Newsletter

    • April 19, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Marketing Tips: Eco-Friendly Can Be the True Trend of the New Rich?

    The rich-poor gap is seen even in trash In 2019, a book became a big hit in Japan. The author is an unpopular comedian working as a trash collector on the side. He wrote it was easy to find out wealthy residential areas once he sees trash. He went on “Wealthy residential areas can be divided into three classes based on their trash.” Let’s say the three classes here: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. According to him, it’s not the contents of trash that make them greatly different from other areas. Of course, there’re some differences in trash contents, but what features the wealthy residential areas is the amount of trash. It is generally smaller. Furthermore, in case of the Platinum areas, it is much smaller even than that of the Gold and Silver areas. Rich people are humble, different from what we imagine It’s completely different from what we generally […]

    • April 12, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Marketing Tips on Product Naming: How to Name a Product

    Once Google translation was just funny… I remove two eyes. No worries. I still keep them. The first sentence is one of the popular funny translation by Google for “I remove the second one” in Japanese. Seriously, it’s not only funny but also really good translation. I never imagined that before, but the translation made me realize the Japanese sentence could be understood that way by intonation. To tell the truth, I like to check such funny translation by Google because I can confirm the superiority of my translation skills over Google. However, I may not be able to keep chuckling to myself soon. The AI of the Google translation improves day by day at a terrific speed, and has already corrected most of the funny mistakes unfortunately. Phonetic effects are important for product naming AI progress is not limited to translation skills. I learn that AI can now develop […]

    • April 8, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: A Hokkaido Restaurant (Soba Noodle)

    Do you know Japanese buckwheat noodles “Soba?” I think there are so many kinds of wheat-based foods across the world. What about buckwheat? The most famous food may be gallette originated in Bretagne, France. In Japan, we call buckwheat noodles “Soba,” and it’s very popular. Ramen, Udon, and Soba are the three major Japanese noodles. For your information, Hokkaido is the kindgom of ramen as I wrote before. The former two are made from wheat. The difference between the two is if alkaline brine solution is included or not when noodles are kneaded. Based on my understanding, many Japanese people see Soba noodles more elegant than Ramen and Udon noodles. Yes, that’s true. If you take someone to a Ramen or Udon restaurant for a first date, your date will doubt your nerves. If it’s a Soba restaurant, your date will think you have good taste on the contrary. It’s […]

    • April 5, 2022
    • October 4, 2022

    Logistics Tips: Why Are Shipping Costs So High Now?

    The record high freight is a new normal in logistics I swim in a gym pool every weekend. What always irritates me is a notice on the shower-room wall. It says “We stop providing shampoo to avoid infection.” Anybody, tell me how shampoo sharing is causally related to infection. I think it’s a stealth cost-cutting move. Don’t you think the COVID is sometimes used as an excuse for cost cut or price increase like this? Having said that, I know the COVID has a huge effect on cost structure. The biggest factor would be logistics costs. Yesterday, one of our freight forwarders came to me to talk about an increase in freight rates. He apologetically told me “Freight rates become more than double from this month.” The forwarder seemed to be no match for shipping companies who are now at the height of their prosperity. The COVID, a good excuse […]

    • April 1, 2022
    • October 12, 2022

    Japanese Culture and Traditions: Company Entrance Ceremony by Japanese Companies

    Japanese-style job hunting: New graduates start all together All the schools start from April to next-year March in Japan. March is the season of graduation. As this may sound strange to people outside Japan, all the high school and university graduates join companies and start working in April, all at once. For one year before graduation, many companies throw recruiting sessions, and final-year university students spend most of their time in those sessions. I remember the days of my senior year. I didn’t see classmates much in the university campus. Even if I did, they just made me feel sad by their neat and tidy look for recruiting sessions. Anyway, job hunting and employment are huge for both new graduates and companies because the idea of lifetime employment remains strong in our minds. In April, almost all the companies hold their entrance ceremonies. Company entrance ceremonies are for awareness-raising I […]

    • March 29, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

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

    Ramen and curry are national dishes for the Japanese people If you can only eat just one food, which would it be, ramen (noodle) or curry? I ‘m sure we all the Japanese people have asked and answered this stupid question at least once in our life. In other words, ramen and curry are the top two popular foods in Japan. As I looked up the number of restaurants, ramen is about 24000; curry about 4700, respectively. I think the above difference in number well expresses the difference in character. Ramen is something to eat out; curry is one of home-cooked meals. In fact, when I was a kid, my mother made it at least two times a month. She always made a lot, and I had to eat it for three days in a row. I’m 100% sure this kind of ordeal still occurs in many Japanese homes. Have […]

    • March 25, 2022
    • September 30, 2022

    Thoughts Make Things: What Is the Origin of Life?

    Super-advanced mechanism of E. coli The upper limit of the F1 engine speed is 15000 rotations per minute (rpm). For your reference, when I commute, the average engine speed of my small economy car is about 1500 rpm. You may be surprised to see how much I don’t want to go to work, rather than admiring the speed of F1 engines. Sorry, that’s not the point of this post. Do you know we have mechanical systems rotating faster than F1 engines in the body? It’s E. coli. They move in our intestines by rotating their flagella. The speed is about 20000 rpm! To my more surprise, the flagella even have a clutch mechanism to rotate reversely. Furthermore, the energy conversion efficiency is almost 100%. It’s only a hundred and some tens of years since we humans invented internal combustion engine systems including a clutch mechanism, while fungi have a long […]

    • March 21, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: A Hokkaido Restaurant (Dairy Sweets)

    Hokkaido is No.1 in salmon roe The Japanese people like to eat fish eggs. The roe of salmon and cod (pollack, to be more precise) is the top two. Salmon roe is one of special marine products of Hokkaido. It comes into season in the autumn, and we local people buy and pickle it ourselves. It’s well-known that many tourists come here with the aim of eating salmon roe. In addition, Hokkaido is also a top production area of pollack roe, but it’s little known. Most of the Japanese people believe the home of pickled pollack roe is Kyushu area. It’s located far opposite to Hokkaido, in the southern part of Japan. Of course, most of them are made of pollack roe caught in Hokkaido. Our ex-chairman often lamented over the big loss in local profits, saying it’s a good example of failure in branding. Hokkaido is No.1 in most […]

    • March 17, 2022
    • September 24, 2022

    High-context Culture: Do You Know the Meaning of Silence in Japan?

    Arrival: Cognitive difference between humans and aliens Have you watched the Hollywood movie titled “Arrival” (2016)? Simply put, it’s a science fiction depicting the contact with aliens. I know it may sound same old, but it’s completely different. The movie depicts the close encounters from the view point of linguistics. What is most interesting to me is the design of the letters the aliens use. It is 3D! The scriptwriter must be a genius. I just imagine he would have set the story like this. The aliens live in a four-dimensional world (because they’re depicted to see time as reversible), and so, their letters are expressed in 3D. I’ve never even imagined to design letters in 3D, even a little. Can you believe it? The letters can be read from three directions! This was a fresh reminder of the fact that we can’t transcend our cognitive frames so easily. Gattaca: […]

    • March 14, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: A Hokkaido Restaurant (Genghis Khan)

    It’s not about the emperor of the Mongel Empire Genghis Khan is a barbecue of mutton, lamb, and vegetables. It’s one of Hokkaido specialties. Mutton and lamb are not so generally eaten in Japan. There are many Japanese people who don’t like the smell. It’s very difficult to find a Genghis Khan restaurant outside Hokkaido. In fact, there were not so many even here in Hokkaido when I was a kid, like 30 years ago. Genghis Khan was just one of home-cooked meals at that time. It appeared on the dinner table at least twice a month in my home, not a special treat at all for us. To be honest, I still have a little difficulty paying and eating it outside at a restaurant but must admit there are some good ones. The truth about Genghis Khan, a Hokkaido specialty On the outskirts of Sapporo, the capital city of […]