Traveling around Japan, I arrived in Matsumoto, a town hidden among mountains, known for being home of the famous Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, better known as “polka dot princess”. But Matsumoto it is much more than that.
The Matsumoto castle sits elegantly on the horizon, while life goes around. And it’s in this little town that the frog is considered a good luck charm.
The slimy, green, croaky, bug-eater amphibian has become a popular character in this land.
You probably never heard this before, but the word kaeru, without the complications of kanji, can be interpreted in more than one way.
かえる (Kaeru) = Frog 🐸
かえる（kaeru) = to return home
And taking advantage of this happy coincidence, Matsumoto locals use the Frog (kaeru) to personify this “praying”, because they want good things to return (kaeru). Besides, who wouldn’t want money, work, and health to come their way? 😊But it is in Matsumoto that this beautiful and genuine plead for compassion, to whomever deity might be in charge of Matsumoto, comes to live.
On rainy days, especially in Tokyo, the world seems to stand still.Or so you think. Even in the most terrible of rainy days, those that come with typhoon warmings, people would still make their way to work.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat” can keep Japanese employees from their desk, duties and prized customers.
In fact, most employees know how to get from home to their offices by foot. Just in case, they need to do so. Granted, that’s also due to our elevated numbers of earthquakes, In fact, everybody still talking about where they were when 3.11 earthquake stroke. After which, all transport systems were suspended for security.
The memory of 3.11 it does still hunt us.
But even 3.11, the worst natural disaster in modern Japanese history, couldn’t stop us from going to work. Yup, even this immigrant followed the example of the strong and admirable Japanese ethics.
I was still in shock, so I cried a little on my way to work and prayed some more, but I made it through. And it was a good lesson because it taught me to stand with Japanese people and support them. Support us. And the message was loud and clear: You want to be one of us, you work like of us.
Of course, there are things we must change in our vision of business. But what we can praise about Japanese people is their strong work ethics, loyalty, and precision when creating. And these characteristics are found in everything we have in this country.