seeking fravashi

“Character of 2017: 鷲 Eagle
     Eagle, the king of Birds, is used as motifs for emblems from ancient times, and was a national emblem for the Roman Empire. Since then, it has been used as national emblems for those countries that inherited the Roman Empire, including European countries, Russia, America and other countries. This year, where would the world eagles go, such as Trump of America, Putin of Russia, Merkel of Germany, Baghdadi of IS and Duterte of the Philippines? (Toyonaka Chamber, Jan 2017)”

     “At the end of May, I had an opportunity to visit Ireland, which is located by the United Kingdom, swaying from the Brexit.
     My purpose was to see dairy factories, so the places that I visited were County Cork and Kerry. The person who accompanied me says he lives in Manchester with his wife who is a school teacher.
     About 170 years ago, around the end of the Edo period in Japan, because of the potato plague and the cruel politics of England, one million people died and 3 million people moved to other countries including America. The population decreased in half. At that time, the word “Irish” was the same term as “poorest.”
     Answering my rude question, if there is any vengeance against England, he said clearly “No!”
“Why?”“Because of the success of Ireland in these last 20 years.”
     50 years ago a Japanese encyclopedia described Ireland as “a country which is located at the western end of the European continent and an isolated island where western culture has not yet infiltrated.”
     GDP growth of Ireland in 2015 reached the 9th in the world (UK 14th, Japan 26th), and recent revision positions Ireland even higher.
     A lower corporate tax rate of 12.5%, returning and investment of and by Irish descendants that number 40 million in America and 80 million in the world (which includes Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton and Obama) brought in bright success in its economic growth. It was called the ‘Celtic, Emerald Tiger (Tiger of the Atlantic).’
     It is mesmerizing to see the rise of a nation in only 20 years.”
(From President’s Greetings, 2016 summer)

     “I flew to Oregon and California in America from the end of November to the beginning of December, six days and three nights because of the air travel. While visiting several food producers, I breathed fresh air of the new era of the west coast.
     It has been amazing to see that Mr. Donald Trump was chosen as the 45th president of America. If you consider innovation the same as surprise, the biggest innovation of this year should be the advent of Mr. Trump.
      Looking at his choices of leading figures reported by media, comparing to those rigid and stark personnel in the public institutions in Japan that only use bureaucrats and academics, I cannot help but feel yearning to Trump choices of people from broad backgrounds and experiences.
     Does it come from the soft and versatile sensibility that has given Bob Dylan a Nobel Prize in Literature? (I wish I could have given Sada Masashi and Yumin Akutagawa prizes.) Various announcements about his choices of people was amazing to hear as if watching a picture scroll of rich colors.
     However, even Japan has that ground-water artery that can bring about a fountain, such as when Toru Hashimoto, a young charismatic lawyer, was active as a governor of Osaka, and Yuriko Koike who graduated from the University of Cairo, became the governor of Tokyo.
     Yet, probably if you claim Ou Sadaharu the representative of Taiwan office in Japan, Shiono Nanami an ambassador to Italy, and Son Masayoshi, who promptly went to have a talk with Trump, an ambassador to America, that may be too dynamic.
     Now being the end of the year, I wondered how it all went. When I looked back, I am struck feeling that a year had passed with a gust of wind to disappear far and forever away.”
(From President’s Greetings, 2016 winter)

     Tenfu Nakamura, a Japanese writer, wrote in his book, Actualization of Success, that "Human beings can naturally accomplish anything that they deeply believe that they could. If he thinks he cannot, he cannot, if he believes he can, he can. In other words, everything happens as you truly believe in yourself."

     There is a novel, Don Quixote, which was written 400 years ago by Spanish Writer Cervantes.
The reason why Don Quixote’s story, that is about himself, riding on a scrawny horse, believing in chivalry and rushing toward a windmill, is handed down from generations to generations is because of its beauty, regardless of its absurdity of his dream.
     600 years ago, Zeami, who wrote treatises on drama, Kadensho, said, “Dance is based on Noh drama, yet it has to have a flower in it.” The renowned Kabuki Actor, Sixth Kikugoro Onoe, who danced to his end, said “Not enough, danced, and danced to the other world.”

     “Thank you for honoring us with Food Industrial Achievement Award. When I heard about the award, I asked the reporter in charge the reason for the award. He said, it was because of our International department. Frankly speaking, our company’s international department is in the middle of a desperate struggle. Since the International department started 4 and half years ago, it keeps being challenged for international business, yet no positive outcome has yet to come.
     I visited a public organization to inquire for exporting cheese and butter to a foreign country, and we were told “it is reckless.”
     For example, this year’s golden week vacation, a princess from Thailand visited Japan incognito, and showed a package of our cheese, made in Japan that she ate in Bangkok and told an embassy staff that she would like to eat it.
     It was very honorable that she mentioned our cheese. Also when we exhibited our cheese in a restaurant show in Florida, our smoke butter was chosen and awarded a special commendation by votes of local newspaper reporters.
     In October, we displayed our products in a food exhibition in Moscow and was honored to be introduced “a cheesemaker from far Japan” by Sputnik News of Russia.
     And this time, I was awarded such a wonderful award. Many days that I spent were days of continuous disappointment; however, this award seems to get me going. Introducing our products to foreign countries is not an easy task for us at all, yet these encouraging incidents help us to continue. We intend to make accomplishments that are worthy of this award. Thank you very much.”
(Food Industrial Newspaper, Dec 1, 2016)

     Welcome to “Strange Hotel”
     It has been over one year since the “Strange Hotel” opened in Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki, which has used robots in large amount. In the hotel business where human hospitality was a matter of course, it was looked down as a cheap attraction in the beginning; however, it has have a good reputation, and earned profits that is the best standard in the industry.
     ‘The Eagles Band” that created ‘Hotel California’ would say, “Welcome to Hotel Strange, such a lovely robots hospitality.”
     I visited the Strange Hotel in October. It has a robot of a dinosaur and a robot of an actress. When the robots saw the reporter, it said “Say your name to the microphone.” I said my name, and checked-in. It is much easier than to write in the hotel register.
     There is no employees. I got a card that is issued by a fare adjustment machine, and headed toward the room. I register my face at the camera at the door, and looked at the camera again, then the door was opened.
     When I entered the room, I found a “Tuli chan”, which is a 30cm doll, sitting on the side of the bed. She is an almighty concierge who can report to the clients the time and weather.
     “While robots are evolving at an increasing tempo, the architecture intended a moderate time space. The flow of time is different. It was very difficult to harmonize those two to create a new value.” (An architect, associate professor, Yoshiyuki Kawazoe)
     Evaluation by 10 clients in a four-rank system, 8 people evaluated the second good, and the two people evaluate the best.
     “A unit price is 20,000 yen per room. The language of robots was only Japanese at first, then English, Korean and Chinese were added. It is going to be registered as the first robot hotel in the world in the Guinness book. It is a small hotel with only 144 rooms, but it will make profits about 500 million yen a year. The investment bearing will be about 20%. It is planning to develop 100 hotels domestically and internationally.” (President Hideo Sawada)

     The supreme secret of business enterprise consists of only two concepts: to make it grow and to make it stable. Only when you practice both concepts as a strategic challenge you will be able to see prosperity. If it lacks either one, there is no true prosperity for an enterprise."

     The food business that we engage is exceedingly low-tech, steady and conservative, compared with bubble economy, consumer electrical appliances, electronic, information, communication, automobile, apparel and the housing industry. The tendency to prefer home cooking continues throughout life, and that prohibits new, inventive food appearing compared to fashion and hobby. However, once a client orders our products, they may repeat their order for years to come.
Also, I believe our food industry has more possibilities than other industries. The market size of the food industry in Japan is about 80 trillion yen. While the automobile industry is about 10 trillion and housing industry is about 25 trillion yen. The food industry is bigger than any other industry. When you look at the world, it is about 1500 trillion yen. In 2050, it is estimated to be about 3000 trillion yen. It is a mesmerizing size. All of us have a bountiful possibility.
     We are born of the same era, and work for Marinfood, in an eternity of universal history, in a quirk of fate.
     However, the condition is not all optimistic. Persevering the changes of the circumstances, surviving the severe competition, challenging the goals and making continual profits is an accomplishment that is worthier than anything for an enterprise or an employee.
     If we can make a company a nice and excellent company that can continue toward that future and if we can be a motive power for that, how worthy and splendid life that our only once life is going to be, in an accidentally joined company that we encounter in our fate?

     Here are messages from our customers coming daily through our website.
     “I am a big fan of the Marinfood! I visit the factory sale in Osaka from Aichi Prefecture and always purchase a lot of cheese, pizza, and hotel pancakes in a cooler box for myself and for my friends.”

     “The cow figure of Marinfood is very cute. I tried the smoke butter. I loved it so much so I eat it as it is.I hope that people who have never eaten it to try it out!

     “I think the Vegan series is excellent, I am very surprised to know it really exists. It is healthy and I can eat it without care. I would like to buy it.”

     “The company movie looks really fun, I would like to participate in the movie, too. There are a lot of presents, and the products are unique. It is a very attractive company.”

     This year, we welcome the 31th business plan announcement party. Our progress until this year has been like walking up a winding ramp at a sluggish pace. This year, we started our voyage with our new catch-phrase, "My Double Headed Eagle ~ flying and glaring toward East and West.”

I claim that in the pursuit of Marin's Dream, I devote myself to the improvement of the company, decide the direction, make determination, and set forward management with passion and sincerity. This I believe is my mission assigned by Heaven.

January 28, 2017
Naoki Yoshimura