• August 31, 2021
    • November 16, 2022

    Where to Visit in Hokkaido: Why Is Sapporo the Most Harsh Market in Japan?

    Hokkaido is more popular than Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan Conde Nast Traveler, one of the world’s most prestigious travel magazine announces every year the ranking of things related to travel. The ranking is based on the vote of the readers, more than 6 million. It was Tokyo that had won the first place in the ranking of the Best Cities in the World (10 Best Big Cities) for three years straight from 2017 to 2019. In 2020, Tokyo lost the first position to Kyoto, though. I guess the result would not be so surprising especially for people who have been to Japan. They saw the two cities were always packed with tourists from overseas. This fact, however, may be a little surprising to us because Hokkaido (where we’re headquartered) is more popular with the Japanese people. We love Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido Let me introduce another interesting ranking. […]

    • August 27, 2021
    • October 13, 2022

    Marketing Tips: We Behave Unconsciously but Always Look for a Reason

    A local amusement park is seeing its last days I often go to a hot spring place in a nearby town. On the way, there’s a collapsing amusement park “Canadian World.” I have a dim memory of seeing its TV commercials when I was a kid, but I’ve never been there. It must not be only me who wondered what this small local city has to do with Canada? According to my research, Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery is the theme of the park. The park re-created the streetscape of Prince Edward Island so faithfully that the architectural plan was used when the original building of Green Gables caught fire in 1997. In spite of the high degree of completion, the park has never gained popularity and is going to collapse quietly now. We always want to understand why it’s there Why was the theme Anne of […]

    • August 23, 2021
    • December 29, 2022

    Marketing Tips: Better to Be Brisk and Slapdash (Coke VS Pepsi)

    New Coke, the greatest failure of the century in marketing Coke VS Pepsi, this was a very important issue when I was a kid with a limited budget. In the early 1980’s PepsiCo launched a big marketing offensive, like aggressive comparative advertising, using Michael Jackson for advertising, etc. As that seemed to work well, I remember many forward kids switched from Coke to Pepsi in Japan. In 1985, in order to strike a blow back, Coca-Cola launched a long-awaited product after careful preliminary market research. It was a “New Coke” which is later judged to be the stuff of legend in the marketing field as the greatest failure of the century. Why did the failure happen? Was that a failure, to begin with? New Coke can be judged as a big success On 23rd April 1985, Coca-Cola launched New Coke and withdrew the old Coke from store shelves. As aresult, […]

    • August 20, 2021
    • October 13, 2022

    Marketing Tips: Teamwork Rather than Individual Work

    Alexander the Great, my hero Japanese people really seem to like to pick up the top three of various categories, such as the world’s three major night views. They are Hong Kong, Monaco, and Nagasaki, by the way. If it’s about architects, the top three are said to be Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier. It seems we really like the number “three.” Today, what I want to raise a question about is the three major heroes in the history. It is believed in Japan that they are Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, and Napoleone di Buonaparte. Don’t you think this is funny? Why is Alexander the Great not on the roster? What is the secret of his strength? His life and adventure are full of excitement. I know he is sometimes criticized as a tyrant. Simply speaking, what he did is taking over the world […]

    • August 17, 2021
    • December 24, 2022

    Human Subtlety Will Never Devise an Invention More Beautiful, More Simple, or More Direct

    A genius can learn from any small matters When you can’t catch fish, think it gave you time to think about life. This quote is believed in Japan to be made by Ernest Hemingway. As far as I searched, however, the author seems to be unknown in fact. Does anybody know whose quote this is? Anyway, I often go fishing in the river but am not a serious angler. In most cases, telling the above quote to myself, I just stand by the river, though being a little frustrated deep down inside about getting skunked. One day, when I daydreamed like that, another genius also came up in my mind. It’s Leonardo da Vinci. He was interested in and studied the flow of the river, and now is revered as a pioneer of fluid mechanics. Needless to say, he is completely different from me blankly staring at the river surface. […]

    • August 10, 2021
    • October 12, 2022

    Japanese Culture and Traditions: Respect for Craftsmanship Seen in Kendo

    Kendo is not a sport The Tokyo Olympics 2020 was over. Japan finished in third place on the medal table, mainly due to the medal rush in Judo, Japan’s forte. Shohei Ohno, winning a gold medal in the 73 kg competition of Judo in this Olympics, has reminded me of the fact that Judo was not a sport before. He never raises his fist or even smiles after winning matches to show his respect and consideration to opponents. Do you know there’s another Japanese traditional martial art? It’s Kendo where people fight using bamboo swords. The number of Kendo players is much more than that of Judo in Japan, but it doesn’t become an Olympic sport. It is said that All Japan Kendo Federation is basically against it because they believe Kendo is not a sport but a way of life. Kendo is a way of life Another barrier that […]

    • August 6, 2021
    • October 14, 2022

    Greenwashing: Are You Sure to Be Eco-friendly?

    Why I like clever lies better than obvious lies Have you ever watched “The Sting” one of the classic movies from Hollywood? I believe it’s a masterpiece of a con-game movie. If I were the gang boss tricked by Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the movie, I wouldn’t feel like getting revenge but would reward them for the well-thought lie, on the contrary. Mind you. It’s not because I’m generous with a big heart. I think it’s because I can see distinct signs that they spent a lot of time and effort on preparation to deceive me. I feel rather uncomfortable about obvious lies and believe most of you would feel the same. Why do you think that is? What is a lie? Let’s start by defining what a lie is. Imagine a case where a girl is alone in a deserted island. She is talking aloud to herself […]