• February 25, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Psychology Trivia: How to Survive Video Meetings

    The trick to have a good conversation Do you know the secret to having a good conversation on the first date? At least in Japan, I believe many people know it: You must reserve seats facing the same direction! The psychological effects that appear by sitting face-to-face are strain, conflict, and seriousness, while we instinctively have the sense of sympathy, intimacy, and affection when facing the same direction. I used to use this psychological theory in my younger days, though I don’t think I gained a lot of benefits. Now, the theory is confusing me. How should we position ourselves in video meetings? Silence is less tolerated in video meetings How many video meetings did you have last week? I believe they become more and more common than in-person onsite ones. To be honest, I don’t like video meetings very much. You imagine that’s because it’s more difficult to read […]

    • February 21, 2022
    • October 25, 2022

    Marketing Tips: How to Become Popular, a Blockbuster

    Why male peacocks have colorful feathers Why do the colorful feathers of male peacocks attract female peacocks? Some people may accept the simple explanation: “Because they are beautiful,” but I never did. In all through my school days from primary to university, I was an enthusiastic student. My main research subject was always “How to become popular with girls,” though you can imagine the results of my study from the fact that it continued up until university. Anyway, it was only natural that such an enthusiastic student became interested in the colorful feathers of male peacocks and got to learn the handicap principle. The key to popularity is the handicap principle Please give it a careful thought. Don’t you think the attraction of the colorful feathers make no sense? For example, lion’s mane looks reasonable because it has a practical purpose as a protector, but what about the feathers? They […]

    • February 17, 2022
    • December 6, 2022

    Japan Is a Buy? Do You Know the Truth of Inflation in Japan?

    Tragic inflation will attack Japanese school kids Are bananas categorized as snacks for a trip? I ensure this phrase never fails to make Japanese people laugh. Japanese elementary school students (6 to 12 years old) go on a school day trip once or twice a year. It’s fun and special to go to a zoo or a park together with classmates, but equally or more important is they are allowed to bring snacks to their school. The problem is the total amount is limited to less than only 300 yen (about 2.6 US dollars at the current exchange rate) in most schools. Kids always beat their brains to maximize the benefits arising from such a limited amount of snacks. This is the reason why bananas are subject to debate as above (as a joke) in Japan. Snack price will be inflated, but the kid’s allowance won’t You may think you […]

    • February 15, 2022
    • October 7, 2022

    Wood Rather than Stone, Bronze, and Iron: Why Do We Love Wood?

    We Hokkaido people reach enlightenment by clearing snow Nothing can stay the same. This is very famous Buddhist terminology, meaning “Life is fleeting and empty.” Even on weekend, I always wake up very early and leave home before six to go to a gym. On the way to the gym, I very often see many elderly people. They are active outside and clear snow even in the very cold and dark winter morning. Every time I see such people, the above words come up to my mind. Our life is very short, but we have to spend much of our time to clearing snow here in Hokkaido in winter, even though it melts away in spring anyway. Once even snow-clearing tools were made of wood The above image is of the International Snow Clearing Championship held in Hokkaido since 2013. It may sound funny to you, but it’s natural for […]

    • February 10, 2022
    • October 4, 2022

    Hokkaido Acorn Trees (Mizunara Oak) Make Japanese Whisky and Furniture

    How the green flash appears? Let secrets be secrets Do you know the green flash? Fairly infrequently, at the moment of sunrise or sunset, the upper rim of the Sun looks to flash in green. You might have learned it from the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean.” On a similar note, I know another strange natural phenomenon. I believed it was, to be more precise. When it heavily snows at night, the sky looks tinged with orange here in Hokkaido. It was my special secret. One day, with an air of great importance, I shared the secret with my wife. Surprisingly, against my expectations, she said quite casually “Snow in the sky just reflects the street light.” At the moment, I’ve decided in my heart not to tell her any more secrets. Orange-tinted street lamps unique to Hokkaido are gone High-pressure sodium lamps are used for the street light in […]

    • February 7, 2022
    • October 25, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: CondeHouse Furniture Factory Tour in Hokkaido

    Asahikawa, Hokkaido, it’s the city of rivers This is the central station of our hometown, Asahikawa, seen from due south. The two bridges are still new, built about 10 years ago. In the days without the two bridges, the city center was divided into two parts, and the south side of the station was just a deserted area. Even now, the area is full of nature for the second biggest city in Hokkaido with the population of 340,000. The river is so clean and beautiful that I once saw a businessman in a suit walking down from the station, taking out a fishing rod from his briefcase, and fishing trout in a moment. He looked so cool like James Bond. Anyway, having an oasis in the very center is one of the charms of our hometown, but our chairman doesn’t seem to be satisfied at all. Riversides should be a […]

    • February 4, 2022
    • November 3, 2022

    Fight Lookism! No Two Wood Pieces Are Alike; Diversity Makes It Beautiful

    Can you judge apples by appearances? Apples are the most popular seasonal fruit in Japan in winter. You can see a lot of them piling up everywhere. My wife always goes straight to an apple stand in any supermarkets, though I don’t know whether it’s because my wife really likes them or just because they are cheap in this season. Anyway, I eat many apples in winter, apart from whether I like it or not. Her way of selecting apples looks like some magic ritual. With a serious look on her face, checking them from every angle, mumbling something, she carefully picks out the ones she thinks best. I don’t want to deny her efforts, but I can’t see any big difference in taste between what she and I chose, to be honest. Even careful selection is no guarantee It is said that about 30% of agricultural output is thrown […]

    • February 1, 2022
    • October 12, 2022

    Japanese Culture and Traditions: A Hero or Villain? The Truth of Godzilla

    Godzilla becomes an academic research subject in Japan In my childhood, I memorized even the height and weight of many monsters in Godzilla movies, let alone their names. I’m sure I would have annoyed many people around me by proudly showing off the knowledge, and also my parents would have wanted me to apply the same level of passion to study. Godzilla is a super movie content known to everyone in Japan and many people even outside Japan. It can be said the most popular Japanese movie series especially outside Japan. Mmany people, like film critics, marketing professionals, and even university professors have published study on it. The explanation that sounds most feasible to me is “Godzilla is the metaphor of nature.” Indeed, it has destroyed many cities many times, but has shown no animosity or hatred to humans, though making no apologies as well. Godzilla makes us remember a […]