Childish nations – Why adults do not fight, but nations still fight?

Children fight each other to demand any small matters. When I was a kid, I used to fight even though I was not one of powerful kids. I did so because I couldn’t help myself to do it when anger bursted out from my mind. As you know every fight begins from stupid reasons: my friends denied me to borrow video games. / my friends called me a strange name. / my friends took strawberries from my lunch plate. / etc. I stopped fighting because it was not cool, it was painful each other, and these fighting experiences and teachers taught me the another better solution: to talk.

As for me, I quitted fighting at the age of 12.

But the bottom line is that, people still fight on behalf of national representatives. Soldiers murder children, elderly. Army destroy small towns by bombing. Well, if they had a clear sense of what they are doing as individuals, they would not kill somebody because killing is one of the worst taboos in the world. Are the soldiers fooling themselves that they are not abusing the taboos? Or are they simply too loyal to nations putting human life aside? No, they must simply believe they are doing the right things. But I am not compelled. Why such many adults in the world keep fighting…

Well, there’s an interesting quote from a conversation between two American novelists, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald;

Flitzgerald: The rich are different from you and me.
Hemingway: Yes, they have more money.

I was introduced this quote in a lecture of "Solid State Physics", and this quote was compelling enough for me to understand why different physical laws must be applied to different scale of system. Now this quote can be applied to individuals and nations.

Individuals have kept developing morality since civilization. In the Middle Ages for example, many citizens robbed, murdered, but this is not the case now. Such an example demonstrates our drastic psychological improvement. But according to the Hemingway’s quote, this fact cannot always be applied to a different scale of system, that is a nation. In a real sense, nations consist of people. People have become wise enough to quit killing. However, the psychological age of nations have not caught up with individual’s one. Nations are yet like child or even infant, therefore they still kill.

I had a little thought of it after watching the film "Seven years in Tibet" where Brad Pitt plays the main actor’s role. This is a very rare film which deals with the "conflict" in Tibet. The politicians from the CHN government are very unpleasant. I hate them. In contrast, I have many good CHN friends. I was sad to see this one idiot example out of many idiot situations in the world how nations are too childish yet.

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Chess addict 2

I am sorry but again I am going to deal with chess in this blog. Even though I subject myself to writing at least one different blog post every month, stemming from my new year’s resolution, now there’s only one thing that I can can come up with; chess.

(This February was an interesting month besides chess too. In Sapporo, I met with a college friend and going to water pipe. Also I went to a 4 days business trip to Sweden and it was fun. On the way, I met with a swiss-hood friend in CPH, etc.)

Since January, I’ve been a frequent player at chess.com, where I am now playing with 5 players. I have a chss opening theory book on hand and started to utilize some specific theories there. It works great. (Ruy Lopez, Caro Kann is my favorite at this moment.)

I am not fooling you but I would like to join one international competetion of chess match in future. Thus I became interested in top chess player’s mind and how they think. I borrowed two books by a Shogi (Japanese chess) player and by a Go player.

(Unfortunately chess is not widely popular in Japan, but the rule of Shogi is pretty much similar to the western chess.)

Let me quote some interesting phrases from the books. What they are saying does not sound about games but also life.

"Luck does not help in Shogi games. The weather does not matter. You matter only."

"Each move has reasons. Good games always have consistency."

"I’ve never been bored with Shogi because there are yet lots of mystery even after studying thousands of strategies."

Quoted from ‘Courage in challenges (挑戦する勇気)’ by Yoshiharu Habu

"It’s delusion that better players know about the games better; nobody knows about the future of the games."

Quoted from ‘Professional player’s mind (プロ棋士の思考術)’, by Norimoto Yoda

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Chess addict

I happened to talk about chess with my colleagues. It turned out that chess is fairly popular in their country (Bangladesh). I have a very nice chess board from Italy, which had been out of use since I bought. I brought it to the office last month, and now the lunch time chess is hot trend in our office.

As you might know, chess has a very long history spanning over 1500 years. Even though the game rule is very simple, the existing strategies and theories are just countless. I’ve started to read a book about the most famous opening theories. I’ve registered myself to some popular chess websites e.g. chess.com and chesscube.com, where I can play with online players and learn strategy: now I am truly chess addicted.

The inspiration that I have now resembles to the motivation to learn foreign languages. I found some similarities between them;
– I like to study something which has no end.
– The effort I give has a direct influence on the result.

But also, there are some unique features which I like in the game of chess:
– I need to use my brain a lot. On-going matches get stuck in my head all the time.
– The tense atmosphere cannot be experienced nowhere except playing chess against human.
– The theory is beautiful and perfect, which I admire a lot. (As I once studied NP problem at the university, I know how hard is it to find such perfect moves).

There are about 35 opening theories out of 40 left on me to learn. Very excited!

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The year-end housecleaning – Why do we Japanese do that at the year-end? –

There should be compelling reasons why we Japanese people rather like to clean the whole house at the year-end. I wondered this tradition while I was scrubbing all dishes in a shelf a couple of weeks ago. But this speculation made me aware of how Japanese people are smart to use the small land efficiently. The whole house cleaning has a noticeable good effect in terms of convenience in your daily life.

First, let us recap Japanese traditions a little bit. For Japanese, the year-end and the new year is one of the most important seasons. In December, it is an extensive party season to forget the woes and troubles of the past year (="bonenkai"). In January, we get together to hold a new year celebration party (again…) to make new year resolution and to wish each other good luck(="shinnenkai"). Those tradition reveals the Japanese people’s special attention to the years border. We look back and forget at the year end and our mind reborn at the year beginning. Here it is plausible enough for having the year-end cleaning to refresh.

I’ve also found a physically good effect of implementing the year-end cleaning. Hey you, please look around your laptop now. I would like to show you a most probable conversation with you here:
Can you find something you have not used for a recent year? Yes. Will you use it next year? Maybe not. When will you through it away? I don’t know, but some time later… Why not do that at they year-end?

The real problem here is that we buy more stuffs than we through away, and often we are unconscious of the fact. Our house is gradually being occupied by such unused products… we need to get our living back from such evil products! – We should through them away, well, probably at the year end?

The fate of any stuffs, goods, products is categorized into 4:
1. Consumed as intended (e.g. your favorite chocolate)
2. Consumed but not as intended (e.g. almost spoiled strawberry for jam)
3. Never consumed (e.g. your favorite pictures with a famous baseball player)
4. Thrown into bin (e.g. 5 years old digital camera)

Just categorize your stuffs into those categories! Then your house becomes bigger. You believe me?

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Values matter

The borrowing books from the library today:

– The 30 Best Politics Books Politics
– The 100 Best Business Books of All Time
– Why People Get Tired?

“Oh my… I drew a business book on weekend…” But I made the choice, Junji Shimagaki on 27.November.2011. My values now matter. I want to read those books.

Your motivation toward one thing determines what you do next. I know that there are lot more fun places than the library, but I am leaning toward going there. I wanna understand the fundamentals of the world as much as I can do during my life. Quantum theory in physics taught me that the world is described by probability, not by a deterministic number. During my lately reading, economics is telling me the importance of opportunity costs and trade-off. Time and money that you spend losses another possibility that you might obtain. The work at Sony Ericsson now is a learning for me everyday: it is impossible to handle all the tasks existing, so prioritizing items is the important skill which I was not able to see in study. Study has no goal.

I would like to expand my world rather than wasting time, therefore I have an overwhelming preference over the library than a shopping centre. But, by no means am I blaming on people who are not in the library: your values matter!

Now I am turning around the 30 years old age (now 28 y/o and 2 months). Having kids in some years is inevitable (again, this is “my values”), and the time spending for kids is enormous. I will not be able to spend for myself like I am doing.

And, I am feeling fierce thankful to my parents that they raised me with so strong curiosity all the time.

Calm slow life in Bali island , 楽園の過ごし方

「バリ島ってのんびりした感じだなぁ」

彼女にしては適当なところがある小説が、妙に記憶に残った。これが私たちのバリ島との出会いであり、去年の12月、ハワイ旅行が終わった頃のことの話だ。

Having read the book "", I felt relaxed by the slowly passing time throughout the story. This might be because the book is not written in a elaborate manner but casual. It was right after the trip to Hawaii, December 2010.

世界中の観光客がそれぞれの希望を胸に、バリ島を訪れる。豪華なホテルで優雅なバカンスを数週間楽しむ欧米人。はたまた、短期契約でマンションやバイクを借りて、現地の暮らしも取り入れながら、のんびりとサーフィンを楽しむオーストラリア人。そして窮屈な旅程ながらも、島中をプライベートガイドが濃密に案内しながら、バリ島の文化に触れる日本人たち。

Tourists from all over the world come to Bali island with different wishes. Calm and luxurious vacation in a rich hotel is typical for most of western people. Australian people use the island as their second home by renting an apartment months long and spend their time with a little flavor of local life. Most Japanese tourists have less days than a week, therefore their schedule is a little bit tight. In other word, however, they do a lot of sightseeings in spite of the short period.

私たちは旅計画の初めの頃は、またハワイのようなキレイな海だけを求めていたが、島について調べるにつれて、そこが魅力的な文化に溢れていることに気づいた。いざ、ホテルに着いてみると、素敵なホテルの中を優雅にくつろいでいる人が沢山いて、バカンスの真髄を見た気がした。そうして結局私たちはホテル内も楽しんだし、海に山に寺を充分に満喫した旅を送った。

We were looking to see beautiful ocean there. But the further planning made us aware of how diverse is the virtue of Bali. Yes, we also enjoyed the luxurious hotel, ocean, mountains, and the traditions.

なんて言うだろうか、あの十日間。どことなく流れるガムラン音楽に、木製のおしゃれで異国的な家具でひしめくホテル、そういったバリ文化が私たちを心地よくさせてくれた。

The 10 days trip relaxed us by Gamelang music, wooden furniture, the nature, the mixture of them all.

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10 days in Bali: Travel plan

バリ島旅行記 「全体像」

10月1日 ジャカルタ経由でバリ島へ
October 1st. Flight to Denpasar airport via Jakarta
@Narita, Jakarta, Kuta Bali

10月2日 ワゴン車で最西端に行きシュノーケル、北部で宿泊
October 2nd. Snorkeling at the west edge of Bali after 4 hours of car travelling; Staying in a north hotel
@Menjangan, Lovina

10月3日 北部から南部へ向かいながらプライベートツアー
October 3rd. A taxi tour from north to south
@Kintamani, Ubud, Pura Taman Ayun, Kuta

10月4日 ホテル近郊ショッピング、ホテル散策
October 4th. Shopping around the hotel area; Exploring the hotel
@Kuta (where our Hotel Padma is located)

10月5日 舞踏鑑賞、博物館、午後から腹痛で倒れる
October 5th. Watching the traditional dance and the museum; canceling the rest of the plan due to my stomachache
@Denpasar, Kuta

10月6日 午前中は休養。エステと舞踏鑑賞
October 6th. Taking a rest in the whole morning; Going to spa massage and watching the traditional dance
@Kuta

10月7日 プライベートツアー、博物館、買い物、舞踏鑑賞
October 7th. Private taxi tour to many places for the museum, for shopping, for watching dance
@Denpasar, Ubud, Uluwatu, Kuta

10月8日 部屋アップグレード、ラウンジで休憩、買い物、舞踏鑑賞
October 8th. Upgrading the room and going to the VIP lounge, shopping, watching the dance show
@Kuta

10月9日 3時間エステ、ショッピング、イタリアンナイト
October 9th. Going to spa massage four 3 hrs, shopping, dinner at a nice Italian restaurant
@Nusadur, Kuta

10月10日 ラウンジで休憩、チェックアウト、日本へ向け出発
October 10th. Relaxing in the lounge and checking-out the hotel. Flight to Japan
@Jakarta, Kuta

10月11日 日本に到着
October 11th. Arriving in Japan
@Narita

More fun stories are coming soon next weekend!

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A weekend post on 2011.September.11. (The Holiday)

We had a calm Saturday night so we’ve decided to watch a something warm movie, and I picked up this movie (= it was a nice choise):

The Holiday (2006, USA)

Amanda, who lives in L.A.
Iris, who lives in a rural area in England
They came across to meet each other in a vacation home swap website.
(You must have never heard about it, but it really exists: http://www.homeforswap.com/ )

There’s one in common for them; they’ve jutst broken up. They start the 2-weeks vacation in each house and started a new love story.

Review: Good and warmful movie! I think I became little more romantic to my wife:-)

(May contains spoilers below)

I felt comfortable to watch the film throughout the story. No bad people who cheat (except the men who cheated Amanda and Iris), and the key figures just believed their ways and finally found happiness.

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A weekend post on 2011.August.28.

I went to Tokyo Disney Sea in my second time. But the park showed me an absolutely different face than before.

This time our company (Keisuke and Yukko) lead us where to go in the park, because they know about it better than us. Then the park on this day made me aware of how different the park is looked. Two years ago when only our couple went, we got on a lot of rides there. but this time, we rather enjoyed shows and concerts. It was a lot of fun. Our friends showed us that the park is not for kids but also for adults who enjoy the theatre.

A week later, we went to the library to meet new books (which is our monthly plan to go). This time, I came across two authors who introduce totally different Japanese worlds.

The first author is a chef of a so-called sushi academy which trains people to become a professional sushi cook (#1). In his book, he explained stories of how new sushi cooks overseas started their business and how the life is. Overall speaking, they love sushi and the place where they live e.g. Poland, Spain, Malaysia, Australia… etc.

The second author in mountains area in Nagano/Japan lives on his own crops and wines. On the other hand he appears to be a successful restaurant owner which locates next to his house and farm. Throughout the book he insists that he is not talented in business at all but just followed his way of life.

The worlds appeared in the books are unrepresentative for most of the Japanese people. But they are living on the same planet Earth, and even in the same country for me. Here I found a similarity with Tokyo Disney Sea. The park exists as Tokyo Disney Sea for everybody, but how it is looked and how people enjoy in it is up to you. Given a certain condition, you are always free to choose how you enjoy it even if other people do not understand the value of your choice. On the flip side, when you try to view a same matter from different perspectives, you might find another good faces of it. This is what the books and Tokyo Disney Sea taught me.

As a conclusion, apart from the main theme, let me point out one more similarity from the opposite direction. People come to Tokyo Disney Sea because they expect to enjoy the park. Also in our lives, we also expect fun and good things which are endless life goals for everybody. When you are too busy to think about rewards in your daily life, I will suggest you to think more about joyful, so that you will enjoy everyday more.

(#1) As you may know, sushi is now one of the most famous international food, not only for customers but also for business. Because of its low cost of investment at the beginning, loads of people from the world is coming to the academy to learn sushi.

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A weekday post on 2011.August.24.(Wednesday)

I am so happy that I have never worried about weekend plans in this summer. The happy time is still going on!

July 4th weekend @ Nagano and Gifu (middle Japan): Beginning of a 5 days trip through mountains

August 1st weekend @ Hyogo (west Japan): At my wife’s parents home. We went for a short excursion for trecking.

August 2nd weekend @ Tokyo Disney Land: Keisuke and Yukko’s visit to my home in Yokohama. We went together to the dream land.

August 3rd weekend @ Atami and Yokohama: 1 day excursion to Atami with Keisuke and Yukko & Going to a memorial concert where our friend Kanau plays the violin

August 4th weekend @ Hokkaido (north Japan): My grandfather’s memorial birthday at his age of 88

August 5th weekend @ Nagoya (west Japan): Saturday Night Fever! We will spend 2 days with students-hood friends from Fukuoka, Gifu, Hokkaido.

<To be uploaded soon>

September 1st weekend @ Hokkaido: Visiting for family matters and drinking with local friends there

<To be uploaded soon>

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