Large Chain Stores

I often go to this home improvement center to buy garden tools and fertilizer for vegetables on the weekends.
As you can see these photos, the center has a large area which offers gardening goods, furniture, kitchen materials and car parts.
Besides you can buy beer, vegetables, snacks and rice at this center
There are also McDonald’s and Starbucks in the same area.
You can finish your shopping in just one place.
Sure it is very convenient and I need these shops but I feel a kind of strangeness.

This center is full of chain stores like IKEA, Costco and Carrefour.
(Carrefour has pulled out of Japan.)
So there are many of the same centers in the Saiama, Chiba, Kanagawa next to Tokyo.

Actually if you were blindfolded and taken somewhere, you couldn’t find out where you were because the cityscape looks alike everywhere.
I heard that this also happened in the US and other countries.

If a city wants to keep its character, it should not attract chain stores even if it becomes inconvienient.
If the government restores the Tohoku affected area, I hope that the unique and advanced town will be built.

Globalism means that every thing is unified but localism is the opposite.

I’ll write about local affair and things next some posts. 🙂

Overtime Work

The other day I wrote that the summer holidays are short in Japan .
Besides the Japanese also work many hours of overtime..
I can’t show the average amount of time spent working because the research doesn’t contain unpaid work.
The amount of time spent working overtime work is decreasing but it is still too long.

I have thought about the reasons why Japanese work for so many long hours.

・If your boss stays at the office, you can’t go home even if you don’t have any work to do.
・If you do not work a lot of overtime, you may not be respected as a resourceful staff member.
・Many people including me have to obey their company because they can’t change their job easily.
・The customers ask their contractor for excessive of conclusion.So workers need to work harder.
・There are many unfruitful jobs because of a totally inefficient method.

Most of these things seem like a tiny things.

On the other hand, there are many unemployed people.
I wish the workers would give their jobs to other people.

Do You Read the Newspaper?

I have not read a newspaper since five years ago.

In our parent’s era, if we didn’t read the newspaper, we were thought of as strange and lacking commonsense..

In the past, fathers mainly read the front page of the paper and editorial articles which they talked about at their office.
Among colleagues, the opinions aired out were more or less the same because most of the newspapers used to have similar opinions .
Mothers who seldom worked full time read the flyers and looked for stores offering discounts.
Children mainly read TV listings and sports news.

Now I read the titles of news on the internet or twitter.
Internet news articles may be written with a bias but I can compare them.
My wife buys most of the goods on the internet.
Average children play games with Wii and PSP.

So far I don’t have any difficulties without the newspaper.
A lot of papers are saved and I don’t need to read any biased opinions.
Besides I seldom watch TV.
I feel as if I have gained freedom from biased opinions.
I read only what I want to read.

Sleeping In The Train

I usually sleep for five hours at home but I will be very sleepy if I can’t sleep more than six hours.

So I usually sleep in the train because I’m on it for an hour.
You may think that it’s dangerous for me because someone might steal my wallet or something.
However, more than half of the people riding on the train try to sleep.

One of the reason is that it’s safe on the train in the daytime.
I sometimes see on TV that a drunk got his wallet stolen by pickpockets on the train late at night, but I think that this is rare.

Second reason is that most of the people including me need to commute for a long time.
It can’t be helped There aren’t any jobs outside of the city. Working from home is just a pipe dream.
Japanese business customs are old-fashioned.

Third reason is that Japanese want to use their time as efficiently as possible regardless of whether it is really useful or not.

These are the reasons that I sleep on a hard chair. I wish that there were beds on the train.

Voice Of Evacuees

I had a chance to talk with evacuees from the Tohoku area the other day.

1 A woman around seventy years old

“I told NHK(Japanese broadcaster) that the whole town disappeared.
The water pipe in my house was broken and gushing water.
This was as much water as I used for a whole year.
I saw the Japanese Self Defense Force working hard everywhere.
I saw the heavy machine braking the rubble at full power.

(About the day that the Fukushima nuclear plants exploded. )
I saw that it was gray with light smog as if it was cloudy.
Then I heard the voice from a fire station “Don’t leave your home. “.
So I stayed at home for ten days but I didn’t know what I should do.
At this time I thought that I wouldn’t be able to live in this house anymore.

I really appreciate that I can sleep in a place which has a roof and I can eat food three times per day.
I thank the many workers who helped me.

People who lived in near nuclear power plants are better off than other evacuated people because they can receive a lot of money from TEPCO.
Others whose houses was swept away by tsunami get nothing.

From now I’ll ride my bike to relax. “

She talked us about her experience for thirty minutes while we were standing.

2 A man around twenty years old

“Tonight, I’ll go to watch a baseball game thanks to a ticket donated by the stadium. I have never been to a domed baseball stadium.
Sometimes I need to go out the evacuation center. I’m looking forward to it.”

3 A man around forty years old

“I got a job in Tokyo at last. I have to work for a living. So I’ll prepare to move. “

There are many job offers for evacuees both in Tohoku area and around Tokyo.

I don’t have any comments to add.
“Go for it Japan!” (Ganbaro nihon がんばろう日本)

Working Healthy Or Old Business Customs

This year some companies will start “cool biz season” earlier than usual.
“Cool biz season” means that salarymen don’t wear a tie and can wear more casual during the summer season.
This is because it is estimated that there will be a large energy shortage this summer in Japan.
If you will not be able to use AC, you can’t bear a hot meeting room without a window or being in a tall building in which you can’t open any windows.

I always think that we don’t need a tie and suit in every season.
Those clothes are just for old Japanese business customs which include many ceremonious meetings, needless greetings and agreements, etc.

We should rethink and omit the old business customs.
Eventually we will not need any our ties and suits at all.
Moreover “cool biz season” isn’t enough to work healthy.

Which do you choose, working healthy or traditional business customs?

If You Can Use A Magic, What Will You Do?

My elder daughter, seven years old, was writing on her self-introduction card.
The card had some questions about herself such as “What food do you like? What color do you like?”

From the questions, there was a question that is
” If you can use a magic, what will you do? ”

My elder daughter answered that she wants to help those people in the affected area by using the magic power.
I asked her “How do you help them?”
She said that ” I”ll send delicious food to Tohoku area. ”

I was surprised that she knows the word “affected area” and her kindness.
I don’t know how much she concerned about the affected area but she can understand that many people have a difficult time.
I appreciate that my elder daughter is growing up mentally sound.

I note this incident down so that she will never forget for the kindness she once conceived even when she grows up.

Look Alike

My daughter's pants which say " I love papa" . lol.

My elder daughter is just like me. We are both slender
We both wear glasses and have a full forehead.
Even our sleeping posture is the same.
She always gets angry when I say that we’re just alike.
It seems like no girls want to be like their father.

On the other hand my younger daughter is just like my wife.
They seem a little round and have big eyes
They are left-handed which is a minority in Japan.

Strangely their characters are the opposite.
My elder daughter and my wife have very much the same personality.
They get nervous easily and are a little introverted.
They like being indoors and doing detailed work.

On the other hand my younger daughter and I have very much the same personality.
We don’t mind small things. We forget fine details easily and we get bored easily.

It’s very interesting.

We often say that” the character of a three year old will continue for a hundred years. ”
“What is learned in the cradle is carried to the grave” expresses the same thing

If it is true, my and my wife’s character will be carried on by the next generation, although each lives in a body that more closely resembles the other.

My thought about discrimination

My thought about the previous post is complex.
I have never seen an obvious discrimination case except in historical texts.
Whether the previous post is true or not, we feel various feelings about the Tohoku area.

At first I just felt sad and angry with people discriminating against Fukushima people.

However, we may be part of assailants because we don’t travel to the Tohoku area now and many people won’t buy Tohoku area food which isn’t contaminated.
We just say “go for it” , pray and send a little money in safety area.
Naturally, we will not take a big risk with our own lives.
It can’t be helped that our fear became bigger than the fact was.

On the other hand those of us living in Japan may be discriminated against by other countries because some countries ban importing Japanese industrial goods and food regardless of the area.
Some other countries people seem to believe that none of Japan is safe even now.

There is always a big difference between the fact and the thought.

I hope that these discriminations is only a small part of people.
I don’t forget that we are one and we will rebuild Japan together.

My thought is disorganized.
What I can do now is only write about our daily lives.
It is up to you to control what you think.

How to learn doing a new job

I studied the various office workers who I have encountered so far. 
I think some of them aren’t good at learning for doing a new job.

1 They read every page of work manual for a long time. 
2 They work overtime unnecessarily and emphasize on their long working. 
3 They don’t mind the deadline until it becomes due.
4 They only consult someone when the problem really becomes serious.

As for me, I stick to the following principles or routines.

1 I only give the work manual a once-over because it isn’t useful on the job.
2 I make a list of questions which I have no ansewers yet.
3 I ask everyone what I don’t know as soon as possible. 
4 I made small mistakes sometimes, but I bore in mind not to make the same mistakes again. 
5 On and off I review my job with different angle and reconsider the entrenched attitude within me. 
6 I finish the work that I don’t want to do at the beginning.

I don’t know if this way works or not, but I have kept to this method for ten years. 
Perhaps I haven’t made a critical mistake and I got my second since this week.