“The Map I Bought in Australia”
Today’s story teller is Chairman of Brother Industries, Yoshihiro Yasui.
The story is about when he went family trip to Australia for a new year’s vacation in 1990.
After they arrived in Australia, he assigned his children to “find three things that we can’t see in Japan.”
His three children were late teens but still got excited about the assignment, they ran into a town to hunt treasures.
First they found “houses facing north”.
According to Yasui, in Australia, the sun moves in the north sky, so the most houses designed their yards to face north (I guess houses in Japan face east?).
Next they found “a Santa Claus in swimming pants”.
They showed him a sign with a Santa enjoying waterskiing.
In Japan, Santa wears thick clothes because Christmas is in cold winter.
The last one was “a south-up world map”.
Yasui says “Since I had only seen north-up maps, it was unusual to me. Seeing south hemisphere up gives me a different view of the world. I got really pleased with the map and bought some. Occasionally, I used this map to reason the importance of changing idea.”
There surely was fruit of this map.
By changing of thinking, they succeeded to sell a high-function fax machine at the half price of the market price in America at that time.
“The map is still laid on my desk with my wish that the staff who face me get inspired to change way of thinking.”
The NIKKEI Jun/10/2009 by Yoshihiro Yasui (Chairman of Brother Industries)
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The no-houses-face-north thing might be to do with death and such. You don’t sleep with your head facing north, right?
>tudza: Thank you for your comment. In Japan, many people believe that sleeping with your head facing north is bad luck because we lay dead people so.
Many houses face North in Japan. In Nara the house facing depends on what direction the street is going.
> James: Wow, thank you for your information about Nara!