Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Topic 6
Cool Biz, Warm Biz

First, what pops into your mind when you hearcool biz and warm biz”?
When I first heard “cool biz”, I thought the government of Japan was trying to change image of “straight” Japanese businessman to “cool” image. I was wrong in the way I defined “cool”. Well “cool biz and warm biz” has relation to prevent the growth of global warming by changing the way we dress in formal occasions.

Cool biz

The old traditional business style in Japan, majority of workers is encouraged to wear shirts, jacket, and ties. For many years, Japanese workers screamed and sweated enormously under business uniform during summer that reaches beyond 30℃ with high humidity.

In 2005, Japanese Ministry of the Environment began advocating the Cool Biz Campaign. The goal is to limit the use of air conditioning. The workers were encouraged to wear short sleeved shirts, without ties or jackets. With Cool Biz style, the work environment can reduce the usage of air conditioning and when cool air condition system comes to use, we can increase its temperature and reduce its energy use.

Due to its sudden trend, many workers were confused about whether they should follow the new trend or the old ways. It was either to follow the new approach of the government or the stick with the old custom from the company. The workers became very self-conscious and felt impolite when their boss and business partner was following the old ways of wearing jackets and ties to work. I think cool biz is still in a trial stage, and as years adds up, the tradition of cool biz will fade over the old custom.

Warm biz:
By reading cool biz, you probably have guessed what warm biz is. Many large corporations are starting to support to its act. But, warm biz is not supported by Japanese government. So, no one really knows what “warm biz” is going to be like. One example is to wear turtle neck under the jacket? What we know is that, we have to keep ourselves warm and reduce the usage of heating system.


So, what do you think about this cool biz and warm biz system?
Would this system be beneficial, if government supported this act in your country?

Tell me, what kind of support government can do to encourage citizen to change their habits in order to reduce growth of environmental problems?

Posted by Shiro Hosojima @ 9:06 PM :: (2) comments

Sunday, October 22, 2006

First of all, I am very sorry for the delay in updating the topic.

October:”Environmental Activities in Japan”

Topic 5 “NGO and New Wave of Environmental Activities”

Do you know anything about NGO in Japan?
What is current trend of environmental activity in Japan?

Past several years, the numbers of environmental NGO are rapidly increasing in Japan. But, the number and reliance of NGO are still weak compared to other countries.
Here are the interesting organization from Japan, approaching in different ways of ecological contribution:

1. Be Good Café:

Non-profit organization, “Be Good Café "is founded in 1999. This organization is very unique where promotes an information regarding goodness of environment through workshops, live music, and healthy organic food. The aim for this organization is to build a sustainable society throughout the world. Be Good members are young activists with variety fields of expertise. With multi-skilled members, Be Good Café is filled with activities like Steiner, macrobiotic, permaculture, and developments of eco-village..

Be good Café will participate in this year’s Eco-Product Exhibition and serve traditional Japanese food “okayu” (rice in soup) in organic style!

2.Uchi-Mizu Project
What is “uchi-mizu?” “The old custom of sprinkling water with a ladle on streets and garden….People sprinkle water, especially in the summer time, in their house entranceand garden or in front of their shops to lay the dust or to ease the heat” (Uchimizu Daisakusen HP). The main purpose of uchimizu is to cool down your surrounding territory. Since there was no air conditioner 100 years ago, Japanese citizen splashed cool water on the surface to entrance of the house, verandahs, and walls of the house., This splash of water forms cool breeze entering through your house in humid summer. In my youth, I remember my grandmother and I would be splashing water on the road front of our house and I always thought she was just having “play in outside”.
The custom of uchimizu has faded away over the decade, and JWF (Japan Water Forum) with strong effort of reviving the old tradition of “uchimizu” use especially in urban cities (prevent heat island effect). It is necessary for all Japanese citizens to keep its custom and realize little chores can make big contribution for our future.

3. Think the Earth Project

Think the Earth is artistic and unique organization with a concept to form “ecology and economy in Coexistence”. The projects are focused on development of ecological products and services targeted from young audiences to expertise in various field. The organization has broad range of services and it even has a learning place for companies and NPOs.

Their representative projects are:
Watch Project: WN-1
Wn-1 is one of famous project done by Think the Earth. Wn-1 watch is very unique with a small earth dial (a dome shaped hour hand makes one revolution every 24 hours, rotating clockwise around the North Pole.) This project is a collaborative work of Think the Earth and Seiko Instruments in a concept “acknowledge importance of our time by seeing the earth from the outside”. Wn-1 watch is eye catching for fashionable teenager in Japan, and Think the Earth is targeting young people to percept “to be environmentally conscious is a cool thing”.

Think the Earth has several other interesting projects such as “Peaceball Campaign –deliver soccer balls (collect used soccer balls) to kids in undeveloped nations. You can also purchase Peaceball package and portion of the sale will be donated to Peacball project. http://www.thinktheearth.net/ball/about/index.html


Do you know any organization in your country that are approaching in environmental activity from different angles compared to other organization? Can you tell me environmental organization that are attractive to young people in your country?

What is your enviromentally friendly product that has abilities to change habits of future citizens in your country?(in a good way, i hope..)

Posted by Shiro Hosojima @ 8:15 PM :: (2) comments

Thursday, October 05, 2006

風呂敷の包み方〜1〜:How to FUROSHIKI wrapping

This is furoshiki movie I found through google video.
Soon, I will also post movie of myself challenging the various furoshiki wrapping technique!

Posted by Shiro Hosojima @ 12:44 AM :: (0) comments


birds sing, cricket orchestra


Junko Edahiro's works, Lester Brown's works


Rocky moutains at 7:00am in December