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カテゴリ:経済的営み( 52 )

LOHASの戒め

LOHASという言葉が叫ばれて久しいのだが、元々それがマーケティング用語として登場したことが象徴するように、その概念自体、商業の賜物であるのかなと思っている。本気で自然派なのであれば、スタイルどうこう以前に、合成界面活性剤を使用した商品は徹底的に使用しないとか、美しいエコバッグを新しく調達しなくても、おばあちゃんの桐ダンスに眠っている、風呂敷を探し出して使うとか、かなりのストイックさと環境に対する生真面目さを要する。ところが、LOHASと言う際に、そこに頑なさはなく、ゆるさの中で環境のことを考えることの格好よさが多分に先行する気がする。

LOHASなライフスタイルを送る私が素敵、というある種のエゴイズムと、それはあまりにもシニカル、純粋な環境・社会愛の狭間というのが、独断と偏見によるLOHASの意味合いである。かくいう私も、現代文明のビバ資本主義の申し子の一人であり、中でもお金を融通することでお給料を頂いて、なおかつそのまさにLOHAS的な生活が好きだと自認している身としては、これは自身への戒めでもある。

こんなことを考えたのは、私自身が本日行ったヘアサロンでのことである。今までは、あまり色々を考えず、髪の毛を切り、パーマをかけ、色を染めるという行為を当たり前に行っていたわけだが、母親の怖い話しを聞き、日常だけでなく、ヘアサロンでも気をつけようと思ったことがあったからだ。母親の怖い話しというのは、合成海面活性剤を使用し続けた妊婦さんの羊水が、泡だらけだったという本当だったらぞっとする話しを聞いたことにある。以後、家ではスキンケアもヘアケアも、一環してAubreyというオーガニック製品を使うように努めている。香りは不思議だけれど、慣れてくるといいものなことに最近ようやく気がついた。

というわけで、今日は三年目の浮気をした。といっても、ただヘアサロンを変えてみただけのことであるが、馴染みのスタイリストさんでないところに行くというのは、どうも自分でも気の引ける行為である。が、髪の毛を暗くする時に草木染めに近いものをしたかったので、ここはそれを言い訳に新たなサロンを開拓だ。AVEDAのヘアカラーは93パーセントが自然のもので、ヘナほどまでは行かずとも、100パーセント化学物質に比べたら随分と有難い。銀座の真ん中で、自然派だと言い放つこと、これこそがLOHASな自分のエゴと満足の狭間なのだが、それでもやっぱり気持ちがいい。お陰様で、全身が決して美しいフローラルな香りではなくても、自然の草木の香りがほのかにして満足である。

なんだかんだ、自己批判をしながらも、LOHASな生活が続きそうな予感。
[PR]
by Haruka_Miki | 2007-06-10 00:00 | 経済的営み

連休の過ごし方・食

連休というのは、やはりいいものです。何となくいつでも出来そうでなかなかしにくいことが出来るのが連休です。ガリシア産とはかなり珍しいワインを片手に夕飯をしたり、映画に行ったり、排水溝の掃除をしたり、散歩をしたり、新聞を隅から隅まで読んだり、勉強をしてみたり、爪を普段ではしないであろう深紅色にしてみたり、様々な活動ができるわけです。いつもならば間違いなくやる気を起こせないこともやってみる気になれます。

三連休ならば人ごみからくる疲労困ぱいからも回復できそうな気がしたので、ミッドタウンに行って参りました。諦めと気合いの間で移ろいながらのミッドタウンへの到着です。美術館とDean&Delucaのみが基本的に目当てだったため、その目標を達成すると足早にその地を去ったわけですが。

f0079502_21425694.jpg大変混雑するDean&Delucaにわざわざ行った理由は、あるオリーヴオイルを買い求めるためです。Barianiというオリーヴオイルなのですが、とかくこだわった一品だとのことです。カリフォルニアに移住したイタリア系家族が作っているもので、自家栽培のオリーヴを手摘みし、その直後にイタリア中世の方法のままに、イタリアの御影石で摩りつぶし、化学的な抽出方法は一切用いず自然分離でオイルを出しボトリングをするという全工程を家内工業でするのだそうです。連れは大瓶を四本も購入し、私も小さい瓶をお土産に頂戴しました。料理に使うというよりは、サラダなどそのままで頂くと絶品とのことなので、サラダにかけて頂くのが楽しみです。

あそこの店が美味しい、というグルメな知識にはあいにく疎いのですが、母親の影響もあり、食材のことを考えたり選ぶのは大好きです。有機栽培の野菜だったり、職人さんの蜂蜜だとか、土臭さや森の香り、それに向き合う人の温かさと知恵や優しさに詰まった食材に出会えるというのは、この上ない愉しみです。
[PR]
by Haruka_Miki | 2007-04-29 00:00 | 経済的営み

Pink-Purple-Publivate?

f0079502_21542927.jpg
Happy Saturday. What can you expect more than waking up late, reading a book in a bed with a cafe latte bowl right next to yourself and having a lazy Saturday afternoon in a cozy cafe. Well, that sounds like Daisy in Great Gatsby..

Today, I had a late afternoon tea at Cafe Lotus. My friend was knowledgeable enough to notice Mr.Uichi Yamamoto, the producer of the cafe who was sitting right next to us. The wall of the cafe were painted in bright pink and purple, which only made me think of the works by my favorite Mexican architect, Luis Barragan. I somehow wished if I could paint one of my wall at my place, too.

So we gathered. One of the friends works for government, another works for semi-private company and I work for THE private company. The mission of the organization we work for indeed was different from politics to economics and from public welfare to profit making. We all chose for what we aimed for with the idea of what we prioritize in life. But somehow I was perplexed.

f0079502_2141028.jpgI decided to work in private organization because I knew private organization is the best place as theoretically it is the most efficient, effective, pleasant and least political. Yes, that was true after working for the company. By choosing these values, I didn't choose the values that non-private organizations may aim for, such as working for goods of society, despite the less efficient and potentially more political environment.

But wait, can't we ever aim for both? I was always this way. I wanted to be "Classical" and "Bohemian-chic", "Matured" and "Fresh", "Energetic" and "Selene". People say you can't get both! Am I too greedy or do I avoid to face the reality? In a bigger picture, we can never really differentiate the mission of an organization. Each organization should exist for the goods and happiness of earth, public, society and an individual. You are just dreaming, one will say. I am just dreaming, I will say. Then I just read a brilliant book called Let my people go surfing.

I was really perplexed in a pink and purple room but never in a negative way. It was a state of question for a possible break-through.
[PR]
by Haruka_Miki | 2007-03-31 00:00 | 経済的営み

書物連鎖 -Appreciating book chain-

"The texture of the book or magazine is important. You can 'view' the book online and eventually, we may live in the world without any paper press but to 'touch' and 'feel' the texture of the publication is something special", said my friend a few years ago. I agree with his statement even though I admit I'm a big shopper at Amazon and in a long term future, all the paper books may be substituted with online books (yes that's more efficient and in fact earth friendly).

When I have a chance to take a promenade from Ebisu to Daikanyama, I stop by at hacknet Daikanyama, a book store specialized in designs and arts related books. I enjoy skimming through book to book to find some new inspirations. The inspiration makes the next inspiration arise and my curiosity gets deeper as it goes through this process, which I say "book chain" just like "food chain" in a way. This could be possible in the interplay of book shop online and offline.

f0079502_09257.jpg The first book (found at the book shop in street): 百年の愚行 One hundred years of idiocy
The title was so catchy and caught my eyes when I walked in to the book shop. The Japanese title is indeed very sharp, too. The book was quite powerful unvailing the idiocies humans have done for the last hundred years, such as war, poverty in terms of "man-made disaster" and environmental destrucion. There aren't so many words and the picutres as a whole play a critical rule to state their message.

I looked at the babies who were born with body shapes affected by the incidense of Chernobyl, the street children sleeping in the street corner of Phnom Penh and the trees cut which are piled up hight to the sky (yes, the piles are so high but the trees are laid down and they can never grow higher as they could). → The feeling created: sadness and shame to ignorant & powerless myself. I felt desperate and regretted I was just an obsorver for such issue afterall.

f0079502_092995.jpgThe second book (found online): Good News for a Change: How Everyday People Are Helping the Planet グッドニュース 持続可能な社会はもう始まっている
Thanks to reading the first book, One Hundred Years of Idiocy, I came home and searched for the books related to this topic. Then here was the book which could give a slight light to me, who was torn down by the shocking images I saw in the first book. →The feeling created: a slight hope and positiveness to affirm what we could improve in future.

So it goes on and on. Thanks to the modern technology, wonderful book store in the street and the friendship circle, the book chain only evolves and never stops. Enjoying the book chain defenitely changes my mentality and affects what I can and want to do from tomorrow!
[PR]
by Haruka_Miki | 2007-03-22 00:00 | 経済的営み

イスラームの時代

出版社の回し者以外の何者でもないようなのだが、イスラーム金融の感動をもう一度、ということで、勝手に感傷的な私のこの想いを。

いつもの帰り道、恵比寿駅東口で人の波に流されそうになりながら歩いていたところ、キオスクの本置き場には全く似つかわしくない『イスラム』の文字が赤字で躍っていた。通常ならば、キオスクでお買い物は殆どしないのだけど、その瞬間に千円札を出している自分。イスラーム病の発病である。世の消費者は、ものが必要か否かではなく、購入することに満足を覚えるとの談もあるが、この日私は、必要性と購入欲の両方を、瞬時に満たされた思いだった。

『イスラム』の文字の正体は、雑誌を購入してからやっと冷静に確認した。3月24日の週間ダイヤモンドは、何を隠そうイスラーム特集の号で、イスラームと経済と言えばおきまりの、オイルマネーに起因するイスラーム圏の活況ぶりについての記事はもちろん、少数派である、驚くべきイスラーム金融のいろはまでカバーしている。f0079502_2140526.jpg

なぜここまでの、正気を逸脱する購入行為に走ったかと言えば、申し遅れると、私は曲がりなりにも大学でイスラーム経済のゼミに在籍していた。イスラームに関心を持ったのはもちろんだが、レトロなこげ茶の窓枠が素敵な教授棟の一室にある先生の部屋で焚かれる香の薫りに惹かれたと言った方が正確な気もする。その香の薫りに惹かれてから二年間、イブンハルドゥーンの歴史序説や先生のご専門であるエジプト地域経済の話も含め、お菓子とお茶とナツメヤシを頂きながら、時間を過ごした。その中で後半取り上げたのが、イスラーム金融だった。

二年前であれば、ポピュラーな週刊誌にこうしてシャリーア委員会(金融取引や商品等、事細かにイスラーム法への適合性を判断する委員会。イスラーム法学者で構成される。なお、記事によれば、国際協力銀行も法学者を抱えているとのこと。そこまでは存じてなかった。)のことを取り上げることもなかったと思う。時代は変わった。思わず嬉しくて、ゼミの先生にお便りしたいところだが、「どうも骨のある議論よりはバブルな雰囲気ですねぇ」とにこにこしながら、辺りの騒ぎを遠巻きに見守るようなことをおっしゃるのが、目に浮かぶ。バブルで終わらないことを、元ゼミ生としては願って止まない。
[PR]
by Haruka_Miki | 2007-03-20 00:00 | 経済的営み

University in modern times

Just yesterday, I was talking about how Japanese universities gradually started to become "business-like" following the trends among American universities for some decades.

The main article in the first page of The Nikkei Financial Daily(日経金融新聞) today was thus worth to note. The special article which were titled as "take the risk and earn your own" covers a story of how American universities choose to go for the active investment strategy taking risk. According to the article, "even medium sized universities keep return as high as 10% or more."

The article says;
- For American univerisites, they choose to go for high-risk & high-return as investment is their important revenue sources.
- Following the trends in '80s when universiteis competed by "educaiton standard" and "attractive scholarships", investment to keep up with such demands gained a momentum.
- For example, Harvard, the univerisity with the biggest investment size as much as USD28.9billions, has their own investment company. The company holds 170 employees of which 30 are investment representatives. The company is run under CEO who moved from PIMCO last Feb.

Sources: The Nikkei Financial Daily. (2007/03/08) Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shinbun (Writer: Humiyoshi Murakami)

We can't do anything without money. Without capital, you can't do anything. You can't even teach! Thus, managing universities' capital is indeed for the sake of students and maintaining good qualities of universiites. What if though, needs gradually becomes a purpose? What is the significance of being for universities? Is it to educate people or to gain revenue? Probably both. But what if, the latter gets more important?
[PR]
by Haruka_Miki | 2007-03-08 00:00 | 経済的営み

Preface for Equatorial Guinea

f0079502_0263414.jpgAs I had some conversations about Equatorial Guinea with my colleague a few weeks ago, I started reading a book, The Wonga Coup: Guns, Thugs and a Ruthless Determination to Create Mayhem in an Oil-Rich Corner of Africa .

Somehow or with obvious reason for some, this tiny country in Africa has been a hot (literally and metaphorically) place in the African continent.

A friend I met today happened to know about this place and we had an intriguing talk about the country. Before going too much into depth as I am still in the process of reading a book, here is one trivia from him; Although it's named as "Equatorial Guinea", the Equator isn't on Equatorial Guinea! Actually, the country is in north hemisphere!
[PR]
by Haruka_Miki | 2007-03-03 00:01 | 経済的営み

Virtue, faith and reality

We have ideals. We have virtue. We have faith. We picture rose-colored world then we suddenly face some suspicious darkness.

Tonight, one very powerful news article caught my eyes. It's the special investigation covered by Los Angels Times with title "Dark clous over works of Gates Foundation". The original article was written in Jan 7 newspaper then Daily Yomiuri introduced the article in their newspaper today.

"The world's largest philanthropy pours money into investments that are hurting many of the people its grants are meant to help".

The article reveals behind the scene of the Gate Foundation, a well known philanthropy. It says how the foundation provides vaccination drive for poor people in Nigeria at the same time they actually invest their money to companies whose activities in Nigeria actually create pollutions and illness among the locals. By the way, the foundation makes more profit from the investment than their expense for vaccinations etc.

We say the mission of an enterprise is first to make profit for all the stakeholders. Yes, profit is the key. How easy it is to say that. We imagine the mission of philanthropy is never to make profit. It's all for good of society, community, and people. Raising fund is never a mission but a process for a mission.

It surely is ideal if we can come up with an social activity which also brings economical profits. In fact, there are more and more MBA courses for non-profit organization, art management and social entrepreneurship around the world.

Question then arises. Some people who are into social responsiblity go for NPO/NGO whose main mission is enhance social happiness (again, it's a vague concecpt). Others try to be inside the "system" (capitalism, globalization or whatever you name it) and try to have the power to change the world after they get power, reputation, skill or "money".

The scary part is when we are in the "system". We try to have objective eyes. However, eventually we could be soaked in the menntality of the "system". The article highly warns the point. So, do I want the former or latter?
[PR]
by Haruka_Miki | 2007-01-16 00:00 | 経済的営み

ニュース①やっと日の目を

先輩、泣いていいですか。私が学部時代に、細々と、驚きないし怪訝な目ないし無関心(そうです。無です。なにそれ?でもない反応ということです)で周囲に見られながら勉強したイスラーム金融のニュースが、なんと新聞の、それも朝刊の、しかも一面に載ったんです。

イオンクレジット、イスラム金融で資金調達 (07年1月15日日本経済新聞朝刊一面より)

イオンクレジットサービスは日系企業としては初めて、マレーシアでイスラムの教義に即した金融方式を活用して資本市場から直接資金調達をする。債券発行などによる調達額は4億リンギ(約136億円)で同国内でのクレジットカード関連のシステム投資や事業資金に充てる。イスラム金融の採用により低コストで多様な資金調達手段を確保する。イオンクレジットのマレーシア現地法人がイスラム金融方式を取り入れた短期・中期債の発行枠を設定。マレーシア三菱東京UFJ銀行などが主幹事を務め、みずほコーポレート銀行ラブアン支店が複数の金融機関による銀行保証をとりまとめる。15日にクアラルンプールで調印する。(クアラルンプール=伊東義章)』

先輩、こんな日がくるなんて嬉しいじゃないですか。人間、日の当たる、当たらないじゃないですね。金融だってそうですね。なんでも、政府系機関を皮切りに、メガバンクだとか海外だと欧米系の金融機関もこれをビジネスチャンスに感じているなんて記事までありました。

先輩、別に私はイスラームの肩を持つわけでも何でもないんですけど、なんとなく、人気の価値観・珍しい価値観だとか、中心と周辺だとか、そういうのを覆すような出来事があると、嬉しくなるもんじゃないですか。やっぱり日本人は判官びいきですし。て、そりゃ関係ないとか言わないでください。

って、先輩も何も、ゼミでイスラーム金融に興味を持ったのって、私だけで、先輩ってだあれ、なんて意地悪なつっこみはなしです。
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by Haruka_Miki | 2007-01-15 00:00 | 経済的営み

"False food"

Let me say that I'm a proud consumer supposedly eating healthy food and taking as many safe products as possible. I try to take as much organic vegetalbes and fruits as possible, eat as safe fishes and meats from ceritified stores where they don't use chemicals to grow fishes, chickens, pigs and cows as possible.

As a health conscious consumer, there are a few words that attract me; "organic" and "non generically engineered". Then the question comes. How can I prove that what I eat IS really safe products? In another word, what I read in the label at the back of each product really IS true always? The answer could be NO.

ORGANIC- My family is a member of some coop stores, and we enjoy buying products from them because they provide reliable informations to shoppers that their products are safe. Not only safe but their foods are very tasty and fresh. However, we can't buy from the stores all the time, Sometime, we need to run to the conventional food stores (yes, the word "conventional" was used as a comparison to "organic". I saw that word first time when I was in NYC at super market chain called Whole Foods Market. The shops were popular among health-conscious new yorkers.) Even it says "organic", can we be really certain that they are really "organic"? How comfortable can we be when we look at the label?

NON GENERICALLY ENGINEERED (GE) - So my sister brought back home an interesting brochure called "True Food Guide" one day. This free brochure tells whether the products with non-generically engineered really labels ARE non generically engineered or not. They come up with the products we can purchase at the store and how some of them are actually GE products even they state they are non-genericlaly engineered! The booklet decides whether the product is GE or non-GE as based on the producer went through the certain processes to prove that they are non-GE products. Surprisingly, some of the producers are not going through these processes and still labeling their products as non-GE.

Well, so after all, we can never be 100% certain of what we eat. Still, as long as we have strong interests of knowing what we eat, we can at least prevent the world to go to the whole chaos of "don't know what we are eating but oh well" situation. It's us who consume and isn't it a fair right to advocate this? After all, what we eat come back to ourselves!
[PR]
by Haruka_Miki | 2006-12-14 00:00 | 経済的営み