Media Lab in Tokyo -2


I reported to you in my posting of the other day about the MIT media Lab in Tokyo.  I hope you were able to have a glimpse of how it went by browsing through the links I have included in the text.

My friends and I are exploring the possibilities of launching something that would offer young people in Japan to experience, even for just a short period, the free and lively atmosphere which MIT Media Lab possess.

By the way, the Asahi Newspaper (Ref.1) (in Japanese) covered this event of MIT Media Lab in Tokyo in its digital newspaper of March 3.

As you see in this article, I commented that the drive force of changes in all times are the  “Crazy Ones”. They are, for example, Galileo or Darwin, the founders of modern science, and other change makers of each age.  In our time, we have Steve Jobs, the change maker of the 20th century.

It has been a broadly shared assumption until last year or so, that young people in Japan are “too inward oriented and isolationalist”, or “in low spirit”, but this seems doubtful to me.   From my point of view, it is more likely that there were not much “role models” broadly recognized in our society whom young people could look up to as their goals.

The drive force for change in any time is the “misfits of the time”, “out of the box talents”.  To name just a few from Japan of 40-50 years ago, are Mr. Ibuka and Mr. Morita of SONY, Mr. Soichiro Honda of Honda, or Mr. Ogura of Black Cat (Kuroneko Yamato).  I am certain that all of those people were labeld as misfits of the society back then.

In recent years follow Mr. Yanai of UniQlo, Mr. Mikitani of Rakuten, Mr. Son of Soft Bank, Mr. Niinami of Lawson, and so on.   They were also categorized as the “misfits” until just recetly.  Mr. Joi Ito, the Director of MIT Media Lab, is clearly one of them, too.

These people responded to the great quake and tsunami that hit Japan with great speed and drastic measures.

Yes, there is a lot to see in this world.  I urge you to go and grasp every bit of chance to expose yourself to things that might become your great goal, or things that you will find truely exciting, things that are worth persuing with all of your passion.  For university students, as I write in my blog postings every now and then, it would be a good option to follow my advice and “Take Leave of Absence from School”.

It is my hope and wish that “3.11” will become an big opportunity for young people to take leadership in realizing the “Third Opening of Japan”