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Thank you for visiting my website.  There are seven categories. Please look at the list on the right and click on the one you want to read.  Each category has a list of articles from which you can choose.  Feel free to post your comment in the bubble.

The photo on top is my spouse Muriel on the left and my sister Taeko on the right taken in South Africa.  Picture on the right is me, Tad Mitsui and my cat, George.

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QUALITY MATTERS

QUALITY MATTERS

Steven Reive’s article about the impact an American statistics professor had on the auto industries is a significant story.  (Lethbridge Herald, June 12, page C4)  W. Edward Deming of New York University built “a paradigm during the 1930′s and a set of 14 principles” of management and quality control.  American automakers did not understand him but Japanese Auto industries enthusiastically applied his ideas thus helping them to reach the supremacy in the sector.  When Americans realized it, it was too late.  It shows the wisdom of primarily seeking superior quality rather than cost efficiency.

I had a friend, a Quebec dairy farmer, who always drove a Cadillac.  His philosophy is: Good quality is most economical in a long term.  A Swedish friend tells me of the quality of Saab and Volvo, “We buy a car like we buy a house.”  German and Swiss are also sticklers of quality.  It’s not only Japanese who say quality matters.

Ryotaro Shiba, a well known author of historical novels, says, “Japan is the country that values craftsmanship more than others.”   Master craftsmen are revered and remembered just like war heros, wise monarchs; even like saints.  One sword smith,  by the name of Goro Masamune is called with a tile “Saint” not because of his religiosity but because of quaulity.  It is like a blacksmith who forged Excalibur was sainted.

Japan has a category of a state funded national heritage program called “Living National Treasure”: they are masters in various crafts like pottery, carpentry, weaving, etc.  They receive generous life time stipends from the government to concentrate in creating crafts  free of pressure to sell.  Though Japan adopted Confucianism as basic values of ethics, disdain of craftsmen is one it chose to ignore, says Shiba.  In Confucianism, a craftsman belongs to the lowest caste.

I once sat next to a Calgary roofer on a flight to Japan.  He went to Japan often to learn to perfect his skills in trade.  He says, a Canadian roofer  goes through months of apprenticeship before he gets a journeyman’s ticket.  But in Japan it takes eight years.

An environmentalist will choose good quality over low price, because usually more fossils  is burnt in manufacturing a machine than it takes to run it.  It is certainly is the case of automobile.   A quality product lasts longer therefore it costs less in the end; produces less waste.

Difficulty of being conservative

CHANGES ARE NORMAL BUT THEY HAVE TO BE BASED ON THE PAST

After hearing about the unprecedented change of the political landscape in Alberta after the election victory of the NDP, Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice, portrayed the atmosphere of the Federal Conservative caucus as a “morgue.”  NDP which held four seats in A;berta Legislature won the power winning 54 seats on May 5, 2015.  Changes are difficult for people who value the things that don’t change.  Some people get particularly angry at changes in practice of moral ethics, such as abortion, homosexuality, and marijuana.   Prayers at public fora and schools is another irritation for the conservatives.  Here the “conservative” I speak about are small “c” varieties.

However, changes are inevitable.  Nothing stays the same.  Sages of yesteryears all agreed on the universality of change: from ancient Hebrew Psalmists to Buddha, Socrates to Jesus, they all said, “Nothing stays the same” in various ways.  Then why conservatives insist that nothing should change and what is old is always good.  Remember:  An organism that does not change is a dead organism, will rot and stink in time.  Why then facing with changes, conservatives are often angry and denounce those progressives as evil?

As a person proud of being progressive, I often feel sorry for conservative people.  They are always faced with inevitability of change, because it is the universal norm.  Nothing stays the same.  Everything flows like a river: it’s only a matter of difference in speed.  When it is young, it flows rapidly but it is narrow and its volume small.  As it reaches plains, it becomes wider, volume abundant, and power enormous.  However, it flows constantly changing its outlook and shape.  If it stops, in no time it becomes dirty, smelly, often deadly.  Water evaporates and remnant kills lives.  Change is like breathing: when it stops it means death.

In the meanwhile, I do understand conservatives’ anger with those who insist on change for the sake of change.  Changes can be destructive and meaningless.  All positive changes must be built on the foundation of the past.  In other words, they must be evolutionary and revisionary.  The positive changes have to be made on the foundation of the past.  Otherwise, it does not move forward, the baseless change can be regressive.  Future and past are like two sides of a sheet of paper.  One can not exist without the other.  Progress without a basis of the past is like a balloon without a string.  They may not go anywhere.