Akemi on BBC Radio London

posted in: Japan 0

Akemi appeared on BBC Radio London earlier this month to discuss her new book The Power Of Chowa.

On the programme, Akemi talks about some of the intriguing differences in culture between Japan and the UK, a topic which is also explored in detail in her book.

Among those ideas is the importance of personal relationships and living in harmony with others. In The Power Of Chowa, for instance, Akemi talks about a method for diffusing arguments by walking into another room and writing down your feelings, rather than having a heated argument with the other person.

During her talk on the radio show, Akemi expands on this into the chapter of her book that explores seeking a balance:

“The search for balance is not always an easy one. You will encounter setbacks, obstacles and times when you feel stuck. Frustration is one of the most painful human emotions. We expect so much of ourselves and we can be our own worst critic. Sometimes our expectations are too high, and we end up disappointed.

This is a well-known proverb in Japanese:
nana korobi yaoki

It means ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.’ To me, this proverb captures how we feel when we don’t succeed better than the English version, because it is literally translated as: ‘Fall down seven times, get up eight times.’ We all need to accept that we are going to fall, more than once. My advice is to make peace with it, and keep going. You will fall seven times. You might even fall more than seven times. What is important is that you pick yourself back up again.”

You can listen to Akemi’s BBC Radio appearance via this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07nmmdt
Akemi’s interview is from 2:42:30 – 3:00:00.