English version of this post is coming soon… I hope.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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)
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!
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.
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!
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.)
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”.
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 😀
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…
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 HeadspaceHow It Works
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 bookEnchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Colouring Book
This article empowers meFitting In Is Overrated: Your Uniqueness Is the Key to Meaning
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 🙂
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![/lang_en] [lang_en]
1. Mindfulness[/lang_en] [lang_en]
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.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
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.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
2. Sense of time[/lang_en] [lang_en]
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.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
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.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
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 🙂[/lang_en] [lang_en]
3. Live Lean[/lang_en] [lang_en]
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.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
4. Come back to singing[/lang_en] [lang_en]
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.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
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.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
5. Fampany![/lang_en] [lang_en]
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.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
Also I can’t forget to mention about this![/lang_en] [lang_en]
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.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
6. Better posture, be Happier[/lang_en] [lang_en]
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![/lang_en] [lang_en]
Recently I use an app called Happier, made by this amazing woman.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
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![/lang_en] [lang_en]
7. Japan![/lang_en] [lang_en]
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.[/lang_en] [lang_en]
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 🙂[/lang_en] [lang_en]
…And 2015?[/lang_en] [lang_en]
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![/lang_en] [lang_en]
Oh, a bit off topic, but this film was surprisingly good… 😛[/lang_en] [lang_en]
1. マインドフルネス[/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
2. 時間の感覚[/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
3. Leanに生きる！[/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
4. 歌始めました。[/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
5. Fampany![/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
6. 姿勢良くして、幸せ〜[/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
7. ジャパ〜ン![/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
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！[/lang_jp] [lang_jp]
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!
Happy New Year everyone! I didn’t update this blog that often last year, but…I want to write a bit more…I will try.
So, the review of 2011.
[It was…tough] Of course one of the big incident in 2011 was the earthquake, but even before that, I had experienced my cousin’s death. I can’t believe it’s been one year already…January last year was all about crying and feeling lonely….and then when I almost got recovered, the earthquake. It was quite heart-breaking time and the moment I could see both good/bad aspects of Japan, as well as the aspects I love and hate.
[Worked…a lot!] Regarding the work, I think it was a good year. Well, of course there was a lot of failure too, especially working with Japanese client was very very challenging for me and struggled a lot as I didn’t know how to behave in the cultural difference. However, that means I learned a lot too. It was the year of learning as an interaction designer.
So…2012 should be…
[Slower…] I feel like I have been working sooooo hard in recent years….maybe I can be a bit more slower this year and look around. Finally I’m feeling like I’m getting used to the life in London, so need to enjoy!
[Meet people] Now I want to do it more, but not with the feeling of “career opportunity obligation”. I want to enjoy going out more, and want to laugh more with everyone.
[Better private life! again] Actually this is something I couldn’t really achieve last year…I always spend too much energy for the work, not for the private life! But last year I spent more time for cooking, started going to the gym, joined Sanshin-kai, restarted watching football…(I support Liverpool now! Yey!) , maybe I should spend even more time for these things. I’m gonna listen to more music, watch more films, visit more exhibitions!
So, let’s make a wonderful 2012 together everyone 🙂
Although I tend to forget about this while in the U.K., 15th of August is the anniversary of the end of the war in Japan (as it’s the day the emperor announced Japan’s surrender). This day always makes me think of lots of things.
Of course, it’s the day to prey the soul of all the Japanese who had to die because of the war may rest in peace.
And, as Japanese, it’s the day to send sincere apology to all the countries and the people whom Japan had caused terrible pain and suffer, and prey the soul of the victims may rest in peace.
And it’s the day to appreciate all my friends who say they like Japan, even after all these horrible history.
And it’s the day to say thank you to my grandparents who survived the painful time and raised my parents.
Thanks to them, I got enough education, and now having a wonderful life, sharing smiles and joy with my friends of lots of different races and nationalities, in the country which Japan was fighting against.
…isn’t it amazing, people were killing each other before, but now loving each other?
And it’s the day to wish, this amazing thing I’m experiencing now will happen to the people who’s still suffering by violence somewhere on this planet.
I wish everyone in the world will be able to live in peace, without racism or war.
I know it may sound such a commonplace expression, but it’s the anniversary, why not?
15th of August is the important day, Japan should never forget.
I’m not sure if I can write this well…but in order to step forward, I decided to post this. It will be a bit long story.
My cousin has passed away by a bike accident on the other day. Thank you for everyone who sent me kind words, and I apologize I haven’t been able to respond. The shock was too strong. He was the same age as I am. When we were kids, me, he, his two years older brother, and my brother used to play together at my grandparent’s house in Fukuoka. Playing cards, chasing butterflies, swimming, singing, dancing, waiting for Santa Claus, sometimes fighting…While there are lots of children who don’t have any relatives in countryside in this modern society, our child-food was absolutely amazing. We were happy, we grew up together like brothers. He was a clever guy, was good at math and computer, but also was really into music. He played the piano very well, and played the base guitar in a band, and was chasing his dream to be a professional while doing a part-time job. As I was also chasing my dream staying abroad, I was supporting his dream too. I believed that his dream would come true in the future.
After we became adults, we didn’t have many chances to catch up, though he used to send me email saying “come to our gig!” He was always surrounded with his friends, he was really a cool guitarist. His friends used to be surprised and tell me “Are you his cousin? Wow, you guys are such close family!” which used to make me feel proud. After I came to London, I couldn’t meet him at all…but I had never felt like we were apart. It didn’t matter, we were always family. When I heard he had passed away, I felt as if someone hit my head with a hammer. That can’t be true. It must be a lie. After I tweeted, my head was totally messed up. Unfortunately I couldn’t go back to Japan, I had to face the reality continuing the normal life. Although my colleague kindly asked me if I wanted to take some rests, being rather scared of loneliness at home, I went to the studio everyday. Fortunately …or unfortunately, it’s been extremely busy these days, I could forget about the incident while I was working. However, I couldn’t concentrate, misheard English a lot, felt exhausted everyday after work. Once leaving the studio, remembering of him and loads of memories, I couldn’t help but go home crying on the tube. I think, usually in this kind of situation, family gather and prepare for funeral, cry together and then accept the reality little by little. For me, I couldn’t find a place to release my emotion, I was feeling like suffocated….well, I am still feeling like suffocated.
The amount of our memory is not something I can go through only for a week or so, everyday, remembering new ones, I cry. I thought I would be able to see him anytime. Even when we become old men and an old women, I thought we would be just stay as family. I can’t believe he is no longer there when I next go back to Japan. But…he would say “Why are you still crying?” if I keep crying, I decided to step forward. Although I’m feeling so bad being unable to attend his funeral, if he can listen to my words now…I just want to say “Thank you”. Thank you for the fun, exciting, happy memories. You did really well. Please rest in peace.