Threatened Western Writers? Try

Richard Reyes' response to John Malott's article ("Where Have all the Samurai Gone?") is a bit unfair, I think. First, Reyes apparently means Americans when he uses the term "Westerners." There is indeed a good deal of gloating from various American sources on what they regard as the evident superiority of their politico-economic system over the Japanese variant. That reflects their "irrational exuberance" and limited sense of history.


Threatened Western Writers

I just read John Malott's article called "Where Have all the Samurai Gone?". It was basically a celebration of Japan's supposed failings.

Whenever I read an article about Japan by Westerners, I always take it with a grain of salt. I've been around long enough to know how envious Westerners can get when their monopoly on power and prestige is threatened by people not belonging to their club. He mentions a long list of things supposedly wrong with Japan. He didn't put them into context, however.


Validation, Inspiration

I just read the article by John Malott entitled "Always Remember the 80-20 rule." I want to thank you for validating my efforts and my business model. It is incredibly motivating to hear a 30-year veteran (guru) of Japan/US business succinctly package together the magic ingredients for a US company to penetrate Japan and be successful. I hope you don't mind me quoting the article at my next business update to my executive board. When I hit a roadblock, I'll just revert back to it to ensure I'm on the right track.


Evil Katakana

In "The Japanese Language Meets the Internet" (May 2000), Bill Hall may have unwittingly touched upon a phenomenon I have observed, to wit, a disproportionate percentage of the new foreign terms coming into Japanese, like sekuhara (sexual harassment), rehabiri (rehabilitation), risku (risk), risutora (restructuring) etc., tend to have mildly or even strongly negative connotations.


Diary Diatribe

Why does Japan Inc publish Joi's Diary?
I find it boring to read his stream-of-consciousness happenings of the prior week. I'd rather see another dot-com ad with bulldogs in a bathtub of tomato juice than have to skip over his rantings. A bit harsh, maybe?

Matthew Kovinsky


Apply a Little English

John Malott hit the nail on the head in his article, "Why Japan Needs to Speak English." As a sales representative for an American storage manufacturer doing business in the Asian markets, Mr. Malott's comments range true to form.


Somewhere Under the Rainbow

Colours (not colors) are just the tip of the iceberg when trying to promote a global brand or global campaign in Japan. William Hall ("Colors Matter," page 40, July 2000) provides the kind of research in black and white that serves as tangible backup when trying to convince staff from the dreaded head office in a faraway land.


i-mode Gets Wapped

Great article. (See "Unwired: Japan Has the Future in Its Pocket," page 26, June 2000).


Think Tanked

Perhaps the reason that the world (outside Japan) has not heard of Kimindo Kusaka is that he has nothing to tell the world. (See People, page 11, June 2000.)


Keyboard Connection

As an amateur linguist, and a recent transplant to Japan, I really enjoyed your article "The Japanese Language Meets the Internet" (see page 60, May 2000). It put a lot of information in context for me that I was receiving neither from self-instruction books nor from explanations from Japanese coworkers and clients. In particular, your discussion of using a Western keyboard to retrieve characters, with some biasing formula to resolve homonyms, struck a resonant tone.



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