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jerryking : japan   37

Always seek out novelty — even at home
April 26, 2019 | Financial Times | by Tim Harford.
* A Mathematical Theory of Communication by Claude Shannon (1948)
* The search for new experiences should not just be for our holidays.
* Japan: 10 days in a far-off land produces a richer treasury of detailed memories than 10 weeks back home. But why?
* Actively searching for new experiences --whether on holiday abroad or within your daily routine at home!!
* Novelty isn't just about mental stimulation. It also exposes you to opportunity.....Variation also reshapes the mental categorisation of experiences, so that freshness can be found within routine activities.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
While on an adventurous holiday, many people experience that strange sense of time having slowed down in the most pleasurable way, and of conversations that begin, “Was it really only yesterday that we . . . ?”

Ten days in a far-off land produces a richer treasury of detailed memories than 10 weeks back home. But what is behind this phenomenon?

Claude Shannon,in 1948, published one of his two profound contributions, A Mathematical Theory of Communication.....a message can be compressed to the extent that it is predictable. ....(e.g. Ritualised conversations (“How are you?” “Very well, thank you. How are you?”) can be heavily compressed.....A movie can be compressed because, between cuts, each frame tends to resemble the previous one....Although the parallel is not exact, much the same thing seems to be going on with our memories of life. The brain is not a video recorder; we recall the gist. Sometimes the gist is very brief. If I get up in the morning at the usual time, eat my customary breakfast and catch my usual train to the office, why should my brain trouble itself to remember this day two weeks after the fact? The diffs are barely worth bothering with. In contrast, fresh experiences defy compression: the diffs are too big........Brian Christian, author of The Most Human Human, a book about conversations between humans and computers, speculates that if we’re seeking advice we should ask the person of whose answer we are least certain. If we want to understand a person, we should ask them the question to which we are least sure of their answer.
algorithms  books  compression  creativity  creative_renewal  economists  experience_economy  fresh_eyes  habits  holidays  insta-bae  Japan  mybestlife  novelty  non-routine  Slow_Movement  Tim_Harford  travel  unpredictability  vacations  variety 
april 2019 by jerryking
What It’s Like to Be a Black Man in Japan
March 9, 2019 | The New York Times |By Adeel Hassan.

diverse blackness is in Japan was limited. Through the column, I’ve learned of black lawyers, university presidents, stuntmen, filmmakers, J-pop idols, entrepreneurs galore, even true expats with political aspirations. This had the impact on me that I was hoping it would have on our Japanese hosts.

Second, I learned how writing is a form of activism. I never intended to be an activist but it’s inevitable that if you take on issues with passion and persuasiveness that will lend itself to activism. By virtue of your prominence, people will look to you for leadership. It’s a hell of a responsibility and has placed me and my work in the cross hairs of some unsavory elements over here, some of whom labeled me and any black person with a similar “can’t sit silent and still and accept the nonsense” mentality as dangers to Japan.
African-Americans  blackness  culture  expatriates  Japan  race 
march 2019 by jerryking
Japan gears up for mega hack of its own citizens
February 5, 2019 | Financial Times | by Leo Lewis.

Yoshitaka Sakurada, Japan’s 68-year-old minister for cyber security, stands ready to press the button next week on an unprecedented hack of 200m internet enabled devices across Japan — a genuinely imaginative, epically-scaled and highly controversial government cyber attack on homes and businesses designed as an empirical test of the nation’s vulnerability. A new law, fraught with public contention over constitutionally-guaranteed privacy, was passed last May and has just come into effect to give the government the right to perform the hack and make this experiment possible. The scope for government over-reach, say critics, cannot be overstated. Webcams, routers and other devices will be targeted in the attacks, which will primarily establish what proportion have no password protection at all, or one that can be easily guessed. At best, say cyber security experts at FireEye, the experiment could rip through corporate Japan’s complacency and elevate security planning from the IT department to the C-suite.

The experiment, which will run for five years and is being administered through the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, is intended to focus on devices that fall into the broadly-defined category of “internet of things” (IoT) — anything from a yoga mat that informs a smartphone of your contortions, to remotely controlled factory robots. And while cyber experts say IoT security may not be the very top priority in the fight against cyber crime and cyber warfare, they see good reasons why Japan has chosen to make its stand here.....warnings that the rise of IoT will create a vast new front of vulnerability unless the security of, for example, a web-enabled yoga mat is taken as seriously by both manufacturers and users as the security of a banking website. The big cyber security consultancies, along with various governments, have historically relied on a range of gauges to calculate the scale of the problem. The Japanese government’s own National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) uses scans of the dark web to estimate that, of the cyber attacks it detected in 2017, 54 per cent targeted IoT devices.
C-suite  cyberattacks  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  dark_web  experimentation  hacks  Industrial_Internet  Japan  overreach  preparation  privacy  readiness  testing  vulnerabilities  white_hats 
february 2019 by jerryking
How business is capitalising on the millennial Instagram obsession
July 13, 2018 | Financial Times | Leo Lewis in Tokyo and Emma Jacobs in London 12 HOURS AGO.

Japan's 21st century’s burgeoning experience economy, which is being driven by millennial consumers and transforming the landscape for businesses everywhere. Japan is not only an innovator in this economy but is also seen as a bellwether for​​ the likely tastes of ​China and south-east Asia’s swelling middle-class consumers......it is not just the quality of the food that attracts crowds to these cafés, but also the quality of the encounter. “That is why the tables are made to wobble,” she explains. “It’s designed so that when you have your pancake in front of you, you can see how fuwa-fuwa it is by how much it jiggles on the plate when the table moves. It is extremely, extremely satisfying to watch,” she adds. “It is what makes it an experience.”.....In Mori’s opinion — a view evidently shared by the customers currently queueing in the stairwell — it is not just the quality of the food that attracts crowds to these cafés, but also the quality of the encounter. “That is why the tables are made to wobble,” she explains. “It’s designed so that when you have your pancake in front of you, you can see how fuwa-fuwa it is by how much it jiggles on the plate when the table moves. It is extremely, extremely satisfying to watch,” she adds. “It is what makes it an experience.”.......In their influential 1998 article “Welcome to the Experience Economy”, American consultants Joseph Pine and James Gilmore argued that a marketable experience occurs “when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event . . . ” These experiences were, they went on, “inherently personal, existing only in the mind of an individual who has been engaged on an emotional, physical, intellectual or even spiritual level”.

This was seen as the logical next step from the service economy, itself an evolution from the industrial economy and, prior to that, the agrarian economy....In Japan, notoriously long working hours have made time-poverty one of the defining features of the country’s leisure sector. The market has responded, over many decades, by refining and packaging experience in the most efficient, deliverable way......The millennial generation — and the growth of social media — has taken this economy in some unexpected directions. Instagram is to thank for the birth of “Oshapiku” — a compound of “oshare” (fancy) and “picnic”, where the emphasis is on meeting up, dressing up and engaging in the most photogenic picnic imaginable......“Experiences are king,” the consultancy McKinsey stated last year in a report arguing that, “in recent years, faced with the choice of buying a trendy designer jacket or a shiny new appliance or of attending a show, consumers increasingly opt for the show and, more broadly, for experiences with their friends and families.”.......Japan’s experience economy has evolved along two distinct avenues. On one side an already fully fledged leisure, dining and hospitality sector has sought ever more inventive ways of packaging experience — from hotels staffed by robots and limited-edition Shinkansen bullet trains fitted out with Hello Kitty decor to many of the country’s aquariums offering the opportunity to camp overnight surrounded by the relaxing pulsations of bioluminescent jellyfish.

The other side, says Mori, has to an extent developed as a branch of Japan’s “otaku” culture. This originally referred to the obsessive focus on particular areas of popular culture such as animation, video games or comics but is now more generally applied to a tendency to single-minded connoisseurship......“There are actually three sides to the experience economy in cosplay,” says Eri Nakashima, the manager of the Polka Polka second-hand cosplay costume store in central Tokyo. “There is the basic passion for becoming a different character from the one you are in everyday life; there is the participation in a community that shares that; and there is the creativity of making the costume perfect.”

This notion of community has become a pattern of growth for the experience economy. .......Shopping remains a huge draw for these tourists: the country’s retailers continue to thrive on the high average spending (£1,000) of middle-class visitors from China, Taiwan, Vietnam and elsewhere. But, by the end of 2017, when the government’s target was obliterated and 28 million tourists arrived during one year, it was clear that Japan’s long history of perfecting short, sharp experiential offerings — from onsen springs to pancakes — had won a new generation of admirers from overseas....Japan’s tendency towards connoisseurship — part of the reason that queueing for an experience is often regarded as a necessary ingredient to enjoyment — continues to be a powerful part of its appeal. The country’s manufacturers have long made a fetish of monozukuri — the quality of “thing-making” artisanship — to actively encourage people to own more stuff. But today the instinct to collect and accumulate things has, she says, been replaced by a desire to collect and accumulate experiences — and, in time-honoured Japanese fashion, to building ever larger libraries of images......Japanese companies Canon, Olympus, Konica, Minolta and Nikon were some of the most successful camera makers on the planet: the passion behind them was not just about the physical machinery but about a recognition that picture-taking dramatically enhances the consumption of experience....Insta-bae became not just a description of something you had seen but an explicit target to seek out. The experience economy, says Harada, is increasingly built around people going in search of experiences that are insta-bae.
bellwethers  cosplay  experiential_marketing  experience_economy  image-driven  Instagram  Japan  Japanese  millennials  obsessions  novelty  self-absorbed  visual_culture  connoisseurship  end_of_ownership  Joseph_Pine  James_Gilmore  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts 
july 2018 by jerryking
Japanese convenience stores limber up in effort to spur growth
April 15, 2018 | FT | Leo Lewis and Robin Harding in Tokyo YESTERDAY.

Over the next five years, FamilyMart — Japan’s second-biggest convenience store chain with revenues of ¥3.1tn ($29.5bn) — plans to open 300 Fit & Go gyms in a challenge to its two largest competitors, Seven & i Holdings and Lawson.

FamilyMart’s move into fitness highlights powerful trends that are transforming Japanese retail. They are creating fresh opportunities, say analysts, for the mighty konbini (a transliteration of “convenience”) to seize an ever greater share of consumer spend.

“Current social patterns — the rise of working women, the ageing population — are a strong following wind for the convenience store industry,” said Sadanobu Takemasu, chief executive of Lawson, the third-largest operator with ¥2.6tn sales and 14,000 stores. Rural depopulation is also on their side, with a konbini often the last shop standing in many communities.

“There are people who think Japan can manage with nothing but ecommerce and convenience stores. The big dry goods like toilet paper would come online,” he added. “All the day-to-day goods would come from the convenience store.”

But, say analysts, even the konbini face the challenge of population decline. Footfall at stores open for more than a year has fallen for 24 months in a row, the longest period since the Japan Franchise Association began compiling the statistics in 2004.

The answer to lower footfall is more revenue per customer. Having achieved dominance of their own industry through consolidation, the konbini are moving into other sectors, taking on supermarkets, coffee shops, drug stores and fast-food chains......“The convenience stores’ biggest challenge is the absence of a new category big enough to give the whole industry a lift,” said Mr Kawano, who added that even the ready-to-eat likes of the Famichiki had yet to prove their power to transform. “Each group is investing more in its fast-food offering — but there has been nothing revolutionary, no game changer.”
convenience_stores  retailers  Japanese  prepared_meals  Japan  foot_traffic  gyms  fast-food  trends  new_categories 
april 2018 by jerryking
Asia doesn’t vote for subways, it builds them - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
SEOUL — The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 02 2015

The key in North Asia is the assumption that urban transit is a public good that must be given priority in funding and planning. These countries don’t engage in the fits and starts of Canadian cities; they plan to improve every year. It happens in authoritarian China, but also in democratic Japan and South Korea....Governments here don’t put matters to a plebiscite. They do what governments are supposed to do: they decide. The Chinese don’t care much about Not in My Backyard. Democratic countries have to pay more attention to public opinion. Judging by the public transit in North Asia, people understand that without large and efficient systems, their cities will be less manageable and competitive.
public_transit  Jeffrey_Simpson  Japan  South_Korea  China  public_goods 
may 2015 by jerryking
Islands of ill dispute – between China and Japan - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 27 2013 | The Globe and Mail |editorial.

The United States is right to have ignored China’s declaration of an air-defence zone over a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea. The islands themselves – tiny, uninhabited lumps of land – are insignificant. But China’s declaration of a kind of airborne sovereignty over them amounts to a unilateral and unacceptable escalation of a low-level conflict. It raises tensions between China and Japan, and threatens to destabilize the entire region, since China has similar, ongoing disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines and other maritime neighbours.
China  Japan  U.S.  conflicts  editorials  South_China_Sea  maritime  sovereignty  Asia_Pacific  disputes  provocations 
december 2013 by jerryking
Old Ways Need New Thinking - WSJ.com
Nov. 20, 2013 | WSJ | By Neena Rai.

Vito Martielli, senior grains and oilseeds analyst at Rabobank, says that traditional producers of olive oil must seek out new export markets, such as Asia, in order to counter issues of oversupply.

"Markets like China, Japan and India, which all have a growing middle class, are starting to demand more exotic ingredients and this should be tapped into," says Mr. Martielli. Asian countries are now seen as a gateway by the Mediterranean olive-oil producers who seek to capitalize on the oil's status as a luxury cooking product.
olives  oilseeds  China  Japan  India  middle_class  new_thinking  Mediterranean  gourmet  Asia  food  foodies 
november 2013 by jerryking
Asia Ponders U.S. Role Amid Syria Strife - WSJ.com
September 10, 2013 | WSJ | By ANDREW BROWNE.
Analysis
Asia Ponders U.S. Role Amid Syria Strife
Doubts Rise in Asia Over U.S. Move to Rebalance Security Obligations Toward the Region
Hillary_Clinton  Asia_Pacific  maritime  security_&_intelligence  China  Japan  Vietnam  John_Kerry 
september 2013 by jerryking
An Ingredient Guide
February 2, 2013 | G&M | Chris Nuttall-Smith
Japanese  Japan  food  Chris_Nuttall-Smith  soups  pork  meat  noodles  glossaries 
february 2013 by jerryking
Why China and Japan Can’t Get Along - NYTimes.com
By ODD ARNE WESTAD
Published: January 6, 2013

few economies and societies on earth more complementary than China’s and Japan’s. The Chinese are relatively young, poor and restless and fiercely committed to economic growth. The Japanese are relatively old and sated, but technologically advanced and devoted to guarding their high standard of living. Proximity would seem to make the two nations ideally suited to benefit from each other.

But Japan is afraid of China’s rise, because the Chinese economy is so much more dynamic than Japan’s. And China is troubled by Japan, because the island nation seems to act as an unsinkable American aircraft carrier just off its coast....Japan’s rise in the late 19th century was seen as an affront by China, which had always felt entitled to the mantle of regional leadership. Mao Zedong and other founders of the Chinese Communist Party adopted these views and bequeathed them to their successors.

Most Chinese today therefore regard Japan’s wealth, and its position as America’s main ally in Asia, as results of ill-gotten gains. Even when the Chinese state was at its weakest, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, its elites felt that the Confucianism China had exported to its key neighbors — Korea, Japan and Vietnam — was the root of a common culture. Other countries in the “Confucian zone” were supposed to simply accept China’s natural leadership.

Beijing’s policies in the South China Sea today resemble those of the Qing empire, China’s last ruling dynasty, in the late 18th century. The emperor then, Qianlong, liked to speak to the “myriad nations” to the south as a father would address his children. Current Chinese leaders, who are exerting their influence in countries like Vietnam and Laos, echo his paternalism. ...
China  disputes  Japan  history  Asian  Asia_Pacific  Confucian  chauvinism  South_China_Sea  paternalism  19th_century  China_rising 
january 2013 by jerryking
Tangy, tasty heat in a bottle
January 2, 2013 | G&M | Bonnie Riechert

Yuzu Pao, a condiment
soybeans  rubs_sauces_marinades  japanese  Japan  condiments 
january 2013 by jerryking
New Japan Defense Minister Seeks Wider Protection of Southwest Waters - WSJ.com
June 25, 2012 | WSJ | By YUKA HAYASHI.
Japan to Boost Defense in Pacific, Minister Says

more in World »
Japan  China  Asia_Pacific  security_&_intelligence  maritime 
august 2012 by jerryking
How Japan Lost Its Electronics Crown - WSJ.com
August 15, 2012 | WSJ | By DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI.
How Japan Lost Its Electronics Crown
Sony, Sharp and Panasonic Fixated on Hardware Breakthroughs; 'Sometimes, It's Easier to Run From Behind'

over the past 20 years for Japan's once-world-dominant electronics firms. Japanese companies have beaten rivals to the market with hardware breakthroughs—from flat-panel televisions to advanced mobile phones.

But in each case, foreign rivals have cashed in by delivering faster improvements, integrating the products with easy-to-use software and online services, and delivering a smarter marketing message....Now, Japan's device makers are an afterthought to Apple Inc., AAPL +0.27% Google Inc. GOOG +1.31% and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE +1.51%

Japan's current weakness is rooted in its traditional strength: a fixation with "monozukuri," or the art of making things, focused on hardware advances.

This concept, a source of national pride, pushed Japan's electronics firms to strive for products that were often the world's thinnest, smallest, or delivered other incremental improvement—while losing sight of factors that really mattered to people such as design and ease of use.

In the case of the e-reader, Sony was focused on selling devices, while Amazon was focused on selling books. As a result, the Kindle was more in tune with the raison d'être for purchasing the device: to buy and read books.

"Even though the first device definitely pointed the way to the future, it's a market that got away from Sony," said Mr. Gartenberg, research director at Gartner Inc. "Others have far more successfully capitalized."
Japan  consumer_electronics  e-books  Sony  Sharp  Panasonic  Toshiba  Samsung  e-readers  what_really_matters 
august 2012 by jerryking
Fujitsu Helps Farmers 'Cloud Compute' - WSJ.com
January 18, 2011 | WSJ | By DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI

Shinpuku Seika has placed sensors out in its fields to collect readings on temperature, soil and moisture levels. Fujitsu's computers then crunch the data and recommend when to start planting or what crops may be well-suited to a specific field....The significance of the cloud is the farmer doesn't have to build the sytem. The devices connect via wireless network. The internet is already built, the data center is already built. The farmer doesn't have to hire an IT staff and stays focused on farming, now with the help of the technology.
Japan  farming  agriculture  cloud_computing  sensors  GPS  demographic_changes  Japanese 
june 2012 by jerryking
China, Japan Regard Shift With Unease - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 20, 2011 | WSJ | By JEREMY PAGE in Beijing and CHESTER DAWSON in Tokyo. China, Japan Regard Shift With Unease
North_Korea  China  Japan 
december 2011 by jerryking
Japan, Asean Talk Maritime Cooperation - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Asian Bloc Agrees to Counter China Heft
By YOREE KOH
ASEAN  Japan  China  maritime  Southeast_Asia  Philippines  Vietnam  Indonesia  Thailand 
september 2011 by jerryking
Holman Jenkins: GE's Nuclear Power Business and the Japanese Earthquake - WSJ.com
* MARCH 19, 2011 | | By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR. What GE Was
Thinking in 2011. Into the time machine to see how a major company coped
with its black swans. .
memoranda  satire  GE  Japan  Holman_Jenkins  nuclear  black_swan 
march 2011 by jerryking
Flaws in Japan’s Leadership Deepen Sense of Crisis - NYTimes.com
By KEN BELSON and NORIMITSU ONISHI
Published: March 16, 2011
Never has postwar Japan needed strong, assertive leadership more — and
never has its weak, rudderless system of governing been so clearly
exposed or mattered so much. ....Japan’s leaders need to draw on skills
they are woefully untrained for: improvisation; clear, timely and
reassuring public communication; and cooperation with multiple powerful
bureaucracies.
Japan  leadership  crisis  crisis_management  bureaucracies 
march 2011 by jerryking
GE's Immelt Targets Elderly Japan - WSJ.com
JUNE 1, 2010 |WSJ| By DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI. Targeting Japan's
growing elderly population, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt pushed the country
Monday to invest in health-care IT systems & devices that make home
treatment easier. Immelt, who was in Tokyo speaking at GE's
"Healthymagination" conference, said health care is a growing business
in both developed & emerging markets but the Japanese could play a
leading role in several trends taking place in the industry. "So if I
were to write a business plan for you, it would be to dominate
health-care IT and home health-care devices," ... "Those are places in
health care you can actually lead." Fielding a question about how to
re-energize a Japan beset with deflation, an aging population & the
rise of Asian neighbors, Immelt said the high rate of Internet
connectivity makes the country fertile ground to develop Web-based
information technology systems that combine electronics medical records
with the tools for clinical decision making.
GE  Jeffrey_Immelt  Japan  elderly  healthcare  health_informatics 
november 2010 by jerryking
Why Is the U.S. Rehearsing for a Chinese Invasion of Japan?
Sep 23 2010 | The Atlantic | Max Fisher. China's increasingly
aggressive foreign policy and the volatility of its relationship with
Japan and its East Asia neighbors concerns the U.S. Someday in the
future, our influence abroad, and in East Asia especially, will wane.
The Obama admin. wants to guide East Asian politics in a direction
beneficial to long term U.S. interests which are 4-fold: establish a
mechanism for peaceful conflict resolution, so that war is less likely;
build precedent for the rule of international law, so that China can't
simply bully its neighbors; keep the U.S. involved in East Asian
politics so we aren't shut out; and prevent China from dominating the
South China Sea. The oil-rich sea lane has become a strategically
crucial link from East Asia to the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East,
Africa, and beyond & whoever controls it will control the ability
of navies--whether Chinese, U.S., Indian, or NATO--to project force
across the Eastern & Western hemispheres.
rehearsals  East_Asia  China  China_rising  Japan  U.S._Navy  maritime  contingency_planning  U.S.foreign_policy  rule_of_law  aggressive  conflict_resolution  South_China_Sea 
september 2010 by jerryking
Japan as Number Three - WSJ.com
AUGUST 17, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | Editorial
Japan  China  China_rising  economics  editorials 
august 2010 by jerryking
Tokyo Wary of China's New Might - WSJ.com
MAY 14, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By YUKA HAYASHI And
JACOB M. SCHLESINGER. Foreign minister says Japan and U.S. must resolve
dispute over controversial U.S. Marine base
China_rising  Japan  security_&_intelligence  China  USMC 
may 2010 by jerryking
Soy sauce seeps into the culture
09-Aug-2006 Financial Times By Mariko Sanchanta in Tokyo on how companies go about finding new markets.
food  business_development  Japan  soybeans 
march 2009 by jerryking

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