Intentions for life in Japan

We have arrived in Japan!

We arrived to Tokyo from San Francisco in the wee hours of this morning!


Sunrise view of Tokyo Tower from our hotel room.

While my husband and older son are at the apartment to get the keys to our new apartment and I am at the hotel with our younger son while he naps, I am going to use this time to put down my initial thoughts and intentions for my blog and experiences in Japan.

I am a proponent of having intentions about behavior and thinking – you can check out some of my reflections on this topic here.

I imagine this list may change over time, but here is my current thinking.

Intentions and focus for living in Japan

  • I will use my two (plus or minus) years in Japan as an opportunity to learn and reflect on variety of topics (see list below for further details): Lean thinking, healthcare in Japan, the role of women, and cultural contrasts.
  • I will use my blog as a vehicle to share my refections, ideally once a week when not traveling.
  • I will actively make connections, explore Tokyo and more broadly in Japan, and go to gemba to learn.
  • I will study the Japanese language and become conversational. My intention is to have several tutoring a week and to practice with native Japanese speakers.

Blog topics that currently interest me:

  • Lean thinking in Japan
    • What is inherently Japanese?
    • What challenges and successes do the Japanese have with applying Lean principles in the workplace?
    • How has is what I’ve learned about Lean in the West the same or different from how Lean is currently practiced in Japan?
    • What is the same or different about Toyota’s Production System from other Japanese companies using Lean management practices?
  • Healthcare in Japan
    • How does the healthcare delivery system function in Japan?
    • How are Lean principles used – or not used – as a management practice in healthcare?
    • How do the Japanese feel about their healthcare system?
  • The role of women and gender relations in the workplace and daily living
    • What is the experience of Japanese – and foreign – women living and working in Japan?
    • How is Japan’s aging population impacting women’s role in society?
  • Daily living and Japanese cultural observations
    • What are the contrasts about life in Japan as compared to the US/Western world?
    • What stands out to me as I live here?
    • What am I learning about Japanese culture from books, exploring, and talking to others?

What topics interest you?

What are you interested in learning about from my experiences in Japan?

Please write some comments, observations or questions that you have. I will attempt to answer your questions and mine as I explore this country.