“…because Japan is the global imagination’s default setting for the future.” — William Gibson, science fiction writer who coined terms like “cyberspace” and “matrix”, 2001
As a researcher-turned-journalist, I have always been intrigued by Japan.
I first came to this country in 1993 as a graduate student, and later worked here as a market researcher and brand consultant. The bubble had burst and the mood was pretty sour. I have always believed that Japan is a litmus test for the industrialized economies — a precursor to what the rest of us in the world is likely to face 20, 30, 40 years from now, and a unique lab to experiment ideas into how we will live. Some experts call it the “Japanification” of the world.
I speak Japanese and have been dedicating my energy to observe and record everyday encounters and experiences since moving here the second time in October 2017. Under the surface of Blade Runner-esque future vision complete with cyberpunk robots and holograms, even the most mundane (caution: not cliché) things, places and people harbor a deeper meaning and purpose. This newsletter aims to serve smart takes on daily Japanese news cycle and trends — sometimes traditional, sometimes futuristic, but hopefully hugely inspirational — for those outside Japan.