Wasabi Stories vol.25: “Nothing Greater than Experience”



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.



“Nothing Greater than Experience”

Today’s story teller is a professor of Waseda University, Masayasu Kitagawa.

He has been a Prefectual assembly, a member of the House of Representatives and prefectural governor of Mie Prefecture.

The story is about how he went into politics after graduated from university.

Since his father was a member of a prefectural assembly and had a politician in his relatives, he was holding the idea that “I’ll go into politics someday” in his mind when he was 24 years old.

As a second-generation politician, he could ride his father’s coat-tails but he thought he wouldn’t be accepted as a politician if he depends on them.

He decided to start business by him self to learn “the value of ten-yen (dime) that he earned himself.”

He opened a small cleaning tool leasing company with three members.

Holding chemical dusters and mops, they went door to door sales to offices, apartment complex and cafe.


“As president, I stood ahead of them and rang a door bell but it was hard. ‘Hello, ma’am. Would you be interested in pasteurize duster?’-refused again. Every time I was refused, I got down.”


By selling around every day till his legs off, he truly tasted the difficulty and pain of moving customers’ minds to sell something.

Three years after he opened for business, he barely got able to pay salaries to his employees; however, the business wasn’t profitable but not quit bad.

While Kitagawa was going to continue the business till he becomes 30 years old for training, his father died suddenly, so he decided to run a prefectural assembly election earlier than he planned.


“Stood on my feet, I learned the world through chemical dusters and mops. After I getting in prefectual assembly, my friend who shared the bitterness of business took over the company.”

I think a person who experienced such difficulties will be a good politician.

The NIKKEI Feb/9/2009 by Masayasu Kitagawa (Professor of Waseda University)


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