Greetings to readers in 2021, the 12 months of the Ox. Beginning off, weekly enterprise journal Shukan Diamond (Jan. 9) selected to mark the yr’s first common challenge with a 44-page particular report on the Buddhist lay group Soka Gakkai, which in 2020 noticed the ninetieth anniversary of its founding.
It was in 1930 that educator Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, along with Josei Toda, based the “value-creating research society” based mostly on the tenets of the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist sect. Makiguchi, jailed for his pacifist beliefs, died in jail in 1944. He was succeeded by Toda, who reorganized it after the Pacific Conflict. Below its third president, Daisaku Ikeda, the membership expanded quickly.
The phrase “militant,” as soon as used to explain the group’s aggressive proselytizing ways, is seldom invoked lately, however Soka Gakkai’s financial, social and political affect is simple. With a claimed membership of greater than 12 million, it operates Soka College and two main by means of excessive faculties in Tokyo and Kansai. Its newspaper, the Seikyo Shimbun, claims a each day circulation of 5.5 million.
Komeito, its affiliated political social gathering, has for some 20 years united with the Liberal Democratic Social gathering within the ruling authorities coalition.
Firstly of its tenth decade, nevertheless, Diamond sees the group dealing with “structural decline,” with its membership, getting old and dying out, not being changed by younger blood. The report identifies 9 severe crises, starting with lack of a successor to its management, and withdrawal of members dissatisfied with Soka Gakkai and the Komeito Social gathering.
Outdoors Japan, Soka Gakkai Worldwide (SGI) has attracted some 445,000 new adherents between 2015 and 2020, with many of the will increase in Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa and South America.
Masaru Sato, a former diplomat who’s within the means of serializing a 600-page research on Daisaku Ikeda in Aera journal, believes the group has its eyes on China, the place Soka Gakkai has already established facilities for research of Ikeda’s thought at a number of universities. Due to Soka Gakkai’s ties to Japan’s ruling coalition, Sato believes China could favor a faith that received’t battle with its Communist system.
“If China had been to open its doorways to international religions, the variety of Gakkai members would enhance right away,” he advised Diamond.
Assist! A stunning younger damsel in misery is pinned to the bottom by a heavy fallen log. However by no means concern, Senku Ishigami is close to! This remarkably astute 16-year-old realizes that he can assemble compound pulleys and raise the log, liberating her with out additional trauma.
Protagonist Ishigami briefly digresses to offer a proof crediting Archimedes, a third-century B.C. Greek scientist, with inventing the system.
“Dr. Stone,” described as a kagaku manga (science comedian), made its debut in Shueisha’s weekly Shonen Soar journal in 2017. Compiled into 19 separate books, it has already bought a complete of 8 million copies.
Gross sales this previous yr could have been boosted by massive numbers of kids being pressured to remain house from faculty as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
The January challenge of Nikkei Stylish introduces “Dr. Stone” and its creator, Riichiro Inagaki.
“An important factor, as the main premise of any comedian, is that it’s attention-grabbing,” Inagaki tells the journal. “I don’t suppose the concentrate on science per se has any reference to gross sales. It’s designed in a approach that individuals who simply skim it will probably get pleasure from it, and those that learn it extra intently will respect it too.
“I feel it’s necessary that perhaps 20% or 30% of readers are pulled in for the science, and the remaining 70% simply get pleasure from it for the attention-grabbing story.
“I’m grateful when some individuals say ‘Dr. Stone’ is instructional for teenagers, however I place it not a lot as an academic comedian, however leisure,” the 44-year-old Inagaki says. “For essentially the most half, I need kids who learn it to really feel a way of pleasure.”
Shukan Jitsuwa (Jan. 7-14) examines how Japan’s three main espresso chains have been faring throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The massive three are Starbucks (with 1,601 shops as of final September), Doutor (1,088 shops as of final November) and Komeda (873 shops as of final August).
Based on a survey by the Japan Meals Providers Affiliation, total turnover by espresso outlets in 2019 reached ¥1.178 trillion — a rise of roughly 17% from a decade earlier. This development has significantly exceeded that of the meals and beverage trade as an entire, which over the identical interval was round 10%.
Starbucks, since its 1996 entry into Japan, now operates shops in all 47 of Japan’s prefectures.
“Its fancy emblem mark, refined cup design and modern merchandise like Frappuccino or drinks made with matcha assist mission a espresso tradition that hadn’t existed earlier than, and plenty of Japanese had been enamored by this,” an trade analyst tells the journal.
The corporate shouldn’t be publicly listed, so its enterprise efficiency shouldn’t be introduced, however the analyst believes that Starbucks stays heading in the right direction to extend shops to 1,700 by the top of 2021.
Doutor (opened in Tokyo in 1980) has adopted a method of opening shops in leisure and workplace areas. The corporate has clearly been negatively affected by extra individuals working from house. Quarterly reviews confirmed sharp declines, ending with a ¥1.3 billion deficit within the June-August fiscal interval.
Komeda, whose forerunner was established in Nagoya in 1968, has located a lot of its shops in residential areas, the place it’s higher positioned to cater to the work-from-home buyer base. A enterprise analyst tells the journal it has made a gradual restoration from final summer time.
One issue benefiting Komeda’s backside line is the introduction of a brand new kind of sandwich, consisting of a beneficiant portion of Korean-style kalbi (beef brief ribs) in a hamburger bun, which has reportedly been having fun with sturdy gross sales.
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