A simple life in Japan

It has been about 10 days since I came to Tokyo. Now, I have an alien registration card, a bank card, a Suica card and a faculty ID card. With these four, I feel like I am settled here. Except that I can’t speak Japanese. I manage to do most daily things without any problem – I even managed to get my shirt dry cleaned at a local cleaner (the picture below).


I enjoy my new simple life here with small delightful indulgences that I allow myself into — like delicate local ice cream, very tiny canned beer, incredibly delicious fruit juice at train stations, etc. Other than that, it is a fairly simple routine. I wake up in the relatively early in the morning. After chatting with family back home, I go to office around 9 or 9:30. I write until 3PM or so. Then, I read books and articles. Recently, I read books and articles written by business historians, like Chandler and Langlois, which I found wonderfully insightful. Since I am working on a couple of papers on the industrial consequences on digitalization of products, these readings are very helpful. Particularly, the historical accounts of computer industry are not only useful, but really enjoyable, just for sheer pleasure.

When I come home, I usually continue to read or have conference calls with colleagues back in the US or Europe. Before going to bed, another chance to chat with my wife and boys. Skype is indispensable here. Then, I read newspapers on my iPad or some random stuffs that I saved on Instapaper. One big disappointment was that Netflix on iPad does not work outside of the US. I was hoping that I could watch some movies using iPad. Instead, I used iTunes movie rental last night. It took awhile to download the movie.

What I want the most here is a bicycle. It would make getting around the neighborhood a lot easier. Particularly when I am carrying bottled water and other stuffs that I bought at a local grocery store, I almost have an urge to steal one of many bicycles that are parked.

Professor | Writer | Teacher Digital Innovation, Design, Organizational Genetics Case Western Reserve University

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