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My column entitled “The absence of the dame moto mentality” is post on the Opinion page of the Japan Times today, February 13.  i have noticed this tendency among the Japanese  and thought that not many Japanese nor non-Japanese may be aware of it.  I recently come across with some incidents that this lack of  “dame moto” mentality  may be one of the causes of low rate of application etc.   In addition, the comment by my friend about the title of my interview article triggered this thought of mine even more. When the publisher used the title that I  had not seen or approved as heading of my interview article, I sent a note immediately saying that I have NOT seen the title AND it is the term I use with negative connotation, rather than positive, and thus does not fit my main message of the interview.  With some notes exchange in a few hours, they changed the title.  My friend said that “dame moto” mentality did work. (Usually the title or the heading of the article is the decision of the publisher, and not the writer or interviewee. So I suppose my friend was a bit surprised that they changed the title.)

As I thought about it, I found more examples of absence of “dame moto”  mentality. I noticed that not many Japanese may not be familiar with “Go for it.” or Why not?” expressions and nuances.  (In fact, I  could NOT translate them into Japanese!) I also thought that it must be developed since very young days and explored how.  As I thought more about it, I came across with the example of college entrance exam and “hensachi” problem.

The editor of this column wants me to write about my own unique view (and not the general-often written up- comment), targeted more to the non-Japanese readers (main target of the Japan Times) AND something related to current issue.  After struggling with more thoughts and example, this is what I came up with.  (This process of writing, sending to the editor, receiving feedback and revising it is quite nerve wrecking, as meeting with these three criteria is not such an easy task.  I always feel so relieved when the editor gives me a go.)
So here is the piece “Absence of the dame-moto mentality…”  Here is the link to the article.

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