All posts by maytone

2016 was not that bad after all.

Hi guys, this year is getting close to the end…thank you for all the fun time we had! How was 2016 for you? Looking at Social media (especially English posts), it seems there are lots of negative voices such as “2016 was a terrible year” “I want it finish now” or “2017 will get worse…” but I don’t know…for me it was “going up” year.

Sure, there was a lot of terrorism. But it was just because they happened in the “developed” countries hence the media reported a lot, there has been lots of terrible incidents worldwide in recent years. They say “we lost lots of celebrities”, but for me, 2012 ~ 2015 when we lost lots of famous Kabuki actors looked worse. Brexit? Trump? It hasn’t happened yet, he hasn’t become the president yet, we don’t know the outcome of them in long term…

…thinking in that way, I think 2016 was the year of “transition”. One flow ends, and we have to plant new seeds for the next change. How you view this “end” depends on the person I guess. However, I believe whether you see this situation as “hopeless” or “chance” will determine what kinds of flower you will see in the future…thinking about my flowers, I’m preparing for the next year.

Right, I will look back 2016 by talking about the products/service I used a lot.

Jet-setter!

As same as the last year, I flied a lot! The first half of the year, I went to Sweden monthly. This was phisically tough but the people there welcomed me warmly. Also I learnt a lot by experiencing the life and work in Sweden, this was amazing considering that living/working in London is already special as Japanese. By the way I was so in love with scandinavian design…when I get a new flat in Japan I will get inspiration from them!

Pinterest

Throughout this tough year, again it was the mindfulness which helped me a lot. Everyday is a bit difficult but I still continue Headspace. Another thing I begun this year is Five Minutes Journal. This is a simple journal which you can write every morning and night, but the key is to keep it short and simple like 5mins. Does that short journal mean anything? Definitely yes – they ask you very important questions so that simple answers do help. I tend to give up these rituals but now it’s my 143th day!

The Five Minute Journal

Also while moving between locations, Barlcays’s mobile app and Paypal were incredibly useful. I knew Barclays app good before, but Paypal was rather unexpected, I like its overall experience and service. Actually, I was hoping financial sector’s UX and transaction in Japan becoming better. Maybe I should write another post about comparison…

Another thing I strongly felt was that, I want to involve in designing UX around airline/flight experience! Comparing some apps, I thought BA was ok but overall experience still seems fragmented. At the moment it feels like the best UX to view travel schedule is Google’s inbox, so it would be great if we had more seamless experience including physical experience. Does anyone know someone in airline industry?

I love Japanese contents…

After July, I went to Japan several times. Since last year, I had even more chances to work with the designers in Japan which made me really happy. In my personal life, our family had two celebration; my counsin’s wedding in July and my brother’s in November, and I enjoyed staying in Japan by doing a lot such as… played PokeGo, listening/watching Arashi, watched TeamLab and Ghibli’s exhibition, went to Osaka, Nikko, enjoyed the PM being Mario, watched Shin-godzilla, Kimi-no-na-wa, Sanada-maru, Daradara and Kabuki! Wow, it was a really good year.

Only a bit of 2016.

So. What would you enjoy a lot in Japan? …food! This is not anything new but I enjoyed usingTabelog a lot. My colleagues were using Foursquare but I’m afraid that’s useless in Japan…The experience of these two are quite different and I guess it also comes from cultural difference. Maybe I should write about it too…(setting a high hurdle for myself). By the way, another thing I used a lot in Europe while not in Jaa pan was Vivino. I love being able to view rates of wines easily by taking picture of a label, since I know nothing about wines!

Vivino | Price comparison, ratings and reviews for any wine Does anyone want to make Japanese sake version of this app?

Next year: Focus and share

Right, the next step of my life is to focus on Japan. At the moment I’m doing final “danshari” – it’s a concept of not to have attachment to things, to clean up unneccessary things, to keep the life simple and minimal – by using eBay and Mercari (Oh, the experience of these two services are different and interesting, hopefully I will write about it too..) In this year, too many things happened and I tended to get distracted, but next year I will have more focus. Hoping this will help, I bought this big journal (Ok, this is no 5mins anymore, and maybe too expensive as a journal…) so I will do my best on this as one commitnent. (Below is a discount link if you’re interested)

Dailygreatness UK – Friend Offer

Right, I just commited to write three (!) blog post so I would like to try writing something about UX soon. I will. Try. Next year.

Right, happy new year everyone!

Some thoughts around introverts

Since I often come across articles about introverts and extroverts recently, I also want to write a bit about my thoughts around it.

I don’t think it’s binary thing, but I think I’m closer to introvert. This word is often misused, but they say it’s not really about being shy or quiet. For example this article talks about what real introverts are, or this oneillustrates what’s going on in introvert’s head.

Personally those two below made sense the most to me.

Why so many people don’t understand introverts | Ideapod

People usually think introvert means shy, and that’s not the case. The truth is…

Accepting Yourself as an Introvert and Loving Your Inner Tortoise

“We can’t underestimate the value of silence. We need to create ourselves, need to spend time alone…

So, introverted doesn’t mean shy or quiet. I don’t hate meeting people, or going for drinks when I’m invited. However, while extroverts gain energy by receiving stimulation from external world, introverts need quiet time, can charge energy by facing inner world. We need to have a rest by shutting out external interference.

Both good things and bad things start and come back inwards. I think that’s introvert’s trait. Communication consumes, so it needs to be selective, let’s avoid unnecessary ones…so don’t take it personally when I say no to invitations or ignore you on trains.

To be honest, I’ve been suffering about this for long time. I’ve been believing that being introverted was bad thing. “Am I not normal not being able to enjoy social?” or “Am I miserable person wanting to be alone at home?” And since everything tends to go towards inwards, self-hate level was quite high too! It was such a bad cycle of “wanting to be alone” > “blaming myself to be alone”. There was literally no rest inside me.

However, reading articles about introverts…I noticed. Perhaps, because of its traits, maybe “visible” things in this world tend to be extrovert’s standard. Extroverts have louder voices. And by receiving reaction, it gets louder. On the other hand, introverts tend to stay quiet…so we can’t see it, hear it. I guess there are lots of people like me, who believe the standard is “extroverts” and “introverted me” is broken and something I have to fix.

Reading the articles by other introverts, now I know at least it’s not just me feeling in this way. I don’t need to worry. I’m not broken. Interestingly by stopping pressure towards myself, I enjoy social situation a bit more. (although I still want to go home early.)

Now….if you understand this kind of things,you’re probably an introvert too 😉

Right, here is an article about how to charge happiness for you then…

4 Ways Introverts Can Super-Charge Their Happiness

“Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe.” ~Susan Cain…

Skies, Airplanes and Star wars

Since August last year, I have been traveling often to Sweden. Business trips. People say “Good for you!” whenever I tell this, but actually, it’s physically tough. Maybe I’m too old to do this 😛

What’s difficult is…flights. I often take Norwegian air, but they were delayed more than half out of 12 times, the longest waiting time was 6hours…when they told passengers “We don’t have flight clue yet”, I thought it was almost the level of comedy…

Anyway, it’s stressful trip. However, I noticed recently…it seems I really love watching skies. No matter how long a flight was delayed, I felt completely fine after watching the sky for a while at a window seat. These are the pictures I took while business trips.

Content from Skies

Also, I feel super happy whenever I’m looking at something flying, such as planes or birds. This might be because of my dad who is an aircraft engineer. As a kid, I preferred aircraft toys rather than dolls, and my most favourite Ghibli film was Laputa. I watched the scene that Pazu flied to rescue Sita again and again. I used to have a stone which looks like the one in the film and secretly wishing if I could fly with this. Good old days!

Laputa Castle In The Sky (1986) Official Trailer – Full HD 1080p [JAPANESE]

So…the thing which excited me the most recently was of course Star wars. I watched it twice at 2D and 3D IMAX. In fact, this was also my dad’s influence…I just love this series. You might think of lightsaber first when you hear “star wars”, but actually my most favourite is X-wing, for that reason my favourite episode is 4. I love X-wing opening their wings when they go to destroy the Death Star. By the way you can make it with Origami 😀 (If you want to try, check this out.)

@gchicco I did it with post-it… But I should have chosen different colour, it looks a bit like an insect…. 😅 #starwars #xwing

Anyway. Episode7. Compared to the ep 1, 2, 3, which my highlight was just the scenes Yoda fights, I definitely loved this new saga! Some people critisize it as doing exactly the same as the classic episodes, but I think this episode was supposed to be “reboot” of the series, as you can see they say “Every generation has a story” its role was relaying to the new generation…I thought its paying-homage-approach was quite successful. I’m really looking forward to the next episode.

I thought the new casts were amazing. As you can imagine…my favourite scene was when X-wing appears to take a big part, I really liked the pilot: Poe. Also the new heroen Ray looked really cool, and Finn who was taking a bit of comical role with BB-8 entertained us with a new pattern of “ex-storm trooper”.

These are the new faces of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

By the way it seems the new Darth vader, Kylo Ren is gaining a huge popularity, but for me only the image of him is this twin-looking cat lol. They look too similar 😀

A Cat That Looks Like Kylo Ren & More Incredible Links

Finally, you can’t forget BB-8 who inherited R2-D2’s position…Soooo cute! I want one! Actually I sent him to my dad as a Xmas gift. I tried it by myself, but it was really well done, I really didn’t want to let him go…but I will write about it next time.

Well…oh, what was I writing about…? Yeah, it’s just…I like skies…

Regression and Departure

Oops, it’s been a year again since the last post…oh well. Although I don’t feel like setting goals per year anymore, it’s a good timing as a self-reminder, so I’m gonna write a post about my currently on-going themesm.

1) Mindfulness = Live my life

This is my absolute top priority. Since I had a big life crisis around 2013, I have kept practicing meditation in order not to get caught by thoughts in my head, also been trying anything around “mindfulness”. For me, not to get stuck with thoughts means to live my life with a certain level of quality. This is my bad trait but I tend to get trapped by worries and thoughts for 24hours, also these thoughts tend to be negative ones, and end up consuming all my energy just for this. By not to be dragged by these stresses, I want to live my life experiencing happiness in front of me. My goal is 60% “now” 🙂 (It’s probably around 20% currently…)

Mind by Headspace
How It Works

2)Regression

Since I met mindfulness, I can spend more time for the things which make me happy. These are NOT something “I think I should like”, but rather, the things “I simply like it”…perhaps the things I have forced myself to forget or give up, while I grew up. Time for singing lessons, watching films, colouring books, drawing, knitting, etc etc…Thanks to all the revivals last year, I see my passion towards Star wars again, towards the Ghost in the shell, I feel like I became back to a child. I also stopped worrying too much about other people’s acceptance…it allows me to enjoy music genuinely. This year I will shift my energy to those areas rather than just work!

My favourite colouring book
Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Colouring Book
This article empowers me
Fitting In Is Overrated: Your Uniqueness Is the Key to Meaning

3)Departure

This is also related…but I said goodbye to myself constantly wearing social masks in order to seek acceptance from others. Also said goodbye to the people who approach me in order to make advantage of my weakness. I’m fed up with smiling on my face while crying in my mind. I commit to take care of myself and live strongly.

So, these are my commitment…not only for 2016, but for my life 🙂

Keywords & Key products 2014

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I thought I should stop “looking back” post because it looks too ordinary, but well, I haven’t posted anything for long time, and I have time to write something, so why not! Here is a list of my keywords 2014 and favourite products. I’m going to write proper posts about some of the products later but anyway here we go!

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1. Mindfulness

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My recent few years have been like being in the fog. I was stuck thinking repeatedly about what I want to do, stuck in concepts and thoughts, and not living real life. This year was very important for me, because I got out from the fog. I grew up mentally and feel more confidence, strength in me. And what helped me a lot was “mindfulness”. There are loads of tools I used for this, but my most favourite is this one.

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Headspace

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Headspace is service to let you meditate regularly, it helped me to have more clarity, forget trivial problems and focus on what the most important thing is. Does meditation sound too religious? Not really, Headspace tells how this makes sense scientifically too. I liked “Start with small (10mins)” approach as well.

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2. Sense of time

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One big thing mindfulness changed inside of me was the sense of time. In recent years, I used to say “OMG is it December already!?” but this year, I felt it was so long…but in a good way.

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I used to feel there was no time to do any of what I want. But meditation taught me, actually, if I’m aware of each moments, I have plenty of time to enjoy different activities. It was big learning, and since then I rarely feel I run out of time.

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Oh..and what is that to do with Interstellar? I mean, someone has told me that meditation is experience of “outside of the clock time”. It feels like that indeed, since I started meditation I noticed that time is not that concrete thing. And is there a world outside of clock? With all those experience and questions, this one easily became one of my favourite films 🙂

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3. Live Lean

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Yes I know, everything is lean now…business, UX, whatever…but this was the year I actually experienced Lean in a real project, which was a massive learning. And I realised it’s all about mindset, not about practice. I even found some similarity to zen and mindfulness! Next year, I want to explore a bit more and do a lot of workshops around this.

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Lean UX

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4. Come back to singing

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For long time, I was avoiding this to challenge…learning to sing! I don’t know when I lost confidence, but I thought I was not good enough. However this year I tried it again. And result? I loved it! The more I do, the more I enjoy it. It doesn’t matter how “good” I am anymore, it’s more about how good I “feel” while singing. And this is the tool I use for practice.

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iReal Pro

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The UI is so bad but it’s really good app for practicing. You can find major songs (mostly Jazz) and karaoke with it! You know, it’s always more fun to sing with instruments.

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5. Fampany!

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I’ll be honest here. Last year I felt stuck with my career and wanted to leave the studio. But this year, we had a big change and it totally improved. I learnt so much from the projects I worked on and I really appreciate how ustwo put effort to move forward.

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Also I can’t forget to mention about this!

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So I would say it was a great year for the studio. I don’t know if it’s me changed or the studio, maybe it’s both but I think ustwo is a great place to work, I’m really looking forward to 2015 and want to contribute more.

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6. Better posture, be Happier

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The last year ended with massive pain, physically, mentally, I used to have constant stomachache. This year, I started chiropractic which improved loads of things about my body! Also because of mindfulness, I’m more aware of my body and minds. I was so surprised that how careless and harsh I used to be for myself. But hey, no more self-abuse!

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Recently I use an app called Happier, made by this amazing woman.

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It’s a kind of gratitude app, but the guide is great and makes sense. It lets me be aware of appreciation, which I tend to ignore. It helped me to notice happiness is always around me. Amazing app!

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7. Japan!

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This year I went back to Japan for 3 times in 6months! It was crazy but I had really good time there. However, one big, sad incident was that we lost our grandfather in July. He was very very important person in the family, I could never imagine losing him. I stayed with my family closely, and thought a lot of things. This incident hit me a lot.

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It was definitely tough time…but meditation helped me to go through all the emotion and steps. It was sad but felt organic. Now somehow I feel like my grandad is there whenever I do meditation. He stays with me and supports me to be happy 🙂

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…And 2015?

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So it was a year of very rich experience. I cried, laughed, got anger and forgave. I’m looking forward to 2015, I’m sure there will be full of surprise again. Have a great new year’s eve everyone!

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Oh, a bit off topic, but this film was surprisingly good… 😛

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「一年を振り返りましょう」ポストはありきたりなのでやめようと思っていたのですが・・・。ブログ再開してからあまり書いてないし、時間もある事なので書いちゃえ。と言う訳で、2014年私のキーワードとお気に入りプロダクトのリストを作ってみました。詳細についてはまた細かく書くかもしれませんが、とりあえずどうぞ。

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1. マインドフルネス

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実はここ数年何だかもやっとしていて、人生で何をしたいのかとか、色々な考えや悩みにはまり込んでしまっていて、目の前で起きている事がおろそかになってしまっていました。今年は、そのモヤモヤをはらす事ができたという意味でとてもいい年になりました。精神的にも成長できて、自信もついたし強くなれた気がします。その過程で一役買ってくれたのがこの「マインドフルネス」です。色々使っているツールはあるのですが今日は一番のお気に入りをご紹介。

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Headspace

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Headspaceは定期的にメディテーションができるようガイドしてくれるサービスで、私も心をすっきりさせ、些細な問題を忘れて大切な事に集中できるようになったりと大分お世話になっています。瞑想っていうとちょっと宗教的な感じがしますか?いえいえ、Headspaceは科学的にも瞑想が集中力をあげるのに効果がある事を証明しています。「簡単な事(10分)からはじめましょう」っていうアプローチも好きです。

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2. 時間の感覚

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マインドフルネスを始めてから一つ私の中で大きく変わったのが時間の感覚です。ここ数年はこの時期になると「もう12月!?この間年越したばっかじゃん!」と思っていたのですが、今年は長かった・・・しかもいい意味で。

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以前はいつもいつもやりたい事をやる時間がないって思っていました。でもね、その時々に集中してものごとをパパッと終わらせると、時間って意外と長いんですよね。当たり前の事だけど私にとってこれは大きな気付きで、最近では「時間がない〜」と思う事がほとんどなくなりました。

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・・・で、それがInterstellarと何の関係があるのかって?以前ガイドの一部で聞いた事があるのですが、瞑想はある意味「時計が刻む時間の外での体験」だそうです。正にその通りだなぁ〜と感じるのですが、時間って本当に確かなものではないですよね。で、科学的に考えると、時間の外の次元ってどうなってるの???なんて、はてなマークがどんどんでてきちゃう訳ですが、この映画の描いている事はそういう意味で面白いなぁと思いました。詳しい事はまた今度。

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3. Leanに生きる!

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そうなんですよ、もうどこもかしこもLeanですね・・・。ビジネスだとかUXだとか・・・。今年は、実際にLeanをプロジェクトで実践できたという意味で面白い年でした。やっぱり実際にやってみる事で勉強になる事は多々ありますね。一番の気付きは、Leanで重要なのが方法論やシステムではなく、心構えやものの見方であるということ。なんだかマインドフルネスと似ている部分が多いのです!来年もう少し広げてみたい部分です。

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Lean UX

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4. 歌始めました。

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長い間、これチャレンジするの避けてたんですが・・・歌のレッスン!一体どこでそこまで自信を落としてきたのか、自分には絶対できないハードルみたいなものが見えていたのです。でもね、今年やってみました。結果は?超楽し〜♪やればやるほどはまってきてます。ま、どれだけ上手くできるかという事よりも、どれだけ自分が気分良く歌えるか、という事に集中してます。その方が大事よね。そしてこれが練習に使っているツール。

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iReal Pro

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UIは微妙ですが、歌の練習にとても便利なアプリです。有名な曲を探して(Jazzがメイン)カラオケみたいに歌う事ができます。やっぱり伴奏があった方が歌は楽しいです。

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5. Fampany!

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正直に言います。去年私は仕事に行き詰まりを感じていて、仕事辞めたかったです。Iでも今年は会社で大改革があり、色々な事が改善されました。私は関わらせてもらったプロジェクトでたくさん成長させてもらったし、ustwoがこうやって物事を良くしようと努力してくれているのは本当に感謝です。

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そして忘れてはならないのがこれ。

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と言う訳で、スタジオにとってもとてもいい一年だったのではないでしょうか。私の感覚が変わったのか、スタジオの変化のおかげか、恐らく両方なのだとは思いますが、2015年がとても楽しみですし、私ももっと貢献したいと思います!

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6. 姿勢良くして、幸せ〜

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去年は身体的にも精神的も厳しい状態で終わりました。常に胃が痛かったです。今年はカイロプラクティックで背骨を矯正して、これが大正解!マインドフルネスの効果もあって、最近ではだいぶ自分の体も心にも気を遣うようになりました。今までかなり自分をいじめてたからなぁ・・・。でももうそれはやめます!

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最近、このステキな女性が作ったHappierというアプリを使っています。

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gratitudeアプリの一種なのですが、コンテンツがわかりやすく、でも深くていいです。普段見逃してしまいがちな、小さな幸せ、感謝の気持ちに気付かせてくれます。いいアプリですよ〜。

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7. ジャパ〜ン!

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今年は6ヶ月で3回も日本に行ってしまいました!大変でしたが、いい時間を過ごさせて頂きました。でも、一つ重大な悲しい出来事は、7月に祖父が他界した事です。祖父は家族の中でもとても大きな人で、祖父がいなくなるなんて想像できませんでした。幸い家族と一緒に時間を過ごす事ができて、色々私も考えさせられました。とてもショックな出来事でした。

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辛かった事は確かなのですが・・・思い返してみると、悲しい段階からそれを受け入れるまで、すごく自然に推移していったなと思います。やっぱり瞑想の時間はここでも役に立っていて、最近では祖父がそこにいてくれるような感じがしています。そばにいて、私が幸せになれるように見守っていてくれてるみたいです。

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…そして2015年は?

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それにしても濃い一年でした。たくさん泣いて、笑って、怒ったり許したりしました。 2015年もサプライズがいっぱいの年になるといいなぁ。それではよいお年を!

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そうだ、若干話がそれますが、この映画良かったです・・・。2014年、色々日本のドラマも映画も見ちゃいました。

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Media reports on Monument Valley

(Sorry this post is in Japanese only.)

ブログ再開後第一弾のポストです。若干手前味噌ですが、ustwoからリリースされたゲーム、Monument Valleyの事を書かせて頂きます。

リリースから一週間、iTunesStoreで一位になったり、大手のメディアに取り上げて頂いたりと、なかなか順調な滑り出しです。普段から超ハイテンションなustwoが、いつにも増してこの盛況ぶりに湧いております。

正直、「視覚のトリックを使った」ゲームは、以前SCEの作品で見た事がある気がします。それだけでも面白いのですが、Monument Valleyのいいところはやっぱり世界観とビジュアル、サウンドの質。眺めているだけでなんだかいい気分になるのです。なので、あんましゲームしない〜っていう人でも、楽しめると思いますよ。現に私、全然ゲームしないし。

あまりゲームの内容自体を書いてもあれなんで、これまで取り上げて頂いたメディアを集めてみました。

まずは、ファミ通様。詳細レポートありがとうございます。

【新作】幻想世界の視覚トリック『Monument Valley』おもしろすぎて一気にクリアーしてしまった [ファミ通app]

Game watchでも取り上げられてます。すごいね。

【スマホアプリ今日の1本】エッシャー世界探訪の旅iOS「Monument Valley」 – GAME Watch

Touchlabさん、「美しく神秘的なアプリ」ですって、素敵。

エッシャーの騙し絵に迷い込んだような神秘的なアプリ『Monument Valley』 | Touch Lab – タッチ ラボ

Continue reading Media reports on Monument Valley

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So…I’m writing a blog after 2 years. From now on, I’m gonna spend more time writing a proper blog entry rather than just quick-posting on social media.

I’m feeling like I’ve been too lazy to try communicating with my words properly. Social media gives me a quick option to share more…yes, it is more, but less experience. And I finally realised, doing less is actually living more.

Also I’m kind of fed up with “fake” me on social media. I tended to capture only the moment which looks nice. And those are the “wish-portrait” of me; the way I wanted to be perceived. “Look! Look how happy my life is! Please someone, tell me my life is amazing!”…Was I happy then? No. There are lots of gaps between them, those ideal me was no where near to real me, and ended up increasing my self-hate.

So I stopped. I decided to live my real life, rather than faking a happy life.

My first birthday is coming soon. A year ago, I was re-born and started a new journey. This blog will be the place to write about that too. Hope I can keep going…no, I will keep going!

mindfulness_1

App review: “Feel On!”

This is my favourite Twitter Client recently…”Feel On!”. It’s a Japanese app but they say English version is coming soon. This client analyses tweets in timeline and attach illustration. Really well done actually.

Of course it can’t be that accurate and attaches some strange ones which makes tweets so funny, or attaches some perfect ones which makes tweets even more better!

I don’t use it as a main client as it doesn’t display that many tweets and it doesn’t show Facebook updates, but I like opening this app…Good emotional design I think.

I made an album on FB so check it out too.

Feel On! App Store

Perfume&Capsule

Perfume is so cute…

Well, when they first became popular a few years ago, I just thought “Ahhhh again…just another typical Japanese girls group…” but finding them again recently, I was rather surprised how cute they are!

Search their video on the internet! Their dance is cute too, I think they’re much better than AKB48…? My favourite is “Take me Take me”, “Game”, “Edge” etc. The first bit of “Fake it” is too cool. By the way, this combination of SciFi-ish “digital music” and cute girls wearing cute clothes looks so Japanese anime/comic culture…haha.

Anyway, I will leave talking about how cute they’re to boys fans…as you might find it from my favourite list, I think I just like the music by Nakata Yasutaka, so I started listening to Capsule too. Yeah I think it’s cool. I like “Jumper”.

Although I really don’t understand “Kyarii Pamyu Pamyu” who is also produced by Nakata Yasutaka, I really wish Perfume keep doing well! By the way, my favourite member is Kashiyuka. I want to see them live…