• November 12, 2021
    • October 14, 2022

    What Is the Dispo? People Enjoy Even the Inconvenience of Waiting

    We get used to waiting in a line in Japan What surprises many foreigners who first come to Japan would be huge lineups of people waiting to enter shops, restaurants, etc. In the early phase of the COVID, there were many lineups in front of drug stores even in the early morning, I remember. Those huge lineups are thought to be a symbol to show the patience and politeness of Japanese people. Have you ever looked at them closely? A line of people moving little by little, only looking at their phones with no expression. To be honest, they just look scary and uncanny even to me. Do you know the photo-sharing app Dispo? With a few exceptions like some Japanese people, humans basically dislike being kept waiting, but even such primitive human nature may be changing among the new generation people somehow. Do you know a photo-sharing app called […]

    • October 22, 2021
    • October 13, 2022

    Marketing Tips: What Is the Essence of a Product?

    EV will drastically change car design The deadly battles of rebellions against authorities have just begun. It’s about the battles over EV market share. The famous ones of the rebellions are Google, Apple, and Sony; those of the authorities are Toyota, Volkswagen, and Renault. I’m excited just as an audience to watch the battles because I believe the basic design or structure of cars is highly possible to change drastically through the battles. The great change in the power source of cars finally freed engineers and designers from the problems of heat, noise, and vibration from engines. I expect the change will create electric cars with exciting design completely different from that of gas-powered cars. Fish crates don’t need to be made of wood I’m positive about this change in the car industry for the above reason, but not always positive about all the changes in any industry. For example, […]

    • September 16, 2021
    • January 14, 2023

    Marketing Tips: Customers Don’t Even Know What They Really Want

    We don’t know what we really want A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. This is what Steve Jobs said. As the old saying goes, people don’t know themselves as well as they know others. Sometimes, making matters more complicated, people say the opposite of what they want, which makes marketing more difficult. Even McDonald’s failed The well-known example of behavioral economics is “Salad dish set launched by McDonald’s Japan in 2006.” The product development team of McDonald’s Japan was not smug, not acting arbitrarily. They just developed the epic-fail menu based on questionnaire results asking for healthy salad and saying no to junk food. Ironically, Quarter Pounder series (huge size burgers) debuted in 2008 and were a big hit. Product-out may not be that bad People don’t know exactly what they want. This would be the reason why we can […]

    • July 16, 2021
    • October 21, 2022

    Business Tips: Counterfeit Production Is Really 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
    • January 28, 2023

    Japanese History Guide: 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 world heritage sites. According to what I learned on the Internet, it is now the second most popular sightseeing spot in France after Mont Saint-Michel. 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. I imagine anyone would immediately notice the difference in material: stone in Europe and wood in Japan, but that is not what attracted my attention most. The fortress of Carcassonne has a residence area inside and high walls, different from Japanese castles. The reasons of the differences […]

    • July 9, 2021
    • October 6, 2022

    Japanese History Guide: The Quality of Nails in the Best Samurai Period

    Kamakura samurais, strongest and bravest 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 believed to be 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 […]

    • June 8, 2021
    • October 13, 2022

    Why Is Camping So Popular? What’s the Point of Camping?

    Camp memories 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. Camping 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. Return to nature We human beings have been keeping on making new inventions for convenience, in order to make […]

    • February 5, 2021
    • December 24, 2022

    The Story of Our Founder: A Furniture Craftsman with a Frantic Passion

    Autocracy was the need of the times An autocracy may be necessary in the very first phase of a business to make it take off in the harsh market battles. Especially new comers in the market are always exposed to kill-or-be-killed situations. They don’t have time to make decisions after democratic consultation. The founder of CondeHouse was with an autocratic leadership style, and that made the company survive and thrive, I’m sure. I don’t think the leadership style was what he intended. He was a master craftsman and furniture designer of frantic passion. It is the passion that drove forward everything including himself autocratically. In the furniture industry in Japan, he is a legend. There are many anecdotes about him, but today, let me narrow down and share two of them. The dawn of the Japanese furniture industry I believe his biggest achievement is a revolution in the furniture distribution. […]

    • January 4, 2021
    • October 12, 2022

    Japanese Culture and Traditions: Tidy Up to Spark Joy!

    The scent of the Sun I was so surprised when learning that it is prohibited to hang the laundry outside in some places overseas. We, Japanese people really like to hang the laundry under the sun light. Japanese climate of high humidity is said to be the main reason of it. Recently, more washing machines come to have a drying function. Even so, most Japanese people would still prefer hanging the laundry outside, saying they like to smell the scent of the sun. I completely agree. The scent of towels and bed linen hung outside reminds me of younger days in bright summer. However, there’s one thing I can’t abide about washing. It’s folding the laundry. What is the point of it all? We have to unfold clothes to put them on. It seems irrational, meaningless, and a waste of time. To fold or not to fold My above statement […]

    • December 18, 2020
    • October 13, 2022

    Economy Trivia: He Is Rich That Has 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 […]