Archive for the ‘Out of the boxes’ Category

The US-Japan relationship (Chapter 1)

March 5th, 2015 Comments off
  • Commander Perry’s visit to Japan in 1853-4 has made a history on the US-Japan relationship. It was backed by the gunboats of the US Navy. Anyways, of all the foreign countries with which Japan interacts, no country has had a more important influence on the Japanese economy than the United States ;)
  • In 1997, the US criticized Japan’s closed-market for foreign products. Kodak has accused Fujifilm and the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) of exerting the sale of Kodak products. Hosted by the WTO, both countries then discussed the ruling in favour of Fujifilm. The US government alleges that this is the result of certain Japanese corporate grouping (keiretsu). Within the system, Japanese firms prefer to purchase products from their keiretsu-affiliated firms rather than non-keiretsu firms, including foreign firms.
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Parts of speech

August 12th, 2012 Comments off

A Pronoun

A pronoun is a word which stands for a noun. In speaking and writing, we should find it very awkward to be continually repeating the names of person and things; so we make use of words which are called PRONOUNS, because they take the place of nouns. Pronoun means ‘for a noun’

A Verb

A verb is a word that declares or asserts something about a person or a thing. Verb is simply the Latin name for ‘word’.

An Adjective

An adjective is a word used to qualify or limit the meaning of a noun or pronoun. The name signifies something ‘added’ to the noun or pronoun by way of description.


An adverb is a word used to modify or limit the meaning of a verb or an adjective. Adverb means ‘added to a verb’.

A Preposition

A preposition is a word that joins a noun or pronoun to some other word, showing the relation between them. The word preposition means ‘placed before’.

A Conjunction

A conjunction is a word used to join words, phrases or sentences. The word means ‘joining together’.

An Interjection

Interjection is an exclamation used to express a feeling, as of pain, joy, fear, surprise, contempt, sadness, disgust, etc. The word means ‘thrown into midst’. Examples of this are Oh! Ah! Hurrah! Bah! Pheww..

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Attaching conscience

August 4th, 2012 Comments off

In a long 14 hours flight from New York City to Seoul, in continuing my way back to Fukuoka, Japan, I was drown by lots of movies. Sitting tired on my seat, got bored from looking at big carpets of cloud outside and could not have stretched and relaxed my bones, my attention had drawn to the best resort, watching movies. Subsequently, I watched four movies, then forced my self to sleep. But, my mind was attached to one astonishing performance of Adrian Brody, Detachment (2011). This was my second movie of Adrian Brody, after The Pianist (2002), that I watched in a flight from … to …  hheheeh I forgot :D Anyway, I am not usually writing a synopsis for a movie, but I was so impressed. There are some lessons we could get from the movie.

Detachment’s story focuses on a high school teacher, Henry (Adrian Brody), who becomes a temporary and substitute English teacher. In the first day of his class, he got challenges from students in his class. Anger, hatred, sad, frustration, annoying, have no respect to teachers or parents were shown by every student. Students curse a lots, get mentally illness, only see darkness in their futures.

Henry: “They dont believe that you have something meaning to share”

Unfortunately, Henry sees that his fellow teachers also cannot handle their bad feeling. They were disappointed when the students were uncontrollable, they tend to be judgmental, corrupted and selfish. It seems to be miserable to everyone. No ways out for a better tomorrow. Henry is surrounded by problems as well. His mom was died because of drugs, his father is unknown, therefore, he grow up with his grandpa. He is desperate of his ‘inability’ to take care his grandpa appropriately. However, he still has conscience and eager to herd his students find happiness and the meaning of life.

One day, he introduced three words in his class, assimilate, ubiquitous and double think His student answered the meaning of ‘assimilate’ as to absorb, to take something in, and ‘ubiquitous’ for everywhere all the time. Double think is having two believes or thoughts deliberately. And he elaborated the meanings to give a framework of thinking and seeing any phenomenon in live. These words are such keywords at which every one, students or teachers or parents, shall hold tightly, to keep and attach good conscience in our mind, to get happiness, instead of letting bad feeling and darkness occupy our mind. The movie shows how it ends up if people’as ability to embrace these seems to be loosened, while family and school could not guarantee to be able to defend and preserve children’s minds.

These lessons still make me think ;)

Very good movie, indeed.

#packing up at M303


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‘Sporting’ Uniqlo

August 3rd, 2012 Comments off

I watched men’s singles tennis match tonight. It was a quarter final at Olimpic London 2012, between Kei Nishikori from Japan and del Potro from Argentina. I dont want to make a comment from how the sporty match was going on. Though it was interesting, i dont get such confidential level to be such sports commentator :D

My point is on the jerseys. While del Potro wore Nike labelled t-shirt, pant, headband and shoes; Nishikori wore Uniqlo label on his red t-shirt and white pant. Nishikori wore headband too, but it was plain red, without any brand name on it. For me, along with the famous name of Nike, the worldwide brandname on sportswear, look at Nishikori with his Uniqlo t-shirt has raised an inquiry. Indeed, the brand name is not new for me. However, this interesting side is the fact that Uniqlo has jumped into international competition on sportswear manly.

Sportswear is one of fashion design, which prioritizes on comfortable fashion for practicing sports. Thus, it has to be well-ventilated and be able to absorb sweat sufficiently. In the production process, manufactures have ready-to-wear and mass-production strategy and do not to have specific target.

Uniqlo or Kabushiki-gaisha  yunikuro, was originally a division of the Fast Retailing, Co. In March 1949, a company Ogori Shoji  operated “Men’s Shop OS” based in Ube, Yamaguchi. In May 1985, the company opened a unisex casual wear store “Unique Clothing Warehouse” in Fukuro-machi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima. Apparently, Uniqlo was named from the contraction of this store.

The Uniqlo’s first step plunged in international area was started in 2001 when the company established Fast Retailing (Jiangsu) Apparel Co. Ltd in China, and opened first overseas outlets in London. The first Chinese outlet was opened in Shanghai in 2002. The expansion continues. By 2005, the company has stores open in Europe, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taiwan, Philippines, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, with 700 Uniqlo stores throughout Japan. In Tokyo, the company operates 99 stores.

Along with the resurgence of buyers’ shopping power, the company gains significant profits. From September 2011 to February 2012, sales in the international division rose 68% to 84.8 billion yen or $1.07 billion.

Uniqlo supported Japan’s Olympic Athletes in 1998, 2002, 2004. The company sponsors Japan #1 tennis player, Kei Nishikori. In May 2012, Novak Djokovic, world #1 tennis player, has signed 5 years contract to wear Uniqlo’ products. So, after doing a little research, this is what I get so far. As started from ready-to-wear clothing, exploring Uniqlo’s strategies to gain position in sportswear area is still interesting. Japan’s market is aware of international products. Hence, well-known international brand names such as Adidas, Puma, Nike and so forth are also well-accepted in Japanese communities. It seems become a new project to me ;)

#MMR during Japan’s hot summer 2012

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Conscious capitalism

January 19th, 2011 2 comments

What is it? It can be simply described as how to run your business in this current capitalistic circumstance successfully by maintaining your consciousness toward your stakeholders (upss..this is simply my thought about this idea :D ). To make it works, you need some requirements below.

  1. You need ability to operate and maintain businesses run under recognized laws and regulations
  2. Recognize the stakeholder model: customer, employees, investors, suppliers, larger communities and the environment are all interdependent. Remember that you operate the business in such a way that it’s not a zero-sum game.
  3. You need conscious leadership, a servant leadership that he or she always tries to serve the organization and its purpose.
  4. You have to create conscious culture, a culture that allows the organization to fulfill its higher purpose, implements the stakeholder model and enables conscious leadership to flourish.

* as explained by Mackey,  a 32 years CEO and cofounder of Whole Food Market in Harvard Business Review, January-February 2011*

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News from RI

January 15th, 2011 Comments off

Latest news quoted from

  1. Boston Common Asset Management, the US-based sustainable asset manager, has dumped Cisco Systems’ shares over the Internet technology firm’s due to weak human rights risk management and poor response to investor concerns. Boston Common’s decision to divest comes after years of campaigning Cisco for greater transparency and accountability on key human rights and business development concerns. Boston Common, a leading activist investor and a member of the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment, has led a 20m-share investor coalition which has been engaging the company on its human rights record.
  2. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has called Japan’s giant Government Pension Investment Fund  to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors on its investment  policy. As the world’s largest pool of pension assets at JPY120trn (€1.1trn, $1.4trn), the fund has ability to to influence the domestic economy and financial stability and to enhance attempts to maintain sustainability.

It shows that encouragement to incorporate social and environmental consideration into firm’s business policy has been increased seriously. How do the business schools prepare to face that such changes?

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Business relations with environment: Is it not a science?

December 15th, 2010 1 comment

The way of business doing related to environmental matters seems to be an art rather than a science.

Along with the gradual decay of environmental resources currently, business power to adapt toward environmental issues seem to be hard due to naturally business operation is not properly designed to respond this issue. Historically, business was conducted within likely-unlimited environmental resources. However, its view should be shifted and corporations are pursued to build more friendly-relationship with environment and society.

To do this, it seems that businesses need such a help. Welford and Starkey (1996) even argued that business practice in highly developed and intelligent in many aspects is not sufficient. These manners are not a science. Corporations face lacks of guiding principles to relate their activities to fundamental and critical concepts as evolution, biological diversity, carrying capacity and the health of the commons. Even if there are guidelines, friendly-environmental business activities are quite hard because business is designed to break through the limits, not to respect other issues which avoid them to attain profit objection.

Source: Welford R. and Starkey R. (Ed.) 1996. Business and the Environment. Earthscan Publications Ltd., London

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Avoiding confrontation with counterparts

August 26th, 2010 2 comments

There is one factor that is usually used by academicians to differentiate Japanese capitalism with their Anglo-Saxon counterparts. This is inter-competitor relations. You can imagine that in a great line between cooperation and competition, societies or people usually put them selves in a point somewhere in between. Dore (2000) highlighted that Japanese people have a tendency to draw them selves in the end of the spectrum of cooperation. It is such a ‘national character trait’ or ‘modal behavioral disposition’.

To describe this unique trait, here a story quoted from Dore’s book.

A manager who has spent some years running his firm’s subsidiary in Italy, has been instructed by his boss to go back to Japan. He said, ‘A great relief to be back in Japan’. His reason is, ‘doing business in Japan is less stress. You dont get up every day with the possibility that some meeting is going to turn into a nasty confrontational argument.’

Though it has been there, Japanese are clever to find organizational arrangement to share the gains of cooperation fairly. Also, in term of manage their cartelization model, they obey regulations of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to avoid secret conspiracies against the public. Such a good way of business conducts.

Reference: Dore, R. 2000. Stock market capitalism: Welfare capitalism. New York: Oxford University Press.

*Dhuhur at Sigura2*

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Chaos theory

July 11th, 2010 Comments off

A new term I got tonight from stock market book. Chaos theory. This theory could be applied in mathematics, physics, economics as well as philosophy. It describes a dynamical systems that highly sensitive to initial conditions. It is sensitive because small differences in initial conditions generate widely diverging outcomes for chaotic system. Thus, long-term prediction is almost impossible in general. Further, because this sensitivity drawn a butterfly form, it is called as the butterfly effect.

This butterfly effect could be happened in established system though. In this case, this system should be deterministic designated. It means future behavior is fully determined by their initial conditions, with no random element involved. However, this deterministic nature of this system does not make them predictable. Then, if some stimulus interrupted, they could yield a deterministic chaos on the system.

*APH2 internet room, 12:11am*

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Don’t be immersed

July 10th, 2010 Comments off

A quite interesting book about applying technical analysis to examine stock market. The author describes that a hundred indicators to analyze stock market are useless since it makes the user confuse because being overwhelmed by too much information. He convinced that only one or two points were vital, and the rest just served to divert attention to unimportant and contradictory data.

Technical analysis books which are somehow guiding market technicians are correct obviously, as well as the basic data. But the problem is that the books often omit the practical instruction  on how to apply the information in real time. If two important indicators are pointing to opposite scenarios, which one to choose?

One of tips is rank the data by relative importance then learn how to fit the rankings together to see correct stock market story. Stock markets will tell stories through their price action. The art is learning how to use the available statistical information to figure out the story. Don’t be immersed in all the indicators for looking for some great truth. Put the indicators together to see what that story is.

Such a great think :-)

Reference: McDonald, Michael. 2002. Predict market swings with technical analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. NY, USA

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