Update on affect of the great earthquake

Undercurrent would be something that Japanese over generation has been familiar with, which is surviving the natural disaster and rebuilding after great crisis. We are warned that another big earthquake is due, this time with epicenter of the quake even closer to Tokyo, but this time on the west side of it. We are still… Continue reading Update on affect of the great earthquake

Tipping in the US vs No tipping in Japan

It occurred to me that in blog, I can be casual, that there's no hard and fast rule. So maybe I'll loosen up a bit here. Some formal sounding stuff, but probably more, at least for a while, relaxed kind of writing for reading. I believe social psychology perspective is the root of the difference… Continue reading Tipping in the US vs No tipping in Japan

Research conducted in Tokyo now

Product/service development, design research related people like ethnographers, interview moderators, recruiters, coordinators, interpreters, etc. have been keeping busy in Tokyo since latter part of last year, as overseas companies are again very interested in researching Japanese market. After the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake in March 11, 2011, it has of course been an interesting study… Continue reading Research conducted in Tokyo now

Recent Ethnography Research, Particularly of Recruitment Challanges in Japan

Over the past three years, I have become more and more concerned with the difficulty in creating highly exciting learning session for foreign inspiration/innovation seeking customers of both design companies and end user companies. It has a lot to do with recruiting process for people to research. I see following problems in recruiting, some of… Continue reading Recent Ethnography Research, Particularly of Recruitment Challanges in Japan

Identity integrity of adults and children in internet world, physical world

Having children was the best thing I have ever done. Ever since my first son was born 26 years ago, my children taught me more than anybody else I know. Living together with mother-in-law, husband and children was the next best thing. As researcher, I would always be stimulated. One of the most amazing things… Continue reading Identity integrity of adults and children in internet world, physical world

Social Media Balance Out Traditional Media, And Japanese Responsibility Starts at The Bottom

6 weeks after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, NHK online news announced that 27,931 people are dead or missing, and over 136,000 people are still living in evacuation in extreme hardship at Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima prefectures. As the rest of Japan slowly but steadily recover from the earthquake, recovery is still far away for… Continue reading Social Media Balance Out Traditional Media, And Japanese Responsibility Starts at The Bottom

Heart of Japanese 2011

As business owners and individuals sent words of condolences and encouragement, immediately following the earthquake, I felt miserable because the words wouldn't come. I was in shock after experiencing the same earthquake in Tokyo inside a subway train, and the ominous 6 hours walk home through eerie Tokyo where nothing was broken, yet practically nothing… Continue reading Heart of Japanese 2011

Understanding Japanese Culture Through Music

Joseph Campbell talked about the role of mythology in people's lives.  It's so true.  And it seems to me music tells so much about each culture. Modern Japanese choral music performed by children at schools show so many things about Japanese culture.  Importance of harmony between people.  Working together.  The lyrics of modern choral music… Continue reading Understanding Japanese Culture Through Music

In a nutshell: How innovations happen, how businesses grow

If you would search on the web with "Apple innovation" or "Sony demise", you would find plenty of interesting reads.  Talk is easy.  I do it all the time, and I often get paid for doing it.  But to actually make a product or service that people actually pays for, and sell them in quantity,… Continue reading In a nutshell: How innovations happen, how businesses grow

New Year in Japan

New Year's day is a big holiday in Japan, and traditionally, there are decorations that are associated with the New Year like pine branch, cut bamboos, woven dried rice stalks.  I vaguely thought of the decrease in these decorations at homes and cities for the last few years, but this year, I became aware of… Continue reading New Year in Japan

Researching the aging market in Japan

Japan has had more elderly people aged over 65 than younger people aged 15 and younger since 1997. Above graph shows other countries are following the same trend as in Japan.  What does this mean to me?  As a 50-year old, it is about ME.  And as a researcher, I am tremendously interested in what… Continue reading Researching the aging market in Japan

Good way to see the Japanese culture, design and values

One good way to see the Japanese culture, design and values would be to visit TOTO showroom in Tokyo. It's a totally Japanese language, Japanese place, but that makes it even more interesting to observe. TOTO is a kitchen, bathroom ceramic goods manufacturer, and they are doing quite well. In this tough economic time, the… Continue reading Good way to see the Japanese culture, design and values

Luxury found in Tokyo

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, luxury means a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort : sumptuous environment.  It also means something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary, or an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease. With such definition, living in Tokyo is full of luxury with TOTO toilet… Continue reading Luxury found in Tokyo

Sunday morning rush hour in Tokyo suburbs

Sunday morning between 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. is children and youth's rush hour in suburbs of greater Tokyo area.  It is the day for sports matches for kids who play sports.  Baseball,  soccer, basketball, tennis, martial arts, volleyball and others, Japanese in general loves to train and play sports formally, and that creates this… Continue reading Sunday morning rush hour in Tokyo suburbs

President of a major global company, president of a country

Watching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's speech at UCLA for the inauguration of UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block, I started to think of the responsibilities of a president of a major global company and a president of a country.  Both are ultimately leaders who's action and decisions affects everyone within his/her company or country. Just as with a… Continue reading President of a major global company, president of a country