It was a busy week for our Greenbelt Hybrid Spring class as they wrapped up their second module today. Our clients started the week off learning about MBTI, Takt time and other valuable skills and tools that were applied during their Kaizen in the later half of the week.
Congrats and good luck to you all. We look forward to seeing you in your next and final module.
Each spring, for just a few weeks, Japan falls under the
mesmerizing spell of sakura or cherry blossoms. Teams of meteorologists
are eagerly dispatched to provide sakura zensen – detailed, up-to-date
reports - on the cherry blossoms, as they begin to sweep through the
Japanese archipelago, beginning in the south. Enchanted with the wave of
unfurling blossoms, the nation celebrates. Familiar shades of pink adorn
shopping bags. Restaurants offer time limited sakura items on their
menus. Sakura inspired confectionary items beckon shoppers to indulge, and
Starbucks serves their Sakura lattes.
Families descend on parks in the hundreds for their annual
sakura hanami – a picnic or party to enjoy the blossoms. (Hanami means to
view flowers). Companies have even been known to assign a staff
member the task of sitting all day in a park, to reserve a spot for the
evening hanami party.
The wave of pink evokes new beginnings: the start of the
rice-planting season; the beginning of the fiscal year and school year; and for
many college graduates, the start of a new job.
Why the obsession with this delicate, pink flower, which has
been celebrated for centuries in Japanese art, literature and poetry?
Plum blossoms, it could be argued are equally beautiful, and their flowers can
last a month. Many people can’t tell the difference between the flowers
of a cherry blossom and those of the plum blossom. To make sense of
Japan’s fascination with the cherry blossom, we need to appreciate two concepts
in Japanese aesthetics – mujo and mono no aware.
One of the qualities of Japanese aesthetics is the
preference for perishability. Lafcaido Hearn, an international writer on
Japanese landscapes and culture, noted that “generally speaking, we construct
for endurance, the Japanese for impermanency. “ For the Japanese, an
object of beauty can be all the more beautiful because of its impermanence or
mujo. Kenko, an ancient Buddhist priest goes as far as saying that
impermanence is essential to beauty. Such is the cherry blossom, whose
blooming time can be shortened further by spring’s temperamental weather.
The essence of the sakura’s beauty lies in its ephemeral and perishable
Closely connected to the concept of impermanence is mono no
aware. Translated, mono no aware refers to the wistfulness or sadness
that accompanies the transitory nature of things. The subtleties of this
expression connote that beauty and joy in this world are often accompanied by
the finite nature of things, and by the bittersweet emotions of change.
The allure of the sakura would be diminished if the blossoms lasted for a
month. It is because of their evanescent beauty that they are
celebrated. In Japan the metaphor extends further to life itself.
Life is rich with beauty, but life is also transient and tinged with
sadness. Mujo and mono no aware are gentle reminders to focus on what is
important and precious, and savour life’s moments.
Lean Sensei International’s spring Japan Lean Tour kicked
off this week. See our previous posts from this week.
If you’re interested in joining our fall Japan Lean Tour, or
interested in our fall Blackbelt program, which includes the Lean Tour, please
contact our office at 604-264-1000.
Here are some comments from clients that have visited Japan
The level of excellence and care provided by the LSI staff
is second to none. From the coachers, to the logistics and planning, to the
translation, the LSI staff is top notch.
– Colin Jones, Solutions Architect, BCIT
The best Lean manufacturing benchmarking tour on the planet!
– Mike Jolly, Vice President of Operations, Marvin Engineering
What a fun day 2 of the Japan Lean Tour! With this energetic and fun group, the tour is becoming more and more exciting!
Today, we have visited an ice cream factory called Akagi Nyugyo in Saitama prefecture next to Tokyo. We had a wonderful tour and at last, we had all you can eat ice cream!! Many people enjoyed 2-5 ice cream and ice candy bars! Yummy!
After that, we have visited a place to make our own wind chime!
The instructor was very entertaining and Wow, we had a lot of people who are so talented!
Please also watch our very first flash mob in Asakusa!
Welcome to Lean Sensei International’s blog. Here you’ll find stories to inspire you as you and your organization progress on your journey towards excellence.
Lean Sensei International is recognized by companies around the world as an organization that delivers the purest form of Lean. We specialize in implementing Lean strategies and helping companies embark on their journey to excellence by providing authentic, Japanese-style coaching. Our approach is not to operate as consultants, but instead, to fulfill the role of a sensei (coach in Japanese) within companies, on a long-term basis, as if we were a part of your team. Together our coaches have had 50 plus years of experience working in Japan and/or with Japanese companies to implement Lean. From large Fortune 500 companies to companies across Canada, we strive to provide the expertise necessary to make your Lean journey a remarkable and successful one. For more information on our programs and services, please visit our website at www.leansensei.com.