Mina Nishisaka

Recent Posts

Faculty Interview: Dean Kaz Ichijo (Part 1-2)

Posted by Mina Nishisaka on Apr 17, 2020 8:00:00 AM

We sat down with the Dean of Hitotsubashi ICS, Professor Kazuo Ichijo (fondly known as Kaz) for a faculty interview commemorating the 20th anniversary of Hitotsubashi ICS.

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Topics: Faculty Impact

Faculty Interview: Dean Kaz Ichijo (Part 1-1)

Posted by Mina Nishisaka on Apr 9, 2020 3:20:40 PM

We sat down with the Dean of Hitotsubashi ICS, Professor Kazuo Ichijo (fondly known as Kaz) for a faculty interview commemorating the 20th anniversary of Hitotsubashi ICS.

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Topics: Faculty Impact

Introspection through Japanese Culture

Posted by Mina Nishisaka on Jan 28, 2020 6:33:04 PM

The Japanese Culture Course at Hitotsubashi ICS takes students on a 6-week journey from ancient/traditional Japanese culture to modern-day Japanese pop culture, each course under a concept such as 和(Wa Harmony, ), 神仏(Shimbutsu Gods and Buddhas), 節(Setsu Milestones and Transitions), 礼(Rei Manners, Appreciation, Courtesy), 粋(Iki Chic, Cool, etc.), and かわいい(Kawaii Cute, Adorable, Imperfect,etc.) Course instructors Motoko Kimura and Mina Nishisaka from WaNavi Japan take students outside the classroom each week to allow students to use their five senses and to discover Japanese culture in a holistic way.

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Topics: Japanese Culture, Why Hitotsubashi ICS

Foliage Season in Japan

Posted by Mina Nishisaka on Nov 12, 2019 11:29:17 AM

As the nights get colder and longer after a hot and muggy summer, the leaves tell us that it's autumn in Japan. Colorful foliage, called koyo in Japanese is just as magnificent as the pink cherry blossoms in the spring. For centuries, the Japanese people have enjoyed the koyo, and we can see many poems and haiku dedicated to the autumn foliage. The spectacular blend of red, orange and yellow is truly a breathtaking palette created by nature. 

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Topics: Japanese Culture

Japanese Business Etiquette Part 1

Posted by Mina Nishisaka on Apr 19, 2019 11:46:20 AM

In Japan, the new school/fiscal year starts in April. For many Japanese, it is a fresh start of the year, often accompanying different positions, roles, and starting in new environments. 

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The Season of Sakura

Posted by Mina Nishisaka on Mar 27, 2019 4:18:23 PM

It's the time of year again when the sakura (cherry blossoms) paint the entire Japanese archipelago in pink. The explosion of pale pink petals is astounding and breathtaking, and the Japanese people check the sakura forecast (yes, there is such thing) on television every day to see when they can enjoy the sakura in full bloom.

Since the sakura petals fall almost as soon as they bloom, the Japanese people are frantic about when to plan the best ohanami, a cherry blossom viewing picnic under the sakura tree. The literal translation would be "flower viewing," but its meaning expands further into Japanese culture, Japanese people take this opportunity to spend a good time with family and friends (and as an excuse to drink). If you ever visit Japan during the cherry blossom season, you will be surprised at how the usually rigid Japanese people are merrily drunk in public under the cherry blossom trees. Companies also take this opportunity to end work early and have ohanami with colleagues. In fact, it is one of the newly hired employees' job to get the best ohanami spot, spreading a blue tarp sheet and reserving the spot from early in the morning. Businesses also take advantage of this season, and anything from cafe lattes, bento, sweets and especially beer and sake have a special sakura-themed edition, only sold during this season.

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Faculty Interview I Prof. Ken Kusunoki

Posted by Mina Nishisaka on Feb 27, 2019 5:45:58 PM

We sat down with Prof. Ken Kusunoki on why competitive strategy became his field and how being "misfit" crafted his unique character.

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Topics: Faculty Impact

Celebrating the Japanese New Year

Posted by Mina Nishisaka on Jan 1, 2019 11:40:32 PM

Oshōgatsu, or New Year in Japan, is a time for custom and tradition even in modern Japan. 

Japan has always had a special place for Oshōgatsu, the most auspicious celebration of the year.
Oshōgatsu is typically celebrated the first three days of January, but preparations for the celebration start early. Soon after Christmas decorations are set aside, the entrances to many homes, stores, and buildings in Japan are decorated with Kadomatsu, a decoration made of pine and bamboo that welcomes the Shinto deities, especially the Toshigami- sama  (the deity of the New Year). The Kadomatsu is a symbol that each house/building has been cleaned and purified and that they are ready to welcome the Toshigami- sama . The evergreen pine and bamboo embody the vitality and strength to overcome hardships. 

The official start of Oshōgatsu is midnight of December 31st, as the new year approaches. As midnight nears, the solemn air is filled with the deep, slow sound of a local temple's bell being rung, and many people gather to their neighborhood temples to offer their first prayers of the year. The temple bell is rung 108 times as the old year passes and the new year arrives, along with a prayer to renounce the 108 different earthly desires that humans suffer from. A bonfire is started at many temples and shrines for people to bring in old charms and amulets that were used in the previous year - they are burned with prayers by Buddhist and Shinto priests to express gratitude for the protection provided. 
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Topics: Japanese Culture

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