TAG

hokkaido

    • June 11, 2021
    • April 20, 2022

    There’s Something More Important Than Survival

    Our conscience as a manufacturer Do you know the TV program “What would you do?” (WWYD for short) from the US? It’s a situational hidden-camera program starting from 2008. I really like it. Such programs are common even in Japan, but their contents are much lower in quality. Japanese poor ones just make fun of people by setting some embarrassing situations. They’re similar to “Just for laughs.” I found them fun at first but was soon tired. On the other hand, WWYD cuts to the core of social problems such as discrimination, poverty, etc. to show both dark and bright sides of human nature. People’s goodness stands out more by bringing to light the darkness in our hearts at the same time. Today, I’m writing about our conscience as a manufacturer. Please watch WWYD before going on reading, so that this article can sound more convincing. The polarization of the […]

    • June 4, 2021
    • April 20, 2022

    Don’t Empty Morgan 4/4 Out with the Bathwater

    Free-will decisions and market principles Are you always confident of your free-will decisions? MISTRA (Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart, 1990) has proved our ways of thinking and behaving are NOT genetically affected. The surrounding environment affects us much more. To be honest, I even doubt the existence of free will, though. Let me ask one more question. Do you believe market principles are always correct? We ordinary people don’t always make rational decisions based on detailed and correct knowledge, just as the principles expect. Free-will decisions and market principles are two main grounds that neo-liberalism is based on. I don’t like neo-liberalism. It’s not because of such weak grounds but because it steals my favorite things, such as Morgan 4/4. The unique heritage of Morgan The legendary car debuted in 1936 and continued to be produced without changing the basic design for more than 80 years. Can you believe […]

    • May 21, 2021
    • April 8, 2022

    No Reason to Like It

    Do we need reasons? Do you think you always have a rational reason or clear preference when choosing your actions? I’m in charge of sales, and so, always expected to explain the reasons why we recommend our furniture. In the explanation, I have to convince people with the benefits our furniture can bring to them, such as comfortability, design, etc. This blog is a good example. I struggle night and day (a little exaggerating though) with creating new content. Besides, it’s always a headache to lead all the stories to the conclusion of our brand promotion. Asking to myself again and again “Why our brand?” in order to squeeze out subjects, I’ve finally arrived at this ultimate question: Do we need reasons or preferences to decide our actions in the first place? We don’t know the reasons for our actions This time, a genius who helped me is Petter Johansson, […]

    • May 6, 2021
    • April 8, 2022

    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
    • April 8, 2022

    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 […]

    • March 18, 2021
    • March 29, 2022

    New Japanese Office Environment

    Changes due to remote work Do we still need an office? This discussion gets lively everywhere because remote work becomes common due to the COVID. The anti-office people are arguing there’re many advantages: productivity improvement by concentration improvement; more effective use of time by no commuting; stress-free from relationships at work. Before the COVID, I had a lot of business trips and was rarely in the office. Funnily enough, I once worked remotely but now work here in the office, against the times. Let me share what I, unfamiliar with working in the office for a long time, think about the discussion. The basic rules of Japanese offices In the first place, I think I should explain something more about the basic rules of Japanese offices. Executive desks are positioned at the window, closely facing to their team members. Private rooms are rare, only permitted for big bosses if space […]

    • March 16, 2021
    • April 13, 2022

    Chairs Upholstered with Japan Blue Jeans

    Japanese natural indigo Indigo is a dye extracted from a plant. As Jeans may be a synonym for indigo, it was once used to dye fabric all over the world, not only in Japan. You may think most of the jeans are still dyed in indigo blue. Nowadays, in most cases, it’s an artificial dye because natural indigo is difficult to handle. It requires a delicate adjustment according to the day’s temperature, moisture, etc. In exchange for the difficulty, the natural indigo of Japan provides more beautiful and deeper coloring. It has a long history Japan blue. Some of you may have heard this color name because it’s the signature color of the Tokyo Olympic Games. As having looked up the origin of the name, I’ve learned it is Robert William Atkinson, a British chemist who named it. The Japanese government invited him to Japan in 1875. He wrote in […]

    • February 26, 2021
    • March 29, 2022

    Overtime Problem in Japan

    Karoshi It’s very difficult to summarize this problem briefly because it is so deep-rooted. Are you ready to gaze into abyss? The Japan government has started frequently using the word “Work style reform” since 2015. Sadly, a new girl working in the top advertising firm committed suicide due to overwork that year. Her average overtime hours were reported to exceed 100 hours a month. That is almost the same as that of mine when I worked in the Ministry of Finance. The painful sad news made many people including me think “That could be me.” Even now, about 300 deaths from overwork are reported annually. Japanese employment systems I believe this is a structural problem, stemming from the structure of employment systems in Japan. Although the structure is gradually breaking down, the basics of employment systems are still the same. It is a set: recruiting of new graduates and lifetime […]

    • February 23, 2021
    • March 29, 2022

    How to Survive Meetings

    A hardship destined for Japanese workers You won’t read to the end of this article because the average human attention span is down to only eight seconds. It’s one second shorter than that of goldfish. I remember I read many articles mourning over the short human attention span when the survey result was released some years ago. Today, it’s not about human attention span but about meetings that I hate. I don’t mean I hate unproductive meetings. I hate them because meetings themselves are basically unproductive. As a hardship destined for workers in Japan, I’ve endured a lot of meetings. In addition, we spend a lot of time to prepare meeting materials. What is even worse, a preparatory meeting is sometimes held beforehand. There may be more poor people who have to hold a pre-preparatory meeting. Anyway, we should limit meeting time to eight seconds for productivity. Tricks to appear […]

    • February 18, 2021
    • March 29, 2022

    How to Spend Money Right

    Money sense It is common for me to lose (rare to make) thousands of dollars a day in the stock market. On the other hand, I sometimes give up buying cereal only because it doesn’t sell at a bargain price, though eating it almost every morning. I once bought a suit at more than 2,000 USD but hardly ever wore it. This may be a natural result for a man like me who always wear UNIQLO (synonym for cheap clothes in Japan) from head to toe at home. Spending money seems as difficult as making it. Today’s subject is “How to spend money right.” Let me share an interesting paper by Harvard psychologists. Buy experiences instead of things “Money can’t buy happiness. This sentiment is lovely, popular, and almost certainly wrong.” One of the coauthors, Daniel Gilbert started the paper with such a sensational introduction, proposing the eight money principles […]