TAG

luxury

    • 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 […]

    • June 4, 2021

    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 […]

    • June 1, 2021

    Do You Know the Art of Ninja?

    Languages create cultures I have a 12 year younger sister. When she was very small, I asked “What is your brother like?” She lisped “You like to eat tofu.” I know she was not wrong. Indeed, I like tofu even now, but her answer was far from what I expected at that time. Feeling disappointed, I thought by myself who I was, and realized it was very difficult to define myself. For the same reason, most people can’t see their own countries and cultures, but multi-lingual speakers are better at it. It’s because language creates culture, and vice versa. Today, let me share cultural differences and Japanese uniqueness found especially by a Japanese-English speaker. Uniqueness in hearing ability When working as a translator, onomatopée was always headache. Japanese language is said to have the largest number of onomatopée in the world. Making matters worse, there’s onomatopée to express even silence, […]

    • May 28, 2021

    Do You Know Why Expensive Goods Look Expensive?

    Are we just hypnotized? Why do expensive goods look expensive, and vice versa in most cases? Do high price tags or brand names just hypnotize us into believing so? As writing here sometimes, I’m not interested in buying and owning material things but in investment. My main battlefield is the stock market, but once I researched “watch investment.” At that time, I was so surprised at the price of super expensive watches. Such as Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, etc. Most of them are more than several million dollars. Of course, I immediately understood I was out of place, though. Today, I didn’t mean to raise the question whether the price of such super luxury things is appropriate or not. My interest developed at that time was discovering the factors that make things look the part. Necessity for a lot of time and effort to produce Even before making the research […]

    • May 10, 2021

    Time for Real Work

    We may work just to kill time The US Lower House passed the bill of public spending of more than 1,900 billion dollars. Accordingly, the US economy (the Dow-Jones average, at least) is coming back like crazy, even though many people have not yet been back to business as usual. In Japan, it has been reported that many people at remote work are complaining “So bored to death,” even though they were complaining about non-decreasing overtime before the COVID. Most of us simply believe our work contributes to society or someone else, and also that that’s the reason why money is paid. After seeing the above facts, I come to doubt it. In fact, we may have just wasted time for things no one wants, and may no longer even work for money. Free from work only for money Some of you may say “You talk nonsense! Who will provide […]

    • 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 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 […]

    • April 2, 2021

    Japanese Ambiguity as a Courtesy

    No absolute justice S/he once sharply criticized the government. After winning the election, s/he comes to repeat ambiguous remarks and looks like losing her/his former self. I’m sure you’ve seen this kind of change of mind. You may feel betrayed and think “I could always achieve social justice.” I didn’t mean to defend all the politicians, but believe most of them are not faithless. First of all, there’s no such thing as absolute justice or evil. Indeed, it is right to pursue the greatest happiness for the greatest number in utilitarianism, but the tyranny of the majority sometimes hurts the minority so deep that people can’t coexist after confrontation. In a sense, decent politicians are meant to be ambiguous. Ambiguity as an ancient wisdom In terms of ambiguity, I believe Japanese people are second to none in the world. Majority vote is rarely adopted in a company meeting. Even company […]