June 9, 2021
    • June 7, 2022

    Tsuru (Crane) In Hokkaido

    In the early spring of Hokkaido, when all living things come back to life, I drove a car down a country road and happened to see two cranes. They, without being afraid of me pulling over and other cars passing by, seemed to wait for something. I quietly got out of the car and kept watching them to find it was baby birds that they waited for. The crane family marched up to the other side of the road while the local cars just stopped, taking it like a common practice. I was so impressed to see people peacefully coexist with animals. People and animals are close to each other in good harmony, which is very Hokkaido, a real paradise.

    • June 8, 2021
    • October 13, 2022

    Why Is Camping So Popular? What’s the Point of Camping?

    Camp memories Soon after graduating from college, I joined the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. Even though it’s an air force, new recruits are trained in a field exercise. I still clearly remember how it was. The strong smell of grass and trees that clung to me when ambushing in a thick forest, excitement when making a fire (mainly because of hunger pains), the sound of rain on the tent, beautiful sunrise in morning mist (after not sleeping a wink all night, though), etc. I imagine they are probably what many people expect for a camp. Camping becomes more and more popular in Japan. Me? No way. I was already camped out but am interested in why people do camping, going so far as spending a lot of money for camping gear. Return to nature We human beings have been keeping on making new inventions for convenience, in order to make […]