• May 31, 2022
    • January 14, 2023

    What Do You Think Art Is?

    The harsh realities I learned from “A Dog of Flanders” Have you ever read “A Dog of Flanders?” I don’t know why that is, but the story is very popular in Japan. It was even made into an animated TV show. Probably, more than 90% of Japanese kids knew the story at least in my childhood. Is the situation the same in your country? Is it popular in the UK (the writer’s country) and Belgium (the place of the story), too? I know the book is regarded as a masterpiece of children’s literature, but I don’t think it’s suitable for children much, to be honest. I read it when I was a child, and the first lesson I learned from the book was “It’s impossibly hard to survive in this world.” I thought it might be too early for children to know how cruel the world is. Rubens’ “The Elevation […]

    • May 24, 2022
    • October 14, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: What Is Good about Travel by Train?

    Trains are still the king of transportation for tourism Which transportation do you think is best for your trip? By air, sea, or road? According to a report by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the share of travel by train is highest in the domestic market in Japan. The number-based share of travel by train was about 70% in 2020, and has been increasing year by year, along with a trend that young people turn away from driving. It’s not only about the Japanese people. Almost the same thing can be said about tourists from overseas. The share of rail transportation for such tourists to move around Japan is about 55%. For your information, the second is public bus service with a share of about 30%. The advantages of train transportation over other means I don’t know if it’s the same in your countries, but there are […]

    • May 18, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Kengo Kuma Opened a New Office in Hokkaido

    Why does public work become bureaucratic in Japan? Mistakes are not allowed, and so, we do things the same way as everyone else. This is a pattern of behavior that widely dominates Japanese society. You can see the behavioral patterns a lot especially in Japanese government offices. I can say that for sure from my experience of working as a public servant for more than 10 years. One mistake can shut the door on your career. Naturally, public servants are highly likely to make a low-risk option with precedent. A small town office made innovation There are exceptions to it, of course. One of the famous exceptions is the local government of our next town, Higashikawa town. It’s really a small town with a population of about 8000 only. Japan is facing a declining population, which is most obvious in rural areas. In addition, there are more disadvantages for the […]

    • May 10, 2022
    • October 15, 2022

    What is the Charm of Antiques? Why Do We Love Antiques?

    It’s safe but boring just to praise classic things Do you like antiques or vintage stuff? There are many classic cars that I like, but I don’t like motor journalists or car critics who excessively praise classic cars. That’s because I think it’s a boring and too safe move, and believe professional critics should take a risk of evaluating new things without a solid reputation. Having said that, I like classic cars. I don’t know the clear definition of “classic cars,” but let’s say here they’re Japanese sports cars over 25 years. Now, their price is skyrocketing because of the 25-year rule of the US. The rule enables right-hand-drive cars produced more than 25 years ago to be registered in the US. Accordingly, more and more Japanese sports cars in my youth are going across the sea to the US. Nissan GT-R, Mazda RX-7, Toyota SUPRA, etc. are beyond the […]