Embracing Modernity

Woodblock print of Post-Meiji urban scene
Cover of the book "Japanizing"
Image illustrating the principle of "wakon yosai" (Japanese spirit, Western technology)
painting of Kokugaku (National Learning) scholars
Kokugagu (National Learning)
Kanji for "National Learning" (kokugaku)
Enso (Zen circle painting)
Motoori Norinaga

Self-Portrait by Motoori Norinaga
Enso (Zen circle painting)
Image representing Nihonjinron (Discussions of Japaneseness)
Bamboo page divider
Image illustrating the principle of "wayo-setchu" (The synthesis of Japanese and Western elements)
“Strictly speaking, the modern history of Japanese culture has generally been in line with the concept of wayo-setchu.” (Japanizing, 11-12)
Wayo-setchu entails mimesis. Under this progressive form of learning, imitation is seen as a way to create a new self from exogenous and endogenous elements. The basic mental attitude which enables such progressive synthesis or symbiotic coexistence is a hybrid consciousness: Disparate features are blended into a new unity (setchu) of products, thought patterns or modern life-styles, and this duality of Japanese and Western (wayo) is the foundation of innovation in Japan. (Japanizing, 14)

Poster for the 150th anniversayr of Japan Rail

Bamboo page divider
Japanese identity card (representing Japanese identity)
The potential for cultural creativity [in the case of wakon-yosai] is reduced in the interests of national self-assertion and remains restricted to a monologue with an idealized past. The concept wayo-setchu, on the other hand, represents a progressive form of cultural creativity, since here exogenous knowledge acts as a resource leading to new possibilities of defining oneself. Not a sense of reality that faces backwards, as with wakon-yosai, but rather the maximal realization of existing potential is the main concern. (Japanizing, 15)
Wakon Yosai version of Hokusai's Wave
Wakon Yosai: Wave of the Past
Woodblock print of Hokusai's Wave
Wayo Setchu: Wave of the Future
Wayo Setchu version of Hokusai's Wave
Bamboo page divider
Toyota Logo
Taichi Ohno
Toyota Production System
Toyota: Lean Manufacturing
Explanation of Toyota Production System
Mr. Isao Yoshino (our host in Nagoya)
Yoshino Isao (Nagoya Host)