Year: 2019

Why Senior Women Love Shopping

Elderly women shopping

Women love to shop. And the women’s love for shopping does not fade by age. One Thursday at 9:30 a.m., I passed by a supermarket and saw five to six women making a line in front of the supermarket. They were all around aged the late 60s to 80s wearing walking shoes. Some people held their shopping carts, and others held mobility aids. “Why do they come early even to wait for opening the supermarket? ” I wondered.

Gaining Insights from Seniors

Communication with Elderly Woman

Interviewing senior people makes us well prepared. When I conducted a one-on-one interview with a woman aged around 65, I had to be in the interview room much ahead of time. Then, I prepared my mind for good listening and good observation. “Your respondent is here. Are you ready?” A receptionist told me 10 minutes before the appointment time.

Heterogeneous Generations in Elderly

A couple of days ago, I took a train in the suburb area of Tokyo. It was just before lunchtime, the autumn sun shone sharply through the windows, and all was a little chilly. There was plenty of space and free from the rush-hour crush of workers and students.

Seniors – An overlooked market

Japanese senior

On a Saturday afternoon, I sat down on a chair at the entrance of a department store to rest my tired legs after shopping. At the entrance, there were two elderly women with silver hair sitting next to me and were talking to each other. “Do you often come to this department store?” asked one woman. “No, the first time in three months. I used to come here for shopping every week when I was young.

Interests in Sensory Research among Japanese Professionals

Sensory workshop

On April 26, 2019, around 20 Japanese professionals with different backgrounds participated in our sensory workshop in Tokyo.People came to the sensory workshop with various degrees of sensory research knowledge and industries such as marketing research agencies, fragrance, and printing companies. One participant said, “I do not know what sensory research is, but it sounds interesting!” Another person said, “I have been doing consumer research, but I would like to learn more about sensory evaluations.”However, the participants had one common purpose: they wanted to know more about sensory evaluations and sensory research. Basics of Sensory Evaluations, First We went through the basics of sensory evaluations in the workshop, such as sensory […]

Kanji with Implicit Insights


The Japanese government revealed the name of the new nation’s era as “Reiwa (令和)” on April 1. The government says that the English translation of the new era name is “beautiful harmony.” This translation comes from the kanji characters instead of the sound, hiragana, or katakana. Kanji characters tell the meaning visually and instantly Kanji characters tell what the word means concisely. Taking an example of a book reading (読書): “Doku (読)” means reading, and “Sho (書)” means a book. “読書” is compact in writing, compared to the sentence: “本を読む.” You find that most Japanese have Kanji characters for their family and given names. Kanji characters for family names, including […]

Seasonal Cues and Our Senses


Blooming Sakura tells us that spring is coming. The cherry blossom front (桜前線, “Sakura Zensen”) moves across Japan from the south to the north, from February to May. You may enjoy viewing the full blossoms of Sakura at the end of March in Tokyo. If you travel to the Tohoku and Hokkaido areas in late April to early May, you will enjoy viewing Sakura again. The cherry blossoms (Sakura) are the spring specialty. They show us the light pink of gorgeous flowers only a few days a year. When the cherry petals are fallen, we feel that the climate gets warmer. Iconic Things in Different Seasons Japan has four distinct […]

Personify Things


“Wow! How cute this bento is!” When you see a bento box of a kindergarten kid, you may find the smiling face on the Onigiri. You can see that the hand-made bento makes the child smile by looking and tasting it. Onigiri with a smiling face also makes you smile. Kyara-ben, character-bento is an arranged bento featuring foods to look like people. Kyara-ben is just one example of personification. You can find out other personified things in Japan. For example, several TV commercials feature animals behaving like human beings. The dog behaves like a human being, makes you smile, and enjoys watching the TV commercial without being annoyed by the […]

Quietness: Words cannot explain

Japanese garden

Japanese gardens are typically quiet and free from noises. The gardens are silent, but the visuals and smells make your mind calm and peaceful. Traditional Japanese gardens generally have stones, trees, and a waterfall around ponds to create a miniature of the natural scenery. Expressions of Quietness Words have limitations in explaining how quiet the Japanese garden is. Meanwhile, you feel the quietness of the garden by your eyes and your nose. The lush greenery with fresh smells of trees and plants make you feel soaked in nature. Sounds also explain how quiet the garden is. Deer Scarer (鹿威し “Shihi-Odoshi”), a bamboo water foundation, emphasizes the garden’s quietness when the […]

Haptics: Making experience memorable

Oral Haptics of Doughnuts

When I watch TV programs in Japan, I am obsessed with many TV shows about foods. TV programs broadcast Japanese restaurants and food shops from early morning to late evening every day. The TV program cameras typically zoom the foods to show how the inside of the food looks like when we eat. The camera on the TV program also zooms the face of a TV personality or reporter to show when they eat the food. Eating delicious food is a special treat for a person in daily life. Oral Haptic Experience Food is more than nutrition. Food offers oral haptic perceptions when you process the food in your mouth, […]

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