• February 2, 2021

    We Need Stories

    Time exists by story memory technique As I wrote before, the definition of “time” is not completely settled in physics and philosophy. To be more precise, the existence of time is often an obstacle to prove the laws of physics. Apparently, it is doubtful in physics. Recently, I read an article by a neuroscientist. It said we felt the existence of time because we memorize as stories all sorts of things that happen in our lives. The story memory technique itself has long been known. The most famous one would be the memory palace method. Although I couldn’t understand even a half of the article, unfortunately, it has reinforced one of my beliefs: we need stories to live. Significant objects I suppose the famous marketing research “Significant Objects” is an example to show an aspect related to this human nature. It’s an experiment devised by Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn […]

    • December 22, 2020

    Empathy Is the Key to Survival

    Wolves everywhere In the movie “Wolf of Wall Street,” Jordan Belfort sounded off “I’ve been telling you guys not to take no for an answer, to keep pushing, to not hang up the phone ‘til you get what you want.” In the movie “The Founder,” Dick McDonald regretted making a business partnership with Ray Kroc, saying “There’s a wolf in the hen house.” The business world is a battle field where wolves are ruthlessly killing each other. Many people would think like that. At least, I did. When I worked at the Ministry of Finance, what unfolded right before my eyes was exactly that. One mistake can lead to the end of a career. The mistakes of others taste like honey. IT giants are not wolves As naturally imagining the same dramas would happen in Silicon Valley, I was surprised by a book written by Stanford University online high school […]

    • December 18, 2020

    He Is Rich That Few Wants

    International Division of Labor In these past few years, I’ve come to see many conveyor-belt sushi restaurants in any place around the world. I don’t know the price range of those restaurants overseas. In Japan, conveyor-belt sushi restaurants are thought to be cheap, like fast food restaurants. About 30 years ago, sushi was still a special treat even for Japanese people. It was only a birthday and the last day of the year when I could eat sushi in my childhood. It’s not only about food. I believe you can think of many other examples similar to this. Do you know how these changes happen? Because we get rich? Due to productivity improvement? They may be partially correct and wrong. I believe the main reason would be “International Division of Labor (IDOL).” This spell will come back to bite us. The result of a harsh international competition If you’re interested […]

    • December 11, 2020

    The Restoration of Human Communication

    Direct marketing Until last year, before the COVID pandemic, I traveled around the world and saw many people on business. Now, my life (work) style has changed significantly. I just go to work and straight back home. Although people around me would feel the same way, I’m fed up with seeing the same faces at work and home every day. This big change has told me a lot. How much I like my past life (work) style, even though that was always a series of all-night trips. How much important changes and communication with people are to me. I may ask too much for life, but we social animals are not satisfied only with food and drink. Would you agree? If yes, direct marketing is highly recommended for you. Marketing finely tuned for each customer In my definition, the key point of direct marketing is two-way communication. I think the […]

    • December 4, 2020

    Why Are Memories More Beautiful?

    Our memories are glorified When I was a kid, my father often took me to rivers, lakes, etc. to fish. In one of my unforgettable memories was a small river. There were some small waterfalls aligned in a row. I fished a lot! Oddly enough, my father always says he doesn’t know such a place. To make matters worse, he says I’ve never fished such a lot. Since then, I’ve been interested in this psychological phenomenon where our memories are glorified. I know brain science has already found out the structure. That is very simple: we make minor changes every time recalling memories. We recall good memories more frequently because feeling good. Consequently, good memories change more and better. That makes sense but is just boring (and difficult to be associated with our promotion), and so, let me share my own theory. Because our life is non-reproducible It’s like this. […]

    • November 24, 2020

    Where Is Your Home?

    The definition of a home Where are you from? Because of my work (overseas sales), I’ve exchanged this question many times with many people around the world. There have been many people living outside their countries of origin. Some of them said they would be back after retirement; others said they would stay out there for the rest of their lives. Every time this question comes up in conversation, I’ve got more and more interested and come to think deeply about the definition of a “home.” Is it a place where you were borne, you lived longest, or your parents live? How do you define it? Where are you from? A place to go back to By the way, do you like TED talks? I do and one day happened to find a good definition of a “home” in one of them thrown by Pico Iyer. He is ethnically Indian; […]

    • November 6, 2020

    Great Expectations

    The wane of the king TOYOTA Elon Musk started TESLA in 2003. Only 17 years from then, he finally snatched the world top position from TOYOTA in the total market value. The news made me feel the big change of the times and somehow remember a scene from the movie “BACK TO THE FUTURE.” Doc said “No wonder this circuit failed; it says Made in Japan.” Marty said back “What do you mean, Doc? All the best stuff is made in Japan.” I imagine if someone came from the future to the present time, s/he might be surprised to see cars are still made in Japan. Today, rather than just mourning the economic downfall of Japan, I’d like to express my appreciation for the heritage inherited from our ancestors. The dawn of the Japanese manufacturers When I first saw the movie, I was just under 10 years old, not a […]

    • November 3, 2020

    Hunger Is the Best Sauce

    It’s like a mirage. A journey itself is worthless. It is a part of the subject of my previous article. As some of the readers may notice, it is inspired by the words of Marcel Proust. The above image is not him but Marcus Tullius Cicero, by the way. Marcel Proust says “The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” I have lived in many places so far, and so, I feel like I can have some new eyes, hopefully. Today, let me introduce a funny characteristic of local people of Hokkaido that I can find from a distance through my new eyes. Hokkaido is the northern-most part of Japan. Because of a long winter, we are under the spell of snow. For example, when we see a narrow road, a house with an odd-shaped roof, people driving a convertible car, or […]

    • October 27, 2020

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being

    A disposable worker Today, by writing this article, I try to make a stir in the philosophy of productivity improvement. I know it’s very tiny one, though. When I decided to resign from Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDAF), the title of this article came up and stayed in my mind. After 10-month hell-like training, what awaited me was real hell. My job was just sorting and packing aircraft parts carried on a belt conveyor in a huge automated warehouse. That was so cruel treatment for young me. I was trained to keep on walking even in boots with blood inside for many hours without sleep, but the job easily took away my will to fight. It’s not only because the job was monotonous but because I couldn’t see the whole picture and felt like I was just a small replaceable part of a machine. Productivity VS human dignity In terms […]

    • October 21, 2020

    Do You Know Wise Frogs in the Well?

    In Japan for these 10 years or more, “the journey of self-discovery” has been very popular especially among young people. A typical pattern is: suddenly quitting a job, going to Machu Picchu (or world famous spiritual sites, in most cases), and showing off such experiences after coming back. As you can see from the ironical tone, I’m not a big fan of such people. I think it’s too pitiful if experience is all that s/he has found as an identity factor even after going all the way to Peru. It’s about time we could break the spell of just seeking for wide experience for identity development. Why the journey of self-discovery becomes popular like this? I think it is because people can easily feel like developing their identities through such experiences. Careful consideration (even not very careful one) calls a reasonable question. Is it such a big deal? It’s not […]