I love going out to Gifu. It’s less than 30 minutes from Nagoya, but it feels like a different world out there. First, I went to an interesting Gifu JALT presentation by Phil McCasland. Phil talked about developing an entrepreneurial mindset through narrative and gave lots of interesting examples from his own classes as well as extracts from a government paper showing the official perspective.
As this article on the dearth of entrepreneurship in Japan concludes:
“Japanese often need to be persuaded that entrepreneurship is another possible path to success, and not just a path that entails risk and shame. Unfortunately, an overhaul of the social and educational structure in Japan might be needed before it can happen.”
In the book, GOAL, that I authored with Ben Backwell, we follow the same kind of thinking. We aimed to have students think more creatively and to show more initiative. There is no simple answer to counter the low level of entrepreneurship and independent thinking, but it is clear that something needs to change in Japan in order for the economy to get fresh energy from young people who have the courage and ability to start new businesses.
After the JALT presentation, I went out to play at a gig In KJs Yanagase, one of my favourite places to play.