Wasabi Stories vol.16: “One Is Kept Alive but Not Living by Oneself”



wasabi stories“Wasabi Stories” is a quotation and summary of a column which touches ones heart or not found on the internet.

It is a Japanese famous person’s story extracted from the NIKKEI news paper.

The purpose in posting the column in JAPAN Style is to cheer you up and to make you feel “it’ was worth reading!”

Wasabi (Japanese horseradish or mustard) is spicy and stimulate your nose and make you teary.

The columns in “Wasabi Stories” hopefully spice your heart and sometimes make you teary!

The stories were originally sent as E-mail Newsletter in Japanese. Some are a little old but we’ll eventually catch up with new ones.



“One Is Kept Alive but Not Living by Oneself”

Today’s story teller is Akio Nitori, the founder and president of the modern furniture and interior merchandise chain, NITORI.

He opened a furniture store at the age of 23.

In 1972, he went to America to learn their furniture industry, where he got inspiration to develop a chain store.

Behind the big decision, he wasn’t confident in himself, so he tried to train his mind first.

When he was 30 years old, he started fast because he thought that apatite is the hardest desire to control in various human’s needs.

He gradually reduced his meal and succeeded to live five days by just drinking water.

On the fourth day, he felt himself unbelievably light as if he got feathers.

Surprisingly, he saw flashback of his life, and remembering the people who supported him.


“Why did I say such thing at that time?”

“Thanks to that person, I am what I am now”


Repeating those ideas in his mind, he was filled with regrets, and tears fell fast.

Through the fast, he realized “I am kept alive but not living by my self”, so he felt grateful to everything on the earth.

He felt humility and said “thank you” to everyone to show his gratitude.

He periodically had had fast for 16 years and stopped doing it at the age of 45, when he got confident in his business which was doing well.

The NIKKEI March/24/2009 by Akio Nitori (Founder and President of NITORI)


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