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“Facing the biggest challenge and yet feeling vibrant” – The irresistible passion

2021/11/6  

There’s something interesting about humans in that when it comes to what we love, we don’t mind going through hardships. My child has just turned five recently, but he is completely hooked on the computer I gave him. He is avidly reading guidebooks and learning programming. He is literally panting with exertion, his head covered in sweat while he stares at computer. He doesn’t even want to spare time for sleep. I often talk about “live in want to”. If we live doing what we want to, we can maximize our potential. On the other hand, if we are bound ...

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“It took 10 years to complete this job and that is why the flowers bloom so magnificently.” – The man who planted trees and Mr. Kokichi Mikimoto

2021/11/6  

Do you know the story The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono? It’s a story about a shepherd who plants 100 acorns every single day on a barren, devastated area of land. In the end, his solitary effort brings beautiful forests in the area. I studied French at the language school Athénée Français under its Synthétique course. Recently, I visited the school website and found that they offer a trial, short course, the curriculum of which includes reading “The Man Who Planted Trees.” When I was a student there, we had to memorize stories from homework and recite them ...

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The issues around North Korea: Simulate the worst-case scenario for Japan

2021/11/6  

Suddenly the health and safety of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has become a hot topic. North Korea has shot numerous missiles and been engaged in the development of nuclear weaponry. A country that has been one of the main characters of the “Trump show,” has been somewhat quiet these days, but suddenly a strange death rumor arose and created some noise (we don’t know if it’s true yet). For Japan, the relationship with Korea is clearly important politically. It is often argued that Japan is unique in that the Imperial House of Japan is the oldest continuing monarchical ...

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Exercise your ability to break things down: On maintaining wisdom

2021/11/6  

I feel like due to the coronavirus there are an increasing number of false (unconvincing) ideas and opinions out there these days. When practicing strategic thinking and logical thinking, the first step is to grasp facts and logic. If you are confronting the facts your opinion and statements become real and convincing. To grasp the facts, you must look into them in detail by breaking them down into elements. René Descartes said, “Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.” Those who do not exercise the ability to divide things into parts are ...

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Urbanization of the tropical regions will open Pandora’s box: Thoughts on the history of infectious disease

2021/11/6  

As part of “after-corona society” argument, let’s think from a pathological point of view. A while ago, a book titled Guns, Germs, and Steel became popular worldwide. As is discussed in the book, germs have had a huge impact on human history: Because diseases have been the biggest killers of people, they have also been decisive shapers of history. Until World War II, more victims of war died of war-borne microbes than of battle wounds. All those military histories glorifying great generals oversimplify the ego-deflating truth: the winners of past wars were not always the armies with the best generals ...

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“True leaders stay outside of matters to observe their essence instead of succumbing to them.” – think through the after-corona

2021/11/6  

The world will not be the same post-corona. Many industries will have to rebuild themselves while taking the risk of infection into consideration. Even after this initial crisis is over, there will be a second and third corona wave, so “going back to normal after the COVID incident” is going to be nothing but an illusion. For example, the way we work. Are we going back to work in that dense, island-style office layout? Now that telework has proven functional, going back to that will increase health risks but not productivity (of course there will be some balance between traditional ...

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“The open society and its enemies” – “Platformers” are alluring flowers

2021/11/6  

Around this time last year, it was a topic in the news that apparel companies were leaving ZOZOTOWN. In exactly the same manner, Disney has announced that it will exit Netflix to start its own Disney+ service, adding on to the impression that more and more companies are becoming platform-independent. Although a slightly belated topic, I will address this in this post. The US Toys“R”us filed bankruptcy in September 2017. The direct reason for its collapse was that they couldn’t compete against Amazon in the online toy market. Toys“R”us initially signed an exclusive agreement with Amazon to sell their products ...

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“Practicing for a thousand days is discipline and practicing for ten thousand days is refining” – A self-reminder

2021/11/6  

There is a famous sword master in Japan’s history, and his name is Miyamoto Musashi. Miyamoto Musashi(source:Wikipedia) I just recently wrote about living in “want to” and striving for one’s dream, and I decided to continue noting the importance of lifelong learning, which is also meant as my own reminder. Miyamoto Musashi wrote a book titled The Book of Five Rings, and the following lines are found in one of the five chapters, The Book of Water: Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men. Next, to beat more skillful men, train accordingly. … ...

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Let us live in “want to”: Our will is what sets our challenges

2021/11/6  

There is this famously difficult piece called La Campanella by Franz Liszt. It is made to play with Liszt’s large hands and at a very fast tempo, so it is an extremely hard, actually, one of the hardest piano pieces that exists in the world. Recently, a TV program featured a mid-aged fisherman who fully plays it. He is a seaweed fisherman whose hobby was Pachinko (an arcade game or gambling machine popular among Japanese adults). He kept losing his money until eventually he stopped doing it, and thus, he was bored at home. One day, he saw Fuzjko (Fujiko) ...

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“I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” – Education is a sword

2020/8/28  

As you grow professionally, your viewpoints change. You might have heard the expression, “move up the level of abstraction,” but when you do so, you start finding some kind of universality among the things that used to look different to you. Meaning, you become “smart,” because it means you become able to apply one principle to another more flexibly. In business, a manager needs not know every detail of the operation on the ground; in fact, that is just impossible. However, there are general principles in management and leadership.    Although, when your viewpoint changes, it becomes less easy to communicate ...

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