Tokyo, May 08, 2013
10Am: out of the hotel walking to the conference center. Hardly see anyone on the street. Once in a while I spot a man in black.
12:30PM: out of the conference center walking down the street looking for a lunch spot. Groups of men in black are on the way to or from their lunch venues. I notice that most restaurants in the area are set up for a in-and-out lunch fix.
1PM we get into a Japanese noodle house. Groups of men in black fill the tables. The menu looks fantastic but I am told it’s not for lunch. Lunch is a quick fix and you can either choose from 2 mains or 4 noodles. Soba it is then.
1:30PM: back to the conference center. I ask Ichiro why he thinks a group setting is better for our introduction tomorrow. “Japanese like group energy”, says Ichiro. “we do badly at the olympics in any single competition and always do significantly better in any team competition. Don’t you notice that?”. “So all these men will turn up in black tomorrow I guess?”, I ask. “Definitely!”, Ichiro answers. “No one wants to stand out.”
4PM we go down to Tully’s coffee. Men in black either sit by themselves working on their computers or sit in groups discussing business. The place is full.
6PM I walk past a Star Bucks on the way back to the hotel. Men in black fill the place.
8PM I take the Ginza subway line to Ginza. Tons of men in black are on-board. They must be the early batch leaving the office.
9:30PM I take the Ginza line back to the hotel. Men in black hurry on and off at very station. Every single one of them is on their smart phone. No one looks up. Wonder if any of them spot a smile on my face?!?
9:39PM I get off at Ginza station. Surprise, surprise! Men in black pour in from every exit hurrying somewhere.
Spring is in the air, but black seems to put Japan in the right order….