Friday, September 30, 2005

Hibiya Club

Found an article in the evening Nikkei about "horizontal bar oyajis".
These oyajis, or senior men are nearby office workers and bureaucrats, all members of the "Hibiya Club".
A Japanese page with pictures
These horizontal bar maniacs gather in one corner of Hibiya Park and practice their techniques, many of them naked from the waist up even in winter. The Hibiya Club is said to have began during World War II. One of the oldest members Mr. Ebihara, 62, says he has been coming here for over 36 years (the macho man in this page).
Some members do the giant swing like in the American Express commercial.

Anyone can join in for free. Many don't even know each other's names.
Members usually come around 7:30~9:00 a.m. & 12:00~13:00p.m.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Discount Pioneer Dies

Isao Nakauchi, founder of Daiei Inc., died of stroke at 83.

As a boy, he became fascinated with retail business when he helped out his father's medical store in Kobe. He fought in the Philippines during World War II. Under fear of US attack and suffering hunger with only weeds to eat, he dreamed of eating Sukiyaki till he was full. This obsession led him to establish Daiei in Osaka, after he returned to Japan. He offered discounts, while all other stores sold at the fixed price, causing a revolution in the retail business. Daiei soon became the largest supermarket chain in Japan. However, Daiei was hit hard by the burst of the economic bubble, and Nakauchi resigned from presidency in 1999.
Nakauchi's philosophy was "Pay less for good products." "Mr. Nakauchi's DNA is still alives, in places like UNIQLO or 100 Yen shops," said writer Shinichi Sano.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Information Divide

From the Nikkei 5 Sep 2005 "Manabi Saikou" column:
There's a "information divide" between high school students. Not the "digital divide" from unequal infrastructure, but a gap from whether they have a perceptive mind and acknowledgement or not. High school students these days think they can get information whenever they want. Sure enough, the Internet is available almost anytime, anywhere. So they think, no need to search right now, can do it later...
And when they start looking for information on things like college education at the last moment, they fail to gain what they need for making adequate judgements.
Information is abundant, but it doesn't get through...
There are some who carefully gather information, and screen them according to necessity and credibility.
Information is just one example. The "divide" resulting from how serious you are, will probably become apparent in other aspects too.