Beating the fear of cold calling, and other lessons kids taught me

Part 2 of an article I wrote and published on GLOBIS Insights about my volunteering for a business competition involving local elementary school 
http://e.globis.jp/article/508

Election time

Coming back from dropping my kids off at nursery, one of our lovely neighbours gave us some daikon. Can’t wait to eat them for dinner!

They don’t use pesticides so they come in all shapes and sizes. 

So as today is Election Day, which one should we choose for our dinner?
今日は保育園に子供達をおいていて、帰り中に近くの家のおばさんに大根いただきました。農薬品使わないから、いろんな面白い形になっている。晩御飯まで待ちきれない!

今日は(アメリカの)選挙日なので、どっちを選んだらいいでしょうか…

The Hungry Giant – ご馳走様でした!

With the kids away at school and the wife at work, I usually get quite a lot of work done in my very quiet home office. 

We live in a city of 60,000, but with online shopping, online work, Gyomu Super and a great community, we have everything we need in our little piece of heaven! Our house backs onto a couple of rice fields and we are blessed each morning with mountain views.

Like most mornings, I was engrossed in one of the projects that I am working on, when suddenly I heard a low rumble. 

At first I thought it might be a storm coming over the mountains, but it was too bright and no rain was forecast. Then for a split second I thought it might be an earthquake. But it wasn’t that kind of rumble. 

Then I looked out of the window and saw it. There was a behemoth right behind the house, eating up the golden ears of rice and like a picky but efficient eater, spitting the straw back out onto the field. And then, in less than fifteen minutes, a field that had taken my 88-year-old neighbor months to grow was harvested and ready for winter.


I’m very sure the rice will be going to a good home, or many good homes. But a part of me feels a little sad. 

毎日、子供達は学校・保育園に行って、妻は仕事に出かけて、私は家にあるオフィスでかなり多くの仕事ができる。

ほぼ毎朝みたいに、今日も仕事のプロジェクトに集中して、突然ゴロゴロという音が鳴っていた。最初は「雷か?」と思って、「いや、外明るいし、天気予報は雨じゃない。」と。「地震?」、「いや、そんな転がりじゃない。」

窓の外を見たら、巨人みたいなコンバインが見えた。15分以内に、田んぼにある隣のおじいさんが一所懸命育っていた全てのライス(御飯?稲?)を食べちゃた!ちょっと寂しく感じる。

Quick photo quiz – 英語で写真クイズ 20161018

Any ideas what this plant is? Please write your guesses in the comments.

この植物は英語でなんと言うだろう? 回答をコメント欄に入れてみてください。

Quick photo quiz – 英語で写真クイズ 20161017

Any ideas what this fruit is? Please write your guesses in the comments.

この果物は英語でなんと言うだろう? 回答をコメント欄に入れてみてください。

At the crossroads to the future – 岐路に立っていて

Today I had some really good meetings with the presidents of some sōmen noodle companies. We talked about what they are doing to reach other markets around the world, how to get people not used to eating cold noodles to try them and keep buying them, and we talked about how Japan has to tackle the next ten years as the average age of farmers here will increase from 66 years old now to even higher in the future. 

Japan is standing at a crossroads and I am excited to be here to help choose a direction.

今日は素麺会社の社長とても興味深い話ができました。海外市場への販路や、今まで冷たい麺に慣れてない外国人に試してもらうのにどうするのか、また現在66歳平均年齢の農家の今後についてなど、色んな面白いお話しをしました。

日本は今岐路に立っています。これからの方向一緒に考えて歩むのは楽しみになっています。