CATEGORY

culture

    • July 16, 2021

    Counterfeit Production Is a Good Business?

    Impossible to copy our products cheaply The structure of a chair consists of a backrest, seat, arm rests, and legs, just simple and easy to copy. As it’s so simple, every time launching a new product, we are concerned if there are any other similar products. I’ve sometimes seen some copies of our chairs at furniture exhibitions. Were we mad? Not really. Of course, we’re not happy at all with such copies but believe it’s almost impossible to copy our products with the same quality in the same price range. In fact, the copies I’ve seen so far were cheaper, and their quality was worth the cheap price. Difference between innovation and imitation There are pros and cons on the subject of imitation. It seems difficult to simply condemn that imitation is bad. Even a genius scientist, Einstein said “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” […]

    • July 13, 2021

    What Is the Differences between Japanese and European Castles?

    Differences of Japanese and European castles I believe many of you have seen the above image. It’s the fortress of Carcassonne, one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. According to what I learned on the Internet, it is now the second most popular sightseeing spot after Mont Saint-Michel in France. It becomes more popular in Japan nowadays because the fortress city serves as the stage of a big-hit Japanese film. I’m ashamed to say, but I had not seen European fortresses and castles much (including Carcassonne). The film made me interested (though I’ve not watched it), and I found some differences from Japanese castles. Anyone would immediately notice the difference in material: stone in Europe and wood in Japan. That is not what attracted my attention. Different from Japanese castles, the fortress of Carcassonne has a residence area inside and high walls. The reasons of the differences As I looked it […]

    • July 9, 2021

    The Quality of Nails in the Best Samurai Period

    Kamakura samurai Samurai governed Japan for about 700 years, from 1185 to 1867. The age of samurai is divided into some periods. According to a popular theory, samurais in the first period (the Kamakura period, from 1185 to 1333) are strongest and bravest. It is said that “You look like a Kamakura samurai” was the best praising words for samurais even in the last days of the samurai age. The same as samurais, the quality of nails in the Kamakura period is said to be best. In the age of samurai, the best quality steel (high-carbon steel) was used for sword crafting as I wrote before. In the Kamakura period, nails were made of the second best quality steel. Building structures and nails in the Kamakura period Japanese old buildings, like temples and shrines built several hundred years ago, didn’t use any nails. This is the myth many people (even […]

    • June 8, 2021

    Camp Therapy

    Camp memory Soon after graduating from college, I joined the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. Even though it’s an air force, new recruits are trained in a field exercise. I still clearly remember how it was. The strong smell of grass and trees that clung to me when ambushing in a thick forest, excitement when making a fire (mainly because of hunger pains), the sound of rain on the tent, beautiful sunrise in morning mist (after not sleeping a wink all night, though), etc. I imagine they are probably what many people expect for a camp that becomes more and more popular in Japan. Me? No way. I was already camped out but am interested in why people do camping, going so far as spending a lot of money for camping gear. Why camp? We human beings have been keeping on making new inventions for convenience, in order to make our […]

    • May 6, 2021

    The Shoulders of Giants

    Things going down to posterity Hokkaido, this northernmost island of Japan, is getting deserted. In rural areas (Hokkaido itself can be said a rural area in Japan, though), you can see abandoned and collapsing houses everywhere. Houses with a roof and walls deformed by the weight of snow, like ones in Tim Burton’s movies. Rusty bicycles, snow shovels, etc. are partly seen in the grass around such house. They are returning to the earth. Generally, such sceneries may just look sad, but (as writing before) I personally like to see them. They remind me of the fact that we are also a part of nature. At the same time, I’ve been interested in the difference between such things returning to the earth and the other things passed down to the next generation. Small fry I once attributed the differences to the features or characteristics of things, but the following words […]

    • April 30, 2021

    The Characteristics of Hokkaido People

    It’s shown in the national high school baseball championship The most popular sport in Japan is still baseball. A good example is the national high school baseball championship. Every summer, high school teams join it after going through the elimination tournaments held in 47 prefectures. Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, is covered with snow for almost half a year. Maybe because of the bad practice environment, our prefectural representative teams were always weak and lost in the first round in most cases. When I was a kid, I never believed I would live to see the championship flag in Hokkaido. One summer day in 2004, I was just transferred back to Hokkaido. When I was buying daily necessities for a new home at some shopping mall, the background music suddenly stopped, and the news broke in. It said a Hokkaido high school team won the championship. I will never […]

    • April 19, 2021

    What is the Core Meaning of Japanese Zen?

    Japanese tea ceremony Have you ever experienced a Japanese tea ceremony? The most notable feature is its beauty of style. In a nutshell, it’s just a ceremony where a host makes matcha green tea and guests drink it. What makes the ceremony unique is it prescribes every single move of making and drinking tea. As far as I know, it already started in the 15th century; a major merchant developed the basic style in the 16th century. I’ve not yet experienced it but am so amazed by the creativity of the merchant. It’s just making and drinking tea. He must be a genius to raise such a daily routine up to a stylized ceremony. For example, I have munchies very often but have never thought to stylize snacking. The origin of mindfulness Japanese tea ceremony is always associated with Zen Spirit. These days, Zen Spirit seems to get popular as […]

    • April 13, 2021

    Stick to the High Road

    Nirvana, a god or a devil I grew up with the songs of the Beatles because my mother is a big fan of them. As writing this, I just remember her face like a demon crawling out of hell when I shot some of her LPs with my airsoft gun. When most of my elementary school classmates were obsessed with Japanese pop idols, I listened to British heavy metal, LA metal, etc. Especially if you’re from the same generation and have the same taste in music as me, I believe you would understand how big impact the band left. Their influence far-reached to not only the world music scene but also the whole society. It’s about Nirvana. Their advent is exactly destructive creation, though I personally think it was too powerful and destructive. Anti-establishment stance to the anti-establishment icon In the previous era of Nirvana, rock musicians were supposed to […]

    • April 8, 2021

    Free from the Desire To Be Free

    Free from desire for possesions? A house surrounded by a white picket fence, a SUV, two kids, a dog, and a stable job. Many people believed they were essential components of a dream life. Now, the times have changed, and the era of possession may be over. “Kids-Millennials saw their parents’ lives crumble as a result of the financial meltdown, and watched as their parents lost their life savings to the banks and Madoff’s Ponzi scheme,” said Blake Morgan, a customer-experience analyst. If she is right, Millennials don’t break free from desire for possessions but seem to resign themselves to minimalism out of fear of loss. Our ego desires everthing I believe I’m a sort of minimalist, not interested in owning things so much. These days there are quite a few people who think the same way as me. Such minimalists, including me, may proudly say “I’m glad I don’t […]

    • April 5, 2021

    Why Japanese Sakura Is Beautiful

    The faded beauty of the Hachijo Royal Hotel Rusted steel frames, faded curtains fluttering out of broken windows, tableware scattered on the floor. Ruined factories, hotels, restaurants, etc. in deserted towns are just shown, sometimes even without any narration or subtitles. Such YouTube videos are popular in Japan. In fact, I often enjoy them. “Horror is a genre in which disgust is central as an emotion,” Malcom Turvey, a British professor of film studies, said. “A lot of monsters are designed to be explicitly or implicitly disgusting.” In that sense, our interest in ruins is completely different. Japanese people see the beauty in things decaying away. I believe that is the origin of Japanese aesthetics. Japanese way to enjoy Sakura Sakura, cherry blossom is one of the Japanese national flowers (another one is chrysanthemum, for your information). We are a kind of addicted to it. As most of you may […]