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    • June 28, 2022
    • June 28, 2022

    When Did We Forget How to Connect with Each Other?

    Last week, I went to Tokyo for business and found all the people in the subway train (in my view) just looked at their smartphones silently. I saw such a scene every day when I lived there, but I realized it was a weird and creepy view where people perfectly make the same posture with no expression on their faces. I don’t mean to loudly criticize it. On the contrary, it can be said to be the symbolic situation to show Japanese politeness. We just sit tight so as not to bother each other, but sometimes I can’t help thinking that this may be a big opportunity loss. The stranger sitting next to us by chance could be a good friend. Do you remember kids are the master of communicating with new people, and we all once were kids? I clearly remember 12-year-younger sister happily explained the monsters of Pokémon […]

    • June 20, 2022
    • June 20, 2022

    Hokkaido Rock House, a Utopia Designed by Sou Fujimoto

    According to my source (my biased personal opinion), many movie freaks are likely to look down on animated movies. I was one of them until I went to a special exhibition in Sapporo. The title is “The Science behind PIXAR” that is about the movie production of PIXAR. The exhibition started from the US, went to some cities in Canada, and finally came to Japan. You may still believe it is only dramas played by real actors that move you, but CG animation is also very dramatic. If you know human struggling behind the scene, you will be moved by animated movies. In the exhibition, we can see many short videos where PIXAR engineers talk about what they’re doing. All of them are saying the same thing: CG animation is the fusion of art and science. After looking around the exhibition, I was all convinced by the words. Let me […]

    • June 14, 2022
    • June 14, 2022

    Beautiful and Diverse despite Many Constraints

    Maverick is back! Who can wait for the movie to start? I have yet to watch it, though. “Top Gun” was released in 1986. It was when I was only eight years old, and so, I think I watched it on video. Even so, it was impressive enough to affect my life. I know the movie has no substance at all but just made F14 Tomcat appear appealing. That is one of the reasons why I started my career from Japan Air Self-defense Force, not as a pilot, though. I like airplanes, especially fighter airplanes above all because they are the embodiment of rationality. If designs are wrong, they can’t fly. Interestingly, from this point of view, the design variety of airplanes is likely to become less, but it is not actually. Indeed, they may look similar to people with little interest, but some airplanes win kudos for their designs, […]

    • June 7, 2022
    • June 7, 2022

    Are You Sure of Your Choice of Flowers?

    I rarely buy flowers. It’s only on Mother’s Day, though I forget even that sometimes. Probably that’s because I don’t really know what flowers I should buy. On Mother’s Day, it’s easy because flower shops offer a wide variety of Mother’s Day bouquet options. In addition, there’s a mental wall in us, I guess. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone who is waiting for his/her date with a flower bouquet, and so I believe it only happens in the movies. In other words, that may be because of Richard Gere in “Pretty Woman” or “Shall We Dance?” Flower gifting becomes a mission impossible for us ordinary people, based on my fully biased opinion.[...]

    • May 31, 2022
    • June 6, 2022

    What Do You Think Art Is?

    The harsh realities I learned from “A Dog of Flanders” Have you ever read “A Dog of Flanders?” I don’t know why that is, but it’s very popular in Japan. It was even made into an animated TV show. Probably, more than 90% of Japanese kids knew the story at least in my childhood. Is the situation the same in your country? Is it popular in the UK (the writer’s country) and Belgium (the place of the story), too? I know the book is regarded as a masterpiece of children’s literature, but I don’t think it’s suitable for children much. Although I was a child when reading it, the first lesson I learned was “It’s impossibly hard to survive in this world.” I thought it was too early for children to know how cruel the world is. Hunger is above art As I was writing “the first lesson,” there was […]

    • May 24, 2022
    • June 1, 2022

    What Is Good about Travel by Train?

    Trains are still the king of transportation for tourism Which transportation do you think is best for your trip? By air, sea, or road? According to a report by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the share of travel by train is highest in the domestic market in Japan. The number-based share of travel by train was about 70% in 2020, and has been increasing year by year, along with a trend that young people turn away from driving. It’s not only about the Japanese people. Almost the same thing can be said about tourists from overseas. The share of rail transportation for such tourists to move around Japan is about 55%. For your information, the second is public bus service with a share of about 30%. The advantages of train transportation over other means I don’t know if it’s the same in your countries, but there are […]

    • May 18, 2022
    • June 15, 2022

    Why the Architect Opened a New Office in the Countryside

    Why public work becomes bureaucratic in Japan Mistakes are not allowed, and so, we do things the same way as everyone else. This is a pattern of behavior that widely dominates Japanese society. You can see the behavioral patterns a lot especially in Japanese government offices. I can say that for sure from my experience of working as a public servant for more than 10 years. One mistake can shut the door on your career. Naturally, public servants are highly likely to make a low-risk option with precedent. A small town office made innovation There are exceptions to it, of course. One of the famous exceptions is the local government of our next town, Higashikawa town. It’s really a small town with a population of about 8000 only. Japan is facing a declining population, which is most obvious in rural areas. In addition, there are more disadvantages for the town. […]

    • May 10, 2022
    • June 2, 2022

    Why Do You Think We Love Antiques?

    It’s safe but boring just to praise classic things Do you like antiques or vintage stuff? To tell the truth, I don’t like motor journalists or car critics who excessively praise classic cars. That’s because I think it’s a boring and too safe move, and believe professional critics should take a risk of evaluating new things without a solid reputation. Having said that, I like classic cars. I don’t know the clear definition of “classic cars,” but let’s say here they’re Japanese sports cars over 25 years. Now, their price is skyrocketing because of the 25-year rule of the US. The rule enables right-hand-drive cars produced more than 25 years ago to be registered in the US. Accordingly, more and more Japanese sports cars in my youth are going across the sea to the US. This is getting off the track, though. Old dents and scratches on antiques are the […]

    • April 26, 2022
    • May 24, 2022

    Do You Know How to Deal with Customer Complaints?

    Our complaints are going to sell Why is there no lamp in the freezer compartment of a fridge? Suitcase wheels should be replaceable! I believe you have this kind of small complaints a lot in your daily life. Most of them are too small to express, but they will corrode you inside little by little. In Japan, there’s a good service to recommend you. It’s a “complaint buying service center.” You can put complaints in writing and send them to the center. The AI rates the complaints in 50 points, and you can get Amazon gift cards according to the points. This is totally due to the technological advancement of AI, from character recognition to sentence recognition. If it were not for AI, the service couldn’t match financially. Positive small complaints move society forward If complaints are big enough, people would talk directly to commodity or service suppliers. On the […]

    • April 19, 2022
    • June 2, 2022

    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. 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: 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. It’s completely different from what we generally imagine, isn’t it? This may be peculiar to Japan, but the public […]