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Yesterday, we had Professor Masayuki Yamauchi for our Knowledge Forum session. Knowledge Forum is an initiative ICS began few years ago and we invite experts in various fields.

Professor Yamauchi discussed “leadership”, mainly from his expertise of history. His lecture was so impressive and inspiring that I have been fascinated since then.  Many ideas that have inspired me and have made me think. They include:

-How to develop breakthrough ideas (particularly for structural issues), while maintaining the historical perspective

-How to identify and refine? uniqueness of Japan (culture, art, technology etc. ), while having global perspective

I was also intrigued by his remarks that in the Edo era, samurai were  trained  both for martial arts AND educated with liberal arts , because they had the duty and responsibility to protect people’s lives and the country. (That is why they were not expected? to make a living themselves).

This idea hit me as I have been wondering why the responsibility of protecting one’s own life (and probably families) is not perceived to be rooted  in the mind of the Japanese  today, while it seems to be so strong in other countries such as the U.S.   (Probably more on this later, as this is a big subject which requires more thinking.)

Definitely the lecture was the highlight of the week for me.

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