166 Generation gap for me in Japan

Hi Everyone,

I chatted with Chikuhodo.
They will have limited sets in mid November.

They don’t call them Christmas sets or Noel, rather ‘limited.’
So they can continue to sell those limited sets as long as they are in stock.

This is Evergreen set of Hakuhodo.

I will keep you updated.

Speaking of limited, I have recently sold many ‘old’ products of Kihitsu made by Koyudo.

What Kihitsu does is that they change a little (color or handle shape or logo) to Koyudo products and sell as Kihtisu brand.


Sometimes more expensive, sometimes less expensive.
Kihitsu can choose what they like as it is own product.

Kihitsu Fupa01 is 5000yen while Koyudo one was 5520 yen.
Kihitsu Fupa13P is 3800 yen while Koyudo one is 5040 yen.

These are old stock but Kihitsu keeps the prices the same and did not raise them. Old hair is generally better.


Kihitsu CEO, Nakashima-san, seems to be enjoying selling brushes purely.
Of course, it is business so money is important but he puts client satisfaction first.

I feel old Japan from him. I respect it, and it will benefit him in a long term.

Speaking of old or new,

he and I lived in different decades so our lifestyles are different.

This is me, and I don’t try to generalize here.

I have noticed one thing about him :

I don’t watch TV at all, while he does a lot.

Well, I used to watch baseball of Hiroshima Carp, my home team, on TV.
This year I stopped watching baseball even when my team is on TV.


I only check the results, especially rookie players, as they will be main player in years to come.
( I have given up Hiroshima Carp this year and next LOL)

I watched TV long when I was a kid, but with internet, my TV time has been decreasing. It is almost zero now.


I heard from a friend that TV has a screen to search a program of YouTube in Thailand or VietNam. I reckon that most of your countries have a choice between internet or TV.

Japanese TV only airs the same channels. It hasn’t been changed.

I suspect Japanese TV companies try to protect their vested interests.

One example of ‘old’ Japan.

Old vs New

Maybe TV vs Internet

For young generations in Japan, TV will be only a device by which you watch youtube (or netflix whatever )content. I think your countries might have developed this trend more. Japan is late.

I can get information as much as I like on the web while TV sends viewers information selected by TV produces. We cannot select information on TV. TV selects and controls information for viewers.

It is a problem.

We can select politicians but we can’t select TV producers. I have been watching TV-selected information for a long time since I was a kid.

This issue, with internet at home, is getting exposed to many Japanese.

Now,
It is my humble protest to TV stations or the vest interests not to watch TV.

Oops this is not much related to Kihitsu 🙇🏻

Thank you for reading,
Toshiya

Do you know Japan is an aging country ??

Hi Everyone, 

Do you know Japan is an old country ??

I meant that

Japan is an aging country. 

The median age of Japan, which divides the population equally, is 46.  This is the highest in the world!

The median age of the Philippines, another Asian country,   is 23.  You can tell how old Japan is.

We have a fewer marriages and kids year by year.

There are several ideas under discussion.

One of the ongoing polices is to take immigrants with special skills – 350,000 immigrants over five years. 

Regardless, the population of Japan has been decreasing, and Japan’s aging seems non-stop.

It is a personal preference whether to get married and have kids so the government policies seem to have a limitation.

So what do we need to do? 

Well, there is another way to look at it. 

If you want to do business in Japan, the market of old people is huge. And they have more money than young people.

It is typical that two kids have 2 grandfathers and 2 grandmothers. 

They want to spend money and time on grandchildren.

There is a big ‘want to take of grandparents’ market here in Japan. 

And another way to look at this:

We have many tourists in Japan. I know one guy, who is around 70 years, is always helping tourists in trouble at the station. There is a market that ‘ I want to help ‘tourists.’

My afternoon thoughts))

Thank you for reading!

Toshiya

Osaka Obachan wears clothes with a leopard print design?

Hi Everyone, 

Japan is a small country but you may be surprised to see that each region has developed its own culture.

Most regions have a dialect. 

Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Tohoku…

I  have a hard time understanding the Tohoku dialect.

Osaka, the second-largest city, has developed its own culture and the rivalry against Tokyo. 

The Osaka culture is more ‘relaxing,’ and people are so friendly (sometimes TOO friendly ).

We have funny ( but true ) stories about Osaka people. 

In Osaka, ‘you are funny’ is the best praising words. They are supposed to be ‘funny.’

Other popular stories about Osaka people are:

-They are proud of USJ in Osaka, but they like Disney in Tokyo more.

-When asked for dinner, they say, ‘ I will go if I can,’ but they will never go.

-They speak the Osaka dialect wherever they travel in the world

-Taxi drivers ask a female passenger if she is married.

-A girl asks a guy his salary at the first meeting, etc

Those are unheard of in Tokyo. 

Anyway, 

Osaka Obachan (aunts), who are women over a certain age,  have now become an Osaka brand.

Osaka Obachan is well known for wearing very flashy clothes with  a leopard print. They have a singing group.

In the Edo era, 300 years ago, Japanese wore flashy kimono. In the 1830’s, though, it was ordered to save money, live thriftily and not wear flashy clothes.

Osaka people did not follow it as it was an order from Edo(Tokyo).

Osaka Obachan culture has continued from generation to generation. 

They are so friendly that they make the city cheerful. And Osaka attracts many tourists.

I know many of you landed Osaka as the first city in Japan. 

Please talk to Osaka Obachan. They will be very friendly to you)

Thank you for reading,

Toshiya

Japanese people prefer to live poorly?

Hi Everyone, 

I read an interesting article about why the Japanese don’t talk about money in public. 

Japanese don’t tend to talk about money. That is true.

Money is not a subject that good people want to talk about. It is ethically believed.

In Japan, the school doesn’t teach kids what money is. 

It is a beauty that people work hard even though they don’t get rich. 

You may know ‘Oshin.’  It is a TV program of NHK that a poor girl works so hard, lives her life vigorously and gets over all kinds of difficulties.

That has been a good role model in Japan. 

This mentality dates back to 400 years ago, according to one source.

It was the Warrior era where many samurai’s fought to govern Japan. 

All kinds of people could be a ruler. Toyotomi, the winner, was a farmer before being a disciple of Nobunaga Oda. 

In 1584, Nobunaga, a revolution fighter, was killed in Kyoto by his disciple, called Akechi.

Ieyasu Tokugawa, a Nobunaga’s alliance, was staying in Osaka with only a few people so he needed to run from the Akechi army. He gave up on surviving once. This picture is from a TV drama where Tokugawa decided to die.

but, he miraculously managed to go back from Osaka to his town near Nagoya, going through mountains.

On his way back,  Tokugawa was attempted to kill by not only his enemy but farmers who wanted money. 

This experience became the basis of how he governed Japan. 

He wanted Japanese people to have little money and live poorly ( or frugally )!

He closed the country to the world for 300 years. 

He divided the society into 4 classes (samurai, farmer, artisan, and merchant ) and prohibited them from moving. 

He made other lords live poorly to establish a system called Sankin Kotai. Sankin Kotai (参勤交代) makes lords come and see Shogun in Edo(Tokyo) every other year. 

Those lords got poor by spending a big money on bringing many people to Tokyo. This spending was a strategy to get rid of money from lords who might decide to fight against Tokugawa.

So,

This is the basis for the mentality to work and live poorly. 

It still works under the contemporary Japan. 

This theory makes sense to me. 

Thank you for reading!

Toshiya

Working for a big company in Japan is respected?

Hi Everyone,

I read an interesting blog by a foreigner living in Japan.

‘Entrepreneurs in Japan complain it is difficult to find a girlfriend. One reason is parents want their daughters to marry a man who works for a big respected Japanese company. If a boyfriend works for a small unknown startup, parental approval is usually denied.’

Interesting, right?

Personally, it not safe anymore to work for a big company. Yet, this is still a mentality of parents, and maybe daughters as well.

Another foreigner disagreed: 

‘This is hardly representative of all Japan. Actually Japan is a much more fragmented country than one would initially assume. Besides, let us not forget this is a country of small companies and artisans, and historically a country of entrepreneurs. Hard work in small companies is highly regarded.’

This is also true.  How about Kumano brush companies? Most of them are still operated by family members. (An artisan working for Koyomo)

Hiroshima’s most international company is Mazda, but I cannot name another big one easily.   A local city is full of small companies, artisans, startups.

Both represent Japan well. 

Knowing this fact, parents still want a daughter to marry a man working for a big company.

Working for a big company means ‘stability’ and small companies means ‘risk’ in Japan.

Maybe true now but I wonder how long this idea will last. 

Also, I wrote about Konkatsu ( activity to seek for a marriage partner) before and received interesting feedback!

I will write more about it in coming newsletters)

Thank you for reading,

Toshiya

Welsh national anthem sung by Japanese in Kyushu

Hi Everyone,

I don’t watch TV much these days. I just cannot stand commercial breaks, LOL. So more and more youtube, and sometimes NetFlix.

This time, though, it was World Cup Rugby that I watched as I heard of many good stories.

All Blacks ( New Zealand ) were mingling with kids before the World Cup. Canadian Team helped the city of Kamaishi with cleaning after the big typhoon. The Scotland’s players visited Biwa lake between games. 

Wales stayed at Kita Kyushu city and prepared for the games. They spent time with local people while practicing rugby. 

Kita Kyushu is not only one city to practice a national anthem. All the 20 host towns practiced national anthems of the teams who stayed and tried to make them feel at home.

This is a letter from a woman who has two kids, living in Kita Kyushu. She wrote a thank-you letter in English and sent it to the Wales Rugby team. 

I can see how excited her sons were to meet star players who have been friendly to local people. For them, Welsh players might have been the first foreigners to meet, and most probably the first Welsh. 

I can tell what she wanted to say. She thought famous people or stars were not approachable but she found them very humble and easy to talk to. Her sons were so excited. Maybe her sons are shy but, this time, they expressed their emotions so much. They will cherish the memory and may play rugby or may learn English so hard in the future. It is a town, north of Fukuoka. Not a small but not a big city. So she was happy that the Welsh team chose the town as a training site.

We have the same host city system for the Olympics, I live in west of Shibuya, where American teams stayed. I see some stadiums and parks were under construction for their training.

I hope local people enjoy being with Olympic athletes and that the athletes enjoy the cultural aspects of Japan in addition to the games.

Thank you for reading,

Toshiya