Do you have a wise elder experience to share? I do.
My introduction to the design discipline was under the sharp eyes of a great design mind, Mr. Hideki Yamamoto. He was partnered with an equally great woman, Miranda Moss, and while there’s plenty of praise on Miranda, this extraordinary experience has more to do with Mr. Yamamoto.
My understanding of other cultures went from nil to bountiful as I spent time under the guidance of Hideki. He not only taught the Japanese standards and norms, but showed me how he had adapted the traditions to match the lifestyle he led. As a Japanese man in the U.S. culture, we enjoyed plenty of interesting, amusing and compelling cultural nuances. This perspective is more valuable than I understood at the time.
My time with Hideki has me thinking about influence the nation of Japan has had in my life. The Japanese people have a culture we should understand and respect. Just their cultural emphasis on the group over the individual is in stark contrast with the US “me” culture. We need to see the Japanese situation through their eyes.
Which leads to the question, how can design help Japan? After you’ve given all you can, then using your discipline to create works of art is an exceptional way to honor the Japanese culture. And, as I have learned, honor is a gift of infinite value to the Japanese.
Now back to Hideki, running a design firm and an extraordinary experience. When we left the comforts of Hideki and Miranda’s firm, we discovered, quickly, why they made certain decisions. You could say we saw the world through their eyes, as owners. We talk about it today as the conversion, when we changed our perspective from employee to owner. It is an extraordinary experience when you realize how truly wise your elders are, and how much you learned from them just by being in their life.
We honor your wisdom and the island you originated from, and our thoughts are with you.
Thank you, Hideki.