Words of the year 2016

Although I was posting only two entries including this one in each language this year, the time seems to come to look back the year 2016. In every year-end, I make it a rule to list up the most impressive things and events I experienced or encountered in each year in some keywords. Words of the past years are:
The words of the year for 2001: getting a flat within the Tokyo metropolitan area, a position change at the office, and Soarer.
The words of the year for 2002: America.
The words of the year for 2003: the airplane and the musical.
The words of the year for 2004: the blog, Asian countries (Singapore and Hong Kong), and the GSM mobile phone.
The words of the year for 2005: darts, the GSM and WCDMA mobile phone, and visiting Hong Kong again.
The words of the year for 2006: the US stock and the mutual fund.
The words of the year for 2007: changing my car and visiting Hawaii.
The words of the year for 2008: England and Fukagawa.
The words of the year for 2009: office position change, MacBook Pro and JR Seishun 18 Ticket.
The words of the year for 2010: Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia; iPhone; and the credit card.
The words of the year for 2011: the car, the British culture and China.
The words of the year for 2012: Oji, the mahjong, the flight attendant and Facebook.
The words of the year for 2013: Ayurveda, Korea, high school alumni and Tsuyoshi Takashiro.
The words of the year 2014: England and Android.
The words of the year 2015: Maine, United States; Estonia and transfer of workplace.

Now I think this year's keywords for me are traveling to places in Japan and Jeep.

Traveling to places in Japan is what I did this year most. I flew to Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Osaka, Okinawa and more for both business and private. I did visit abroad as well (Taipei and Hong Kong), but this year is the time for me to explore throughout this country.

Changing my car to Jeep also encouraged me to explore this country. I bought 2013 Jeep Compass this summer instead of letting my VW Polo pass the bi-yearly car inspection for pretty much money. This newer car is very nice, and I've driven more than 3,000 miles for five months since I got it.

This year I experienced much more things than before other than what I listed here. A number of cerebs and famous persons, such as David Bowie, Prince, Charmian Carr, Thai King Bhumiphol Adulyadej, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, have died for a single year. Disasters and terrorist attacks hit all over the world. Politicians and people of many countries have been moving from globalization to nation-centric mindsets. Nobody knows what will happen next year. I think all each individual can do to protect him-or-herself would be to put all of his or her assets in many places in the world and prepare for moving wherever he or she needs.

Updated April 11, 2017

I'm adding one other word of the year 2016: mapping. At first I joined Waze to make a map for the sat nav app, and then I became a mapper of Openstreetmap. Mainly I have added English name tags to ways, buildings and points within Japan for the convenience of foreign people who may use Maps.me or Magic Earth and only read English. That's why the keywords of the year 2016 are traveling to places in Japan, mapping and Jeep.

The end of globalisation

When I started my career in the late 1990s, my employer encouraged us to have a global mind to cope with Japan’s recession so-called “the lost decade”. By 2000, the words “global” and “globalisation” were used as the keywords — and sometimes buzzwords — for surviving the upcoming new millennium, followed by the dot-com bubble. My coworkers and I were pressured to raise TOEIC scores, to learn SWOT analysis, MECE, and other terms of logical thinking, to abandon obsolete Japanese work style and get accustomed to global — in many cases American — way of thinking. 

In 2006, those ideas were changed. Seeing the Livedoor scandals and accompanying downfall of dot-com millionaires, Japanese people found out that the American way did not work. Instead, they began taking a second look at their own country and reviewing the good things of it. The company I worked for focused on the products for domestic customers rather than overseas ones, with “the Japan quality” as its corporate philosophy.

Starting 2010s, people’s inward-oriented views were changing into global again. Japanese enterprises were going out overseas, not only to the United States at that time but to the Third World such as India, China, Russia, Brazil and Southeast Asian and African countries. I had more and more opportunities to get involved in the services offered to such customers going to those countries in order to meet their needs and demands.

The first half of 2010s was the years of transportation. Low cost carriers helped people fly abroad at low air fares. Everywhere you can see people travelling to and from all over the world on a regular basis.

Yet you see that people’s favour of the global-oriented mind or the local-oriented one swings from side to side every five or six years. That being the case, such a globalised world will come to an end shortly. The event that happened this week in the United Kingdom showed that the most symbolically. The referendum determined the UK to leave the European Union it had joined in 1973. Other European countries like France, Italy and Spain begin the preparation of such referendum whether they should leave or remain the EU by some people tired of enormous numbers of immigrants from the Middle East and accompanying terrorist attacks occurring inside Europe. 

Likewise, in the United States, Donald Trump, saying that a wall should be built on the border to shut out Mexicans and Muslims, has the enthusiastic support by the conservative and relatively poor American population. Even Hillary Clinton, one of the rival candidates of Trump, says that she is against the US to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In Japan, some nationalistic extremists carrying patriotic flags with them are making a hate speech on the street, saying that the people from neighbouring countries should get out of Japan and go back to their own country.

I think that now is the turning point of the era and there will be no more “globalised World” from now on. People of each country will pay attention only inside their own country. A dispute or, in some cases, an armed clash may begin between some countries. Such an era will last five or six years, at least Trump or Clinton’s presidential term. What we can do right now might be to look on such the World and to have as many options as possible to be able to cope with the future fluctuation of circumstances.

Words of the year 2015

It's time for me to look back this year and list up the most impressive words I experienced this year. Words of the past years are:
The words of the year for 2001: getting a flat within the Tokyo metropolitan area, a position change at the office, and Soarer.
The words of the year for 2002: America.
The words of the year for 2003: the airplane and the musical.
The words of the year for 2004: the blog, Asian countries (Singapore and Hong Kong), and the GSM mobile phone.
The words of the year for 2005: darts, the GSM and WCDMA mobile phone, and visiting Hong Kong again.
The words of the year for 2006: the US stock and the mutual fund.
The words of the year for 2007: changing my car and visiting Hawaii.
The words of the year for 2008: England and Fukagawa.
The words of the year for 2009: office position change, MacBook Pro and JR Seishun 18 Ticket.
The words of the year for 2010: Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia; iPhone; and the credit card.
The words of the year for 2011: the car, the British culture and China.
The words of the year for 2012: Oji, the mahjong, the flight attendant and Facebook.
The words of the year for 2013: Ayurveda, Korea, high school alumni and Tsuyoshi Takashiro.
The words of the year 2014: England and Android.

And this year's keywords for me is Maine, United States; Estonia and transfer of workplace.

Maine, United States is where I visited in September for pleasure. I drove the US roads, went shopping at supermarkets and pharmacies, rode America's domestic flights, and was excited in many ways. That experience encouraged me to look back at the United States from the United Kingdom, which I had been interested in for almost a decade. 

Estonia is the country where I applied for the e-Residency card. Before I did it, all I knew about Estonia was that it was what Baruto, a former sumo wrestler, was from, not being able to tell it from other Baltic countries like Lithania and Latvia. I found out that that country was one of east Europe's most IT-advanced countries. I think it's a good idea to visit Estonia next year.

Transfer of workplace is that I was transferred the office and position in December, leaving previous workplace where I had served for more than six years. 

Anyway, this year is coming to an end. I managed to live safe and sound, without being suffered from any diseases. That being said, I'm getting older and older, and my body is gradually worn out. That's why I'm going to check my body thoroughly and maintain it from scratch, which is going to be my next year's task.

Visiting Maine

I think it's too late to write this entry, but I visited Portland and Boothbay Harbor, Maine in this September. I watched a musical play Carousel at Kokugakuin Tochigi High School performed by its musical club a few weeks before. Carousel is a musical that features a love story of a young girl and a barker in Maine, filmed in 1956. That inspired me to visit this state and, if I could, eat some lobsters and clambakes.

There were no direct flights from Tokyo to Maine, so I chose flights from Tokyo (Narita) to New York (JFK), and from LaGuardia to Portland (Maine's largest city). All flights were Delta Airlines.

DL172 to JFK

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Taco Bell in Japan

Today I went to Taco Bell at Shibuya, which had opened last Tuesday as Japan’s first Taco Bell store and hundreds of people had waited in queue for more than two hours in front of the store on the first day only. Today there was a long queue, too. A staff member standing in the end of the queue said that I had to wait up to two hours to be served from there. It was a bit tough for me to wait such a long time, but it couldn’t be helped to do it to enjoy the American taste I’d ever had at New York where I had travelled for a business trip.

A long queue in front of Taco Bell Japan

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Hello world!

My blog I’ve left unmaintained for a long time has been renewed. It’s based on WordPress I’m trying to use for the first time. This is my first post. I’ll edit or delete it, then start blogging!

長らく放置状態だったブログをようやっとメンテしました。とりあえずWordPressベースの初投稿。

Words of the year 2014

I list up the most impressive events I experienced each year as the “words of the year” in every year end, like this:
The words of the year for 2001: getting a flat within the Tokyo metropolitan area, a position change at the office, and Soarer.
The words of the year for 2002: America.
The words of the year for 2003: the airplane and the musical.
The words of the year for 2004: the blog, Asian countries (Singapore and Hong Kong), and the GSM mobile phone.
The words of the year for 2005: darts, the GSM and WCDMA mobile phone, and visiting Hong Kong again.
The words of the year for 2006: the US stock and the mutual fund.
The words of the year for 2007: changing my car and visiting Hawaii.
The words of the year for 2008: England and Fukagawa.
The words of the year for 2009: office position change, MacBook Pro and JR Seishun 18 Ticket.
The words of the year for 2010: Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia; iPhone; and the credit card.
The words of the year for 2011: the car, the British culture and China.
The words of the year for 2012: Oji, the mahjong, the flight attendant and Facebook.
The words of the year for 2013: Ayurveda, Korea, high school alumni and Tsuyoshi Takashiro.
Now I have the words of the year 2014: England and Android.
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My second visit to England

I visited the UK again in September as my first visit there in February was very nice. This time I went to Folkestone, Kent, where it was taken place by the musical “Half A Sixpence” I watched at Kokugakuin Tochigi High School, via Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Hastings, Rye and New Romney.
I flew Aeroflot to Moscow, where I changed the plane to London. At Heathrow Airport, I had usual strict inspection at the immigration counter. Being asked why I was going to Folkestone, I answered the plain truth that I had been impressed by “Half A Sixpence” I had watched several weeks before and it had encouraged me to visit there. I told the cab driver who took me to the hotel from the airport the same thing, and he said, “Oh really. Enjoy your trip to Folkestone.”

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