The Disconnect in Attracting Young Professionals

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles -

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles –

I got a pearl of wisdom here based on my experience.

So I’ve been seeing things lately. I see groups, especially non-profits, all talking about how their membership is aging and how they need to get young professionals to join and participate. I keep seeing a disconnect though. I look at books online and advice online, it is all directed towards the young professionals, such as self-help books, telling them what they should be doing and that they need to network and the like. I’m not saying these books and other related materials aren’t putting forward information that is helpful, young professionals likely should be doing many of these things. However, for all the talk about needing to attract young professionals, I’m not seeing these groups making any sort of significant effort in that direction.Continue reading

Bakersfield – What’s Japan got to do with it!?

Hey everyone! So when you think of Bakersfield, California, what comes to mind?

Whatever you thought of, please keep to yourself, because I’d rather not know. I bet it had nothing to do with Japan though. Surprisingly though, Bakersfield has more things dealing with Japan than you would think.

Earlier this month, a group of 24 students, plus their two adult chaperones from Wakayama, Japan came to visit and stayed several days in Bakersfield with host families. Bakersfield has been a Sister City to Wakayama, Japan for over 50 years now. We’ve had student exchanges back and forth for many decades. June, 2014 we’re expecting to have a large delegation go over to Wakayama. Bakersfield Sister City is something that’ll likely continue for another 50 years.

That isn’t the only thing Japan related here in Bakersfield. I recently came across two other organizations. The first I learned through a friend of mine. I found out there was a Zen Buddhist group here in Bakersfield. It isn’t a big group, but it seems to be a quality one and they welcome anyone curious about Zen. They are having an orientation for beginners soon actually. I’ll link the brochure for it.

Intro Zen ZFB Aug 24 2013

Website –

The other group I eluded to is called Bakersfield Budo. They’re a Japanese Martial Arts group here in Bakersfield that has a wide variety of offerings. From Karate, Jujutsu, Aikido, Iaijutsu, to even Shodo. It is one of those things that is surprising to find even existed in Bakersfield. Of particular interest to me is Iaijutsu, Aikido, and Shodo. They all take a nod from Zen Buddhism and there is a lot of synergy between them all. Iaijutsu is a sword art, similar to Kendo. Shodo is the art of Japanese Calligraphy. I’m sure I will be a regular at Bakersfield Budo. I’ll link the website if you’re interested in more information.

Lastly, I’ve tried in vain to find a Japanese language study group in town. Although there are a couple of Japanese classes offered at Bakersfield College, there aren’t any groups interested in studying to a level beyond the two basic level classes. What do you do if something you want doesn’t exist? You create it yourself. I’ve found a few other like minded individuals interested in improving their Japanese to the next level and committed to that undertaking. I’ve created a group and have a basic structure in place for it. It is my hope that eventually I’ll be able to grow the group to something larger that can be self-sustained after I have left. For now though I’ll keep the group small until we work out the bumps.

This just goes to show that with regards to Japan, there is more to Bakersfield than meets the eye.

The-Mello-Man signing off~

Keiretsu – Rise and Evolution

The Logo for the Mitsubishi Keiretsu


Keiretsu, what is it and how does it relate to the economic development of Japan and how business is done? We will look at what the keiretsu are, what purpose it plays, and what benefits it provides. We’ll look at the structure of keiretsu, how it is different from other business groups. From there we’ll look at the history of the keiretsu, from their roots in the zaibatsu before World War II, to their role in Japan’s recover, and how they evolved after the bursting of the asset bubble and the subsequent lost decade. We’ll go over some of the tools Japanese management used in running the keiretsu as well, such as the three “sacred treasures”. For now let’s take a look at what exactly the keiretsu is and how it is utilized.Continue reading