• January 25, 2023
    • January 27, 2023

    How Tokyo Haneda Airport Could Become the World’s Cleanest Airport

    What do you think the smell of your country is like? This may be a difficult question to answer because it is said that we can’t smell our own house. A sense of smell is likely to decrease more easily than other senses, and we soon get used to even bad smell. This would be one of our defense mechanisms. Anyway, I like to take a sniff when getting off an airplane and taking the first step in an overseas airport. In most cases, I smell something I’ve never smelled in Japan, which always makes me realize I’m far away from home. I’ve heard a rumor that people coming from overseas smell something like soy sauce in Japan. Remembering the rumor, I googled it and found the report of a survey to foreign tourists just arriving in Tokyo Haneda airport. Of course, it was not a serious one, and was […]

    • January 16, 2023
    • January 27, 2023

    Marketing Tips: Good Design Can Make Fashion and Comfort Coexist

    What did you get for yourself in this year-end shopping season? I bought Dr. Martens boots, though just before starting the online shopping, I was in two minds: Timberland or Danner. Why did I take the unexpected third option? It’s because at that moment, I saw the news of the death of Dame Vivienne Westwood. I’m not a big fan of her brand or punk fashion, though. If I had to explain, my purchase behavior would be caused by a word association game: Vivienne Westwood—The Queen of Punk—Dr. Martens. How elusive the spending habits of consumers are! I’m depressed as a marketer about the complexity of consumer buying sentiment as above, but that’s not the point I want to discuss here. Once the boots were delivered, I went out putting on them and found something wrong. Now, here in Hokkaido, all the roads are fully covered with snow and ice. […]

    • January 11, 2023
    • January 27, 2023

    Japanese Culture and Traditions: The Exchange of New Year’s Cards Going Outdated

    Rough and ready or slow and elaborate? Be the first penguin, an innovator, at least an early adopter, or whatever. I hope most of you no longer worship such courage or recklessness. When doing my MBA, I had very often seen unreserved admiration for best practices by courageous or reckless leaders, but now I think it’s too naïve. In fact, the first penguins may be victims as a result of jostling each other on the edge of the ice. They may be able to get more fish but are highly likely to be killed by seals or killer whales. We have to remember there are thousands of times more untold failures behind one success. I know we have received a lot of benefit from innovation mostly made by courageous or reckless decision-makers, but sometimes I can’t help feeling that the value of being the first penguin is overestimated because of […]

    • December 21, 2022
    • January 14, 2023

    Japanese Culture and Traditions: We Would Be Caught Dead Eating Rice Cakes, Mochi

    Rice cakes: It’s called “mochi” in Japanese, made by pounding rice. Have you ever eaten mochi? If yes and you’re still alive, you’re blessed. Do you know how many people have lost their lives by choking on mochi in Japan? It’s 300 averagely every year. We probably should prohibit or at least impose a heavy tax on mochi like narcotics and alcohol, but there has been no such momentum so far. I’m afraid people even in the center of power seem to be captives of its taste. It is found from remains that Japanese people already started to eat mochi in 660 BC, at the time of the founding of the country. Mochi was an offering food to gods in ancient cultures, and is still considered to be a food for a special day. Risk-addicted people like me eat it regularly against the risk of death by suffocation, but basically […]

    • December 12, 2022
    • January 27, 2023

    Why Nature Loves Hexagons: Snowflakes, Hexagonal Flowers Blooming in Hokkaido

    Human aging starts from emotion. I heard it was common knowledge especially among psychiatrists. It’s not only about the loss of a grip on our emotions. With the aging of the forebrain, we will lose emotion-driven qualities such as willingness, self-motivation, creativity, etc. Consequently, we will avoid trying new things and just want to maintain the status quo. This kind of life in a rut will further reduce our brain function and age us more. Because of this strong negative spiral, many psychiatrists say human aging starts from emotion or the forebrain responsible for emotion. In that sense, keeping this blog is very good for my anti-aging. In order to find topics for the blog, I always have to keep an eye open for all kinds of information. In most cases, the blog articles start from my little interest, but in order to finish them up at a certain level, […]

    • December 6, 2022
    • December 7, 2022

    Japanese Culture and Traditions: Factory Tours for School Educational Trips

    Our general impression on the sea of trees in the foot of Mt. Fuji Even if you have not been to Japan before, I believe many of you have heard the name of the highest and most beautiful mountain in Japan. Yes, it’s Mt. Fuji, or Fujiyama, but do you know that the sea of trees around Mt. Fuji is very famous as a suicide spot. As I studied the reason, I found it was because of a TV drama that was very popular in 1960s. What a big influence! Even now, when we hear the name of the sea of trees, what comes up first in our mind is suicide. Now that you’ve known that the sea of trees is a famous suicide spot, the above image may look very creepy, but it was well-known as a beautiful scenic site before the TV drama was aired. Recently, I just […]

    • November 30, 2022
    • December 5, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Japan is the Kingdom of Planetarium

    When did you last go to the planetarium? If you haven’t been there for a long time, like since you were a kid, you should go. It would be much more fun than you think. When a show starts in pitch darkness, I always get overwhelmed by a huge number of stars that look to reach to my eyes, and feel like being hurled off into space. Planetarium shows remind me that I rarely look up at the night sky. In fact, we can’t see such a sky full of stars in real life because of the city lights, though. I went to the planetarium two times this month. The first time, I fell asleep as soon as the show started. I know. It’s so embarrassing even for me to confess this after talking passionately about the attractiveness of the planetarium, but I’m the type of the person who will […]

    • November 24, 2022
    • November 25, 2022

    The Effective Use of Waste: We Donate Our Waste Leather

    Rosso Corsa. These Italian words mean the signature red color of Ferrari. When I was into Ferrari, I heard some myths about color mixing to realize Rosso Corsa. Some said the color of the primer (base coat) must be yellow to realize the passionate red, while others said it was just pink to develop the surface red brighter. It was still the dawn of the Internet, and I just enjoyed such dubious rumors. One day, I came across a book reporting the restoration of 365BB (a classic Ferrari car), and saw a picture of the signature red layer peeled off. Under Rosso Corsa was just greenish gray, the common color of primer. I learned the truth is boring. Since then, I have become interested and studied a little about car painting. As you may easily be able to imagine, the painting process of automobile factories is under automation and strict […]

    • November 16, 2022
    • November 17, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Snow and Ice Igloo Hotels in Hokkaido

    Do you know a Japanese elementary school bag? It’s common in color, design, size, and everything, a symbol of Japanese elementary school students. The bag is called “Randoseru” in Japanese which originates from the Dutch word “Ransel” meaning a bag in English. Let’s call it Ransel here in this article for your pronunciation convenience. Can you believe it? All the elementary school students use it across Japan. In my childhood like more than 30 years ago, only two colors were available: black for boys; red for girls, though any color seems to be available now as shown in the above image. A Ransel was very expensive. As I remember, it was about 500 USD at that time. However, elementary students are supposed to use it for the whole elementary school period of six years. Considering the promised quality to survive long-term super-rough usage by kids, I’m sure the price was […]

    • November 9, 2022
    • November 9, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: A Hokkaido Restaurant (Curry Rice)

    Do you think you can tell good rice from not-so-good one? If you think “Rice is just a foil to the main dish. There is not much of a difference,” that’s completely wrong. Today, I’m going to introduce a restaurant famous for good rice in Hokkaido. More than 30 years ago, when I was a kid, rice made in Hokkaido (our home prefecture) was not so good, but most of the Hokkaido people ate it because it was much cheaper. The times have changed, and proudly enough, Hokkaido rice has become a brand in Japan. Now, due to the breed improvements made repeatedly over time, I think it’s almost impossible to judge good or bad rice, but there’s only one way: Try it after rice gets cold. Really good rice is delicious even after it has cooled down. Some of you may think “What’s the point for the difference? A […]