Encyclopedia of niime

niime: The Years End and a New Beginning in 2022-2023 2023 New year ‘shooting the breeze’ — boost sensitivity

2023 . 01 . 01

Happy New Year.

Thank you for your continued support of the ‘Encyclopedia of niime’ this year.

We have a new year’s spring talk with Ms Tamaki and Mr Sakai.

A year ago, Tamaki announced ‘communication with nature’ in 2022.

‘tamaki niime’ is about to welcome a new phase in having more animals: Shin, a mixture of an Akita and a wolf, Jiji, standard poodle, Ara, a white goat, and Maa, a black goat that are interacting with the staff.

What’s Tamaki’s future life vision for living (together) with animals?

What’s Sakai’s ‘Secret of a clunker’ that Sakai speaks passionately about: living your best every day?

From a bird’s eye view of the present ‘tamaki niime’, Ms Tamaki and Mr Sakai speak words overflowing, which stick to the brand’s essence. This is the new year’s extensive discussion!!

Please enjoy their talk divided into part 1 and part 2.

Tamaki: In fall last year, Sakai and I were invited to talk at a university, and Sakai did most of the talking. (laugh) It was fun. Sakai, what did you talk about?

Sakai: Living your best life will affect everything.

—— I see.

Tamaki: Living your best life is a fundamental attitude whether you work hard or not. Doing your best in life equals working hard for something, right? People who are not trying to do their best life can’t work hard for their job.

—— I see. I understand.

Sakai: If you try to do your best, your energy goes to anything you engage in. Basically, you should focus on doing your best.

—— You mean simply, we should focus on ‘doing our best’.

Sakai: We should not take it for granted in life. We are living today, but we may not live tomorrow. That’s why we have to treasure to live for the now. That’s what I talked about.

Tamaki: After his talk to the students, our staff was motivated to work by their own will. Now we are looking forward to it. The ‘tamaki niime’ radio program, ‘Enjoy All, Every Day’, has started, and Yanagi interviews our staff.

—— Did Mr Yanagi ask you to start this program?

Tamaki: No, he just volunteered himself to start it, right?

Sakai: Yanagi started doing it on his own.

Tamaki: He was telling everyone that he has started a radio show.

* There’s the program ‘Enjoy All, Every Day’ on ‘Spotify’ via its music distribution service. Ryosuke Yanagi of the Maku team is the host of the podcast. He has been introducing ‘tamaki niime’ since the middle of last November when even Ms Tamaki didn’t know about it.

Tamaki: I pushed him to do it a long time ago. Because he told me he wanted to do a radio show, I said, “why don’t you do it? Why don’t you have someone teach you and go for it?”

—— You advised him to go for it.

Tamaki: Such a tendency happens to modern people that they shrink away the more they worry about it, the more they can’t do. But he started it with a little hope. I was so happy.

—— When interviewing the ‘Maku team’ and ‘Creator team’, I had a good feeling about them from their decisive attitudes that they were doing whatever they wanted to do on their own. Year after year, they improved themselves and got a better environment to achieve their goals. I wonder if there must have been tricks of Ms Tamaki behind it.

Tamaki: …They wouldn’t get to realize themselves if I didn’t let them go on their own until they make some mistakes.

—— I see.

Tamaki: Last year, Shin and Jiji came. That was a big thing. Because I have a greater desire to seek life with animals.

—— A year ago, as a resolution of 2022, you said, ‘I want to communicate with nature’ and ‘I want to keep more animals’.

Tamaki: I said that, right?

—— Mr Sakai said, “this year’s goal should be ‘boost sensitivity'”.

Tamaki: I cleared all these goals. I went to see Mr Mutsugoro (*1) in Hokkaido and also saw Mr Panku Machida(*2).

(*1) Official Name: Masanori Hata. He built up ‘Animal Kingdom’ in Hokkaido in 1972 and wrote his essay about positive interaction with animals and its TV show ‘Mutsugoro and his fun friends’ broadcast. He moved to Hokkaido 40 years ago, and now he lives in a log house in nature near Nakashibetsu Town, Hokkaido. (from the official website and others)

(*2) He is an animal writer and expert who can handle fierce beasts, birds, insects, reptiles, and has experience exploring all around the world to know the ecology of wild animals. He knows more than 3000 kinds of breeding techniques and treatments. He is also a dog trainer able to handle all manner of dogs. (from the official site)

Tamaki: Last year, Shin was born, and I wanted him! So, we got him at the end of March, and six months later, we got Jiji, too. So, I walk with these two dogs every day, feeling like raising kids.

Sakai: Shin has 14.5% wolf blood; that’s why he has different traits from dogs.

Tamaki: I look forward to watching them every day to see how the Akita dog with wolf DNA that can control vast territory and a very smart European standard poodle will grow.

—— How East and West intelligent dogs are going to grow?

Tamaki: Our first animal was sheep, and when we were thinking of learning a lot from animals, Mr Yanagi came over asking us to keep goats, and we were all excited to agree with him. Our experiment was to see how we make changes by living with animals.

—— Not only living with humans, but you are trying to find a way to live with animals.

Tamaki: Yeah, bringing your baby to a workplace is the same idea. It used to be common practice in villages where newborn babies were cared for by everybody, but it’s not practiced anymore; you can’t bring your children to workplaces. Instead, you have to send them to preschool. It is separation.

—— It is undoubtedly separation.

Tamaki: I think they could come to work carrying your baby on their back. We can help each other to take care.

—— That’s why community exists. It’s the way of ‘niime village’.

Tamaki: The activities of Takashi Yoshidada, of ‘Tokyo Coffee’ and ‘penny-candy store TYROLDO’, or Mayumi Inoue, Hironobu Fujiwara, and everyone who came for ‘Story Telling’, they are all trying to do something with difficulties. Learning from them, what can ‘tamaki niime’ do? Making it come true with real experiences, I don’t want to lead only some to get them to work. I want everyone to find something that they want to do.

—— I see.

Tamaki: So we actually tried but failed. Frustrating ourselves, we will keep challenging ourselves. We tried to create a fun group last year without being afraid of making mistakes.

—— It takes courage not to be afraid of making mistakes.

Tamaki: Our bodies instinctively fear failure.

Sakai: Yeah.

Tamaki: So how could we relieve their tension? Sakai and I have been thinking about how we should talk and what to say about supporting them.

Sakai: All I did was make mistakes.

Tamaki: You’re right. We have been making mistakes constantly.

Sakai: I was scolded by my parents because I got off from ‘the right ways’ of my parents’ expectations and was pressured outside with complaints. I continuously failed and took risks, though.

—— Oh, that was so hard.

Sakai: I have repeatedly been making mistakes and getting little successes. I still keep doing it, though. I am the type of person to get started for the next step as soon as I get an idea.

—— It’s not the regular course that people usually recommend, but you instead choose to take a road of thorns, right?

Sakai: I was not trying to take a road of thorns, but the one I chose was hard.

—— You were not prepared for it.

Tamaki: That was the ‘sense of smell’. It looks like this; with your sense of smell, when you run towards the one you are interested in, what you reached was a cliff. (laugh)

Sakai: That’s right.

Tamaki: His life looks like this.

Sakai: Usually, you imagine that a cliff is dangerous, that you would fall, but once you take a step, there’s the ground where it’s hardly seen. That’s the image of what happened to us.

—— …

Tamaki: Oh, I could stand there! Right?

Sakai: That’s right. That’s how business is.

Tamaki: You convinced yourself beforehand.

Sakai: The world of The Matrix is just like that. You can even fly if you can imagine it. Many things could be…

Tamaki: … could be possible.

Sakai: You make up your mind with your preconceptions. You can’t climb up the walls from here. You can go around if you can’t climb up the wall. You can overcome it with different way of thinking.

—— That’s ‘doubt your common sense’, right?

Sakai: That’s right!

Tamaki: There are too many things you make up your mind that you can’t do.

Sakai: If it’s a massive wall, bring your tools and cut them down just like the Berlin Wall was destroyed.

Tamaki: Little by little?

Sakai: Yeah, it could be done with everyday effort. So that’s what I mentioned previously, living by doing your best. The people who live doing their best can work hard in whatever they do.

—— Mr Sakai, you can work hard from scratch.

Tamaki: He does work hard even though there’s nothing.

Sakai: It’s unsuitable if you want to work hard because there’s no reason. But, conversely, you don’t want to do it after you achieve it.

—— It may be caused by motivation.

Sakai: Right. Without having anything particular, I have just kept doing it because I like doing it and will be doing it, too, in the future. If, as a result, other things come up, they are manageable.

—— It’s just extras.

Sakai: Yeah. But the end will surely come. If I were gone after a year, I am fine if I am able to keep doing everything until then. If I could get as much done as I can, it doesn’t matter if it’s a year or ten years. It’s essential to have daily or moment efforts that will accumulate our work. They will bring synergy effects.

—— I see.

Sakai: Because we don’t harvest after a year for the things you must do today, right? Because you want to send them while they are fresh and enjoy eating them. If you keep them, they will go bad.

Tamaki: Yeah, they will go bad.

Sakai: Mostly, people believe fresh products can stay fresh even a year later. That’s why they take their time. We need to decide at this moment. You believe in keeping the deliciousness of sponge cakes even after a year, even though they are only sound now. It’s absolutely best to eat now.

—— I see.

Sakai: I want to spread ‘tamaki niime’; that’s why I am faithfully working hard. The word ‘desperately’ means a lot. In kanji, it means ‘surely die’ literally. I keep working even understanding that because I desperately want to work. Before dying, if they ask me if I leave my footprints for later generations and could say ‘yes’, I have done well in my life. It doesn’t mean that I am a millionaire or anything like that.

—— You can’t measure it.

Sakai: Not at all. Once you decide what you want, follow through.

—— Even if you could accomplish some points, place them aside and still keep being hungry for more.

Sakai: Right. So you keep being hungry, not being satisfied with what you accomplish. It doesn’t mean that you stay greedy for something.

—— You don’t try storing.

Sakai: You don’t store to satisfy yourself. But you try to leave something for future development or inherit from later generations.

—— I see.

Sakai: Leaving your footprints means someone later notices them and wonders what they are.

—— They are like marks.

Sakai: That’s right. They can find ‘footprints’, and I hope they improve them. That would be succession.

—— They could extend their imagination from your ‘footprints’.

Sakai: Sharing a beautiful shortcake I mentioned, for example, even though you divide into 1/10, 1/100, or 1/10000, there must be a person who creates a much more excellent product than the original.

—— …I see.

Sakai: Even if we give half of a cake, there may be a person who cannot create a much worthier cake.

—— Tasting a tiny bit of cake that stimulates senses, you may be inspired or receive inspiration.

Sakai: That’s right. You have to have five good senses to taste such small pieces of cake.

—— That’s very important, right? Boosting sensitivity.

Sakai: So I think ‘Watch and Steal’ back in time is an excellent method ….

< continued to the second part >

Next time, being wild but grabbing the essence of truth, Sakai’s talk unfolds further, introducing his new quote of ‘Secret of a clunker’.

What is given by Tamaki’s daily life with Animals which was inspired by her ‘boosted sensitivity’?

Please look forward to the second part, going beyond ‘fashion brand’ and having a new fashion definition of ‘tamaki niime’.

Original Japanese text by Seiji Koshikawa.
English translation by Adam & Michiko Whipple.