Encyclopedia of niime

A New Beginning 2023 New year ‘shooting the breeze’ — The Secret of Airheads!

2023 . 01 . 18

< continued from the part 1 >

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

—— Yeah.

Sakai: Nowadays, you expect to be taught from beginning to end, but when I started working at 17 years old, I was scolded if I asked questions. I wondered how I could know such senses and how far I could get them.

—— I see.

Sakai: Watching and learning techniques by sight, I expressed myself before them and got praised or evaluated.

—— You gained sense and gained know-how naturally.

Sakai: You are exactly right.

—— You learn by doing.

Sakai: Yes.

Tamaki: Yeah.

—— During my training time in graphic design, I watched my teacher’s movements and moved my hands. I learned it physically.

Sakai: Now our staff can join the company without a training period and can start designing soon after being hired.

—— They should be thankful for that.

Sakai: Since the development of the computer system, it’s easy to develop specific patterns. It’s easy to classify people. Even though diversity is worth respecting, there was more variety back in time.

—— More types of people could not fit into specific categories or write them in the data.

Sakai: On the contrary, the diversity of computerised techniques made the ways people simplify.

—— It’s too poor to be controlled by information. So, for example, when you work with your hands, you realise how important they are.

We live in a world where virtual things threaten us. You dare step into the unknown world without being satisfied by the computer experiences given by clicking the screen. It will connect with the theme, ‘Communication with nature’, Ms Tamaki announced in 2022.

Tamaki: Before Shin and Jiji came, we needed more space to care about other stuff.

Sakai: Indeed.

Tamaki: Things changed since we got more animals last year.

Sakai: Yeah, they are like the oil that makes machines run smoothly or like cushions for us.

Tamaki: Shin and Jiji have become everyone’s emotional support. We take them for a walk at work breaks.

—— Your feelings can change.

Tamaki: While walking with Shin and Jiji, we can observe ourselves and think about our work calmly. Helping and caring for them together, we have become more kind.

—— I see.

Tamaki: The company’s atmosphere has improved, and the staff’s children come here often…looks like they are caring for children together. Discussion in our meetings became more accessible. It’s getting to change our attitude that we want to cooperate. It’s a good sign, so we are trying now to be able to talk deeply. (laugh)

—— When I had an interview with the ‘Maku team’, I felt they were healed and enriched their hearts with two goats, even being encouraged to work for them. I strongly felt they were living happily through interacting with animals, though. Is it happening to all of your staff?

Tamaki: Of course, some staff are not interested in them, but we all had some involvement with them overall.

—— You may feel different even just seeing animals.

Tamaki: Yeah, since they are not kept in the fence, we need to communicate with animals, including considering safety. That’s where we need our five senses.

—— I see. You are challenged to use your senses and judge how to cope.

Tamaki: We are observed by animals, and they respond to us. This may be a chance to train our instincts and have a good experience.

—— I see.

Tamaki: Increasing the number of animals this year; I hope more staff stimulate their senses. We live in an age where the virtual world attracts us. Moreover, though…thinking of the beauty of screens and their immersion, you wouldn’t win, and young people all drift into there.

—— After all, even though how terrible their real situations may be, they make themself stay happy by dreaming in unrealistic world.

Tamaki: It’s possible. In ‘tamaki niime’, we often discuss it and realise we need to help them. If more people don’t enjoy reality, they don’t care what they wear.

—— That may be true. They may enjoy changing their avatar’s clothes on the screen.

Tamaki: On the other hand, they are all right, just wearing PJs, which can be possible. What’s the difference between being in the world now and a virtual world? In immersion in the virtual world, you don’t have much chance to stimulate your five senses.

—— I see.

Tamaki: That means you will lose humanity. Lacking a part of an animal’s elements means losing richness as a human being. In the virtual world, you may have fun temporarily, but you don’t develop rich senses of humanity.

—— Oh, I see.

Tamaki: I want people who like the virtual world to know ‘niime village’ as their entrance to the real world. I am thinking of systems of interacting with people to get a profoundly emotional experience by stimulating their five senses.

What do you have to do with animals? Why is it the ‘creation of the niime village’? One of the questions was answered from the mouth of Ms Tamaki.

Interacting with animals daily, which is a very realistic existence, you question what we humans are.

We experience from birth to growth and fulfilment till death, we have a new spring again. In the course of life, which is the natural law, children and adults, all create a village of living together that ties rich relationships daily.

—— You didn’t have intentions of a ‘virtual world’ precisely, right?

Tamaki: No, I didn’t.

—— It was just connected as a result.

Sakai: It’s like a ‘grazing experience’ for releasing animals and humans and watching how they react.

Tamaki: Yeah, it’s a free ‘grazing’ here.

Sakai: I was impressed that Shin has a habit of getting on a counter of ‘tabe room’ even though everyone is there. He does it without hesitation, not thinking about if it’s good to do or not. That’s what we need to do from now on.

—— Without hesitating.

Sakai: You need to realise that you are an animal without caring about other people. It doesn’t matter if it’s a failure, but it matters if you could try it with all your might.

Tamaki: The matter is if you could try your best without caring about others for the things you are interested in.

Sakai: That’s right.

Tamaki: It matters how fast you start acting. If you hesitate, you probably can’t win.

Sakai: ‘Boost sensitivity’ or ‘recall your instincts’ would work in emergencies like ‘superhuman strength’, a Japanese idiom.

—— As a quick response.

Sakai: Right. Reversely, ‘success experiences’ which slowly happen, don’t get your instinct senses. Of course, you can bring happiness or joy, though.

Tamaki: For your growth…

—— You have to take a risk.

Sakai: The bottom line is if you want to survive for your future, each one has to work for it with firm determination.

—— I see.

Sakai: If you could determine that, everything would go well, or nothing would go in the wrong direction. The people living with such a will could make everyone happy. That’s how I understand it.

Tamaki: So, as a result, it was good to make everyone accessible. I told them to try and see what they could do. I let them do it, and they did what they wanted to do and achieved good results.

I see.

Tamaki: In case of emergency, when I faced risky conditions, I quickly made up my mind, such as deciding to work with power looms by myself, focusing only on shawls, or limiting myself to selling ‘Tamask’ once I determined to.

—— That’s right.

Tamaki: Once I decided to take it this way, I worked on the details the next day. That must’ve been the secret of our business for the two of us. If we leave the company, the sales go up gradually, and the business does well somehow, but they miss the best chance on business.

—— The best time to win the game?

Tamaki: You can take the chance; you need the instinct of animals or wolves.

—— You need to dash.

Tamaki: Yeah, talking about increasing animals, we will have more than 20 animals this year.

Sakai: Yeah.

Tamaki: (to Sakai) We are so excited. What kinds are coming?

Sakai: Could you write this one? As a result of letting them be accessible, I found that most are ‘spoiled’.

—— …

Sakai: Thinking about our original ourselves, we are all ‘airheads’ when we were born. We can’t do anything besides cry.

—— You are right.

Sakai: We are very pure. In a good way, we are zero, knowing nothing.

—— Very pure.

Sakai: From another side, we are ‘spoiled’. In that sense, we are original ‘airheads’, so recognising that is important.

—— Oh, I see.

Sakai: Knowing we are ‘airheads’, we can try here and there. We can’t do it if we don’t know what we are.

—— We work desperately. Well, we can’t do it.

Tamaki: Don’t try to look cool.

—— You need to know your limitations.

Tamaki: You are right!

Sakai: If you don’t know, you can’t be humble.

Tamaki: Last year, we all learned our limitations!

Sakai: If you know you are ‘nothing’, you can be humble and ask people.

—— You are exactly right.…

Sakai: In such meanings, we are all ‘nothing’, and we both are initially ‘airheads’. Realising yourself as being an ‘airhead’, how do you…

Tamaki: How do you make your ‘airheads’ use it?

—— Being ‘airheads’, there’s nothing to lose.

Sakai: No, nothing to lose.

Tamaki: Right. So you can do anything with your life. So it would be best if you did it with that spirit.

—— I see.

Sakai: Yeah.

Tamaki: There’s nothing to lose. You can only gain! You can be strong if you think so.

Sakai: Absolutely. That’s ‘The Secret of Airheads’.

—— That’s right. Wow, that’s a great quote!

Tamaki: I made a great quote again! (laugh)

Sakai: Even though you believe you are great, you are an airhead.

Tamaki: You only know what you can do once you try.

—— There’s a perfect sense of taste that only ‘airheads’ can create.

Sakai: You said it! That’s it!

Tamaki: That’s right.

Sakai: That’s the natural feeling when you are surviving. You will be an ‘airhead’ until the end of your life. It’s just a matter of how much you could do as an ‘airhead’.

Tamaki: I challenge new things because I want to stay an airhead. It’s fun to get to know new things.

Sakai: Yes! You can try because you are an ‘airhead’.

Tamaki: We want to focus on learning from our experiences, even though we can study by reading or watching.

—— You need to be humble when you learn from experiences.

Tamaki: Yeah.

Sakai: Being ‘airheads’ equals being humble.

Tamaki: That’s essential.

Sakai: Yeah.

Tamaki: Well, one of our dreams came true last year.

Sakai: What was it?

Tamaki: We took a group picture in the field last year because our cotton bushes grew. Remember?

Sakai: Yeah, we did. We did.

Tamaki: Yeah, we were so excited that we could pick cotton.

—— They grew big.

Tamaki: They didn’t grow well until now, but they began to grow well with the help of ‘Kinchan’s bacteria’. ‘Maku team’ and the ‘Creation team’ guided everyone to do that project.

—— The ‘Maku team’ are so happy and working lively now.

Tamaki: Yeah, it’s so fun and exciting.

Sakai: The conclusion! ‘The secret of airheads’ is this year’s goal.

Tamaki: That’s right.

Sakai: Understanding ‘the secret of airheads’ well, realising that you are the one, and learning it.

Tamaki: Let’s do it this year.

—— Incorporating ‘the secret of airheads’ into yourself and learning.

Sakai: You are right.

Tamaki: If we can get the ‘mass production’ of workers who work with the concept on your own, there’s nothing but prospering.

—— It’s like ‘one item production’ to ‘one person production’. (laugh)

Tamaki: Our company has a principle of ‘One Person Production’. Creating things means creating people because people make things without being asked. After all, those are fun things to do.

—— Yes, they are.

Sakai: Yeah.

Tamaki: If you understand that concept, anyone who joins our company can do anything.

Sakai: It’s okay if they have trouble or weaknesses. It’s even enjoyable to make it happen that each original creative produces uniqueness.

Tamaki: Interestingly, we get the best creations where there are difficulties. See, our concept of ‘one item production’ means ‘each difference, each great.’

—— It’s okay to be irregular.

Tamaki: It is all right if a person doesn’t accept our product, but it is right if there’s someone who loves that same product. The difference is worth it. People with different ways and skills and various works produce diversity.

—— I see. So everything is connected.

Sakai: I have thought that we are not a ‘fashion brand’. We are a ‘nature brand’.

—— You are a ‘nature brand’!

Sakai: Yes, we are. What we express is all about nature.

—— Yes.

Sakai: Our products, clothes, and other things are parts of nature or earth of what we want to express. Since we are parts of it, we will try to describe them all.

—— You want to express ‘whole earth’.

Sakai: I announced to our staff that we are a ‘nature brand’, and mentioned ‘The Secret of Airheads’ as I explained previously. You can dash for your best if you can understand these two concepts.

Tamaki: Write it!

Sakai: I will write ‘The Secret of Airheads’.

—— I will write it following ‘doubt your common sense’.

Tamaki: I will do it on the Lab floor, imprinting it on everyone’s hearts. (laugh)

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