Learning from the Japanese

Japan is an interesting country. Some say the country has no future, and yet so many things about the country are so fascinating to so many of us that articles like this take us by surprise.

A small island nation that once used to lead the rest of the world by its top-notch technology, global companies, and, well, a plethora of cute stationery has long remained somewhat isolated from the rest of the world. Just think of how few Japanese students have been choosing to study abroad — maybe because of their high loyalty to their homeland or their lack of interest in international education. Regardless, the country recently received a NYTimes coverage when a traveling journalist noted highly of their culture of work.

This particular blurb cracks me up:

On another occasion, while waiting at a bus stop in the seaside city of Kobe, I found myself watching a group of five men who were drilling a hole. Or rather, one of them was; the other four were watching him. For the whole 30 minutes, that’s all they did. But they didn’t do it reluctantly, or while checking their smartphones, or gossiping, or anything. It was like a demonstration: ‘All other techniques for watching a guy dig a hole are incorrect. This is how you watch a guy digging a hole.’

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